Ministry & Participation
The community of faith invites all to minister and participate at the death of a Christian. Ritual actions indicate our way of caring in the ministry of consolation. The Funeral Mass begins when the priest greets the family with the deceased Christian's body within the gathering area. Sacred symbols are held by the family. The crucifix or Bible along with the pall, are placed on the casket after the opening prayer and the blessing with holy water recalling baptism.
The pall recalls how the Christian was clothed with a white garment at the beginning of the journey at Baptism. Now our prayer is that they will go forth in the garment unstained by sin to the kingdom of God. The priest will assist the family in placing the pall over the casket. He will later assist family members placing other Christian symbols on the casket.
Liturgy of the Word
The Word of God brings hope and consolation. You will be provided with several readings from sacred scripture. You may choose two readings and a Psalm either sung or read. Onereading is from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. The lector should proclaim the Word in a meaningful and spiritual way. The parish will be of service in assisting a person to proclaim God's Word.
Family members are invited to bring up the gifts of bread and wine for the celebration of the Eucharist. Some families invite children and grandchildren to participate in the offertory procession. This is another liturgical expression of love for the deceased.
At the conclusion of the Mass, before leaving the church, a farewell prayer is said. It is permissible at this time for a family member or friend to say a few words in remembrance of the deceased. The remembrance should focus on the Christian legacy of the deceased. In recalling a person's life the theme is how that person showed Christian values and love in life. Remarks should be brief, prepared in advance and submitted for the priest to review at the Vigil.
As a member of our parish family following the internment you are invited to make use of the parish facilities for the gathering of family and friends.
Offering for the Church
Donations to the church in memory of a loved one may be made in a number of ways. St. Thomas Aquinas Development Fund is a way of remembering. Gifts are used for the purchase of sacred vessels, vestments, sanctuary and altar memorials The offering is an expression of faith and support for the parish community and its charitable works.
As a parish we hope to assist you with the difficult task of grieving and placing your loss in the context of faith. Support Groups, days of recollection, bereavement resources, special memorial liturgies and individual support is available to anyone in need of comfort and reassurance. We will continually pray that you can eventually accept your loss and remember your loved one as you continue to journey in faith toward the kingdom.