Although the Catholic funeral rite has not changed in the past few decades, society has. Parishes have new questions to face that their liturgical book does not consider: eulogies by family members, the final disposition of cremated remains, and the collapse of the traditional three-stage funeral liturgy. Light in the Darkness takes a fresh look at the pastoral challenges society is posing, while giving concrete suggestions for implementing the vision of the Catholic Church's Order of Christian Funerals. The appendix includes catechetical materials for families planning a funeral and an extended commentary on all the Scripture readings for a funeral Mass.
Paul Turner is pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Kansas City, Missouri. A priest of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, he holds a doctorate in sacred theology from Sant' Anselmo in Rome. He is a former president of the North American Academy of Liturgy and a member of Societas Liturgica and the Catholic Academy of Liturgy. He serves as a facilitator for the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. His publications include One Love: A Pastoral Guide to the Order of Celebrating Matrimony, Inseparable Love: A Commentary on The Order of Celebrating Matrimony in the Catholic Church, Glory in the Cross: Holy Week in the Third Edition of The Roman Missal, Let Us Pray: A Guide to the Rubrics of Sunday Mass, and Whose Mass Is It? Why People Care So Much about the Catholic Liturgy, all published by Liturgical Press. He is also a contributor to Give Us This Day.PDF resource files:120-21: Going to Confession122-23: When to Contact the Parish about a Funeral124-25: What Should a Catholic Know about Cremation?126: Letter to Families concerning Financial Offerings127-28: Words in Remembrance-Crafting What You'd Like to Say129-30: The Procession to the Cemetery131: The Rite of Committal with Lowering of the Coffin
Light in the Darkness: Preparing Better Catholic Funerals is a succinct and thoughtful presentation of the Church's liturgical theology of her funeral rites. Clergy, pastoral associates, musicians, and all who are entrusted with the planning of Catholic funerals will find this work to be an engaging and helpful pastoral resource. Fr. Turner's vast experience as a liturgical scholar and pastor shine forth in this valuable guide.
Fr. Matthew Ernest, Director of the Office of Liturgy, Archdiocese of New York, Professor and Director of Liturgy, St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie
Light in the Darkness contains much practical, helpful advice for parish staffs, funeral directors, bereavement ministers, musicians, cantors, lectors, pallbearers, and cemetery staff. It illuminates a critically important component of the Church's ministry through its sound scholarship and pastoral sensitivity.
Light in the Darkness is an utterly practical manual based on the author's long experience as a pastor. This shows in the way it begins with a section on Pastoral Care before moving on to look at rituals and provide practical resources. What a treasure box the `Toolbox' section is, particularly for clergy.
Elizabeth Harrington, Education Officer, Liturgy Brisbane
Rev. Paul Turner's Light in the Darkness situates the Order of Christian Funerals within the real pastoral context in which funeral rites are celebrated. From rites and readings to cremation and committal, Fr. Turner addresses every aspect of planning and executing the funeral rites of the Catholic Church with great pastoral sensitivity and depth of experience. Light in the Darkness will enlighten and enrich the funeral ministry of all priests, deacons, parish staff and music ministers, renewing hope in the resurrection for everyone journeying through the darkness of loss.
Dianne Rachal, Director of Worship, Diocese of Shreveport
This excellent resource should be required reading for those in parish ministries responsible for planning the three parts of the funeral liturgy.