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The death of a loved one can be a very challenging time for a family. Even when there has been time to prepare we can still feel lost and overwhelmed. In the Roman Missal of Mass we pray in the Preface of Christian Death, “Lord, for Your faithful people life is changed not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven.”

Even with this hope given us by Christ we can still find ourselves confronted by feelings of loss and sadness. The Church wishes to help you. The Bereavement Committee of St Cecilia’s is here to help families plan prayerfully the Vigil, Mass and Graveside for their loved ones. A beautiful Mass is a great comfort to those who are mourning and a true grace for the one who has died. The following process will help:

  • When you decide on which mortuary you will be using, ask them to call St Cecilia’s to arrange for services through the Church. Our Office Administrative Team will consult with the Clergy to determine priest and church availability. (714.544.3250)
  • A Bereavement Committee member will contact the family with this information.
  • A family consultation visit with a committee member will be scheduled to determine the wishes of the family regarding selection of Scriptures, music, cantor and technical support, altar servers and financial arrangements.
  • The Bereavement Committee will set up the church for the funeral Mass and will assist during the liturgy itself.
  • A Committee member will facilitate funeral Vigil services through Parish Deacons and/or the mortuary.
  • A Committee member will also facilitate the arrangements for the graveside service.

Other points to keep in mind when beginning preparations for a service at St Cecilia’s:

  • During the Sacred Triduum of Holy Week (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday, Church law does not allow funeral services. Funeral services will be performed before or after these holy days.
  • Funeral Masses are not held on Sundays due to the heavy schedule of Sunday Masses from morning to evening.
  • If a priest not of the parish will be the celebrant please notify the parish office.
  • At the funeral Mass one eulogy is permitted which should be 4-5 minutes long. This takes place usually after the opening greeting of the Mass. Eulogies are also permitted at the Vigil and the graveside. Guidelines for a eulogy are available through the Bereavement Committee member.
  • Diocesan regulations do not permit music in the Mass that is not Christian. Popular secular songs may be appropriate at the Graveside or reception but not in the Mass.
  • Church screens can be used at services. These can be used to help people follow along with the readings. They can also portray your loved one before and after the Mass begins.
  • Your loved one’s name will be included in all the Masses celebrated on the Sunday following the funeral Mass.
  • Donations in the name of your loved one are appreciated for the health and on-going work of St Cecilia’s. The name of your loved one can also be etched into brick and added to the front entrance of our parish church to be forever remembered. The donation cost is $100.

The work of the Bereavement Committee is to provide support and comfort for the family as they prepare to honor and pray for their loved one. This is a sacred moment that is handled with love and sensitivity by all of us.

“Most Merciful Father, Your beloved Son Jesus reached out with compassion to the widow of Nain and restored her dead son to life. By His Resurrection, Christ has conquered death. Fill me with confidence and trust in our Savior’s compassion. May I face death without fear, and live with unwavering hope in the One who raised Lazarus from the dead. For Jesus is our Lord, now and forever. Amen.”

Please do not hesitate to call the EMERGENCY NUMBER ONLY 714-953-7024