Ever since the early days of the church, bereaved families and close friends have gathered together at the death of a Christian. Prayers and rituals bring comfort and consolation for those who are grieving. Planning the Catholic Funeral clearly and carefully takes the bereaved through the significant moments in the ritual for funerals by providing an overview of the funeral, as well as space to write down decisions while going through the planning process. This planning guide, written in accordance with the Order of Christian Funerals, is a valuable tool at the time of the funeral, whether the death was unexpected or planned for in advance.
Planning the Catholic Funeral is an important tool for the pastoral staff, lectors, musicians, and those who assist grieving family and friends to effectively plan ministries that celebrate the death of a Christian in a meaningful and loving way. With this book, a difficult and often confusing time is transformed into a time of pastoral liturgical care for the bereaved. Planning the Catholic Funeral allows those who are grieving, as well as those who are assisting them, to appreciate the funeral as a journey taken with the parish community.
Chapters in Planning the Catholic Funeral are Funeral Home and Parish, The Body, Scheduling the Main Funeral Liturgy, Scheduling the Funeral Vigil—(Formerly 'the Wake'), Visitation, Leaders/Presiders, The Funeral Vigil (with Possible Reception of the Body, Pallbearers, Placing of the Pall, Placing of Christian Symbols, Altar Server(s), Lector(s), Selection of Scripture Readings, Homily, General Intercessions, Preparation of the Gifts, Ministers of Holy Communion, Music, Remembrance of the Deceased, The Rite of Committal, Memorabilia, Refreshment, Gathering in the Presence of the Body, Transfer of the Body to the Church or to the Place of Committal. Also includes a conclusion and appendices.
Father Terence P. Curley, D.Min., pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Nahant, Massachusetts, is a licensed mental health counselor with over twenty years of experience ministering to the grieving. He is also an adjunct staff member of the Family Life Office of the Archdiocese of Boston. He has written numerous publications specializing in the area of separation and loss, including The Ministry of Consolers from the Collegeville Ministry series, published by Liturgical Press.