Preparing for a Catholic Funeral

“It is not Death that will come to fetch me, it is the good God. Death is no phantom, no horrible specter, as presented in pictures. In the catechism it is stated that death is the separation of soul and body, that is all! Well, I am not afraid of a separation which will unite me to the good God forever.”
St Theresa of Lisieux

The clergy of St John Vianney & St Monica’s and St Cuthbert’s parishes, Blackpool are already celebrating funerals at this time, in accord with the current Covid-19 pandemic protocols. Part of these UK government rules mean that such celebrations in church are restricted to 30 persons max unless the funeral is celebrated at usual Mass time. Crematorium authorities their own specific rules for funerals on their premises.

Preparing the funeral service of someone who has died can be a difficult thing to face. Several resources are available:

1. Guide for Preparing a Catholic Funeral (pdf)

This is a leaflet prepared to help people who have the responsibility of arranging for the funeral of a family member or friend. It indicates the purpose and nature of a Catholic funeral and offers simple guidance to family and friends before they meet with those who will prepare the funeral liturgy with them.

The Church’s ministers will help the family consider what is best and practical for their particular circumstances. They have the task of ensuring that funeral services are true to the tradition of the Church, as well as appropriate to the one who has died, and those who gather to pray for them.

2. Preparing for my funeral (pdf)

This is a simple A4 sheet designed to help people indicate their preferences for their own funeral.

Catholics will want to ensure that their funeral service reflects their faith, the faith of the Church.

However it can be difficult for our next of kin make detailed arrangements for our funeral at the same time as dealing with the grief and loss they will experience at our passing. They will be especially hard-pressed to prepare the funeral as we would wish if they do not share our Faith.

It can therefore be a real help to others when we ourselves give thought to our funeral arrangements ahead of time, and let them know what our preferences are, so that when the time comes they can be taken account of to the fullest degree practicable.

Scripture Readings (pdf) can be found here courtesy of the Diocese of Westminster.


General Intercessions for a Funeral at a Crematorium can be downloaded here.