The death of a Christian is not the end of life, but rather a transformation in an onward journey towards eternal life with God. We believe that this call to eternal life begins for all Christians in the waters of baptism.
The death of a family member or loved one brings a sense of grief, loss and change to all our lives. There is need for support during this time of sadness. Our parish team are there to support people who are bereaved.
When the funeral undertaker is contacted by a family regarding the funeral arrangements they will inform the priests of the parish. The parish priest and a member of the parish team will visit the family to discuss preparations for the Funeral Mass. The parish has prepared a funeral book which contains readings and prayers to be used at the Mass. This book is given to the family at the first visit by one of the team who can support the family with preparing the funeral Mass.
A member of the parish team is available to pray with the family when the remains are being removed to the church for Mass. When the coffin is brought to the church and before the Mass begins the Pall (a large white cloth) is placed over the coffin. The pall symbolises firstly, the dignity of the deceased person as a child of God, and secondly, that we are all equal in God’s eyes both in life and in death.
After the Mass the priest will accompany the family to the graveside and lead the family in the final prayers for the deceased.
Contact can be made with the parish office (028 3025 2459) to make the necessary arrangements for month’s minds and anniversaries.
Why Palls are Used at Funeral Masses
“If it is the custom in the local community, a pall may be placed over the coffin when it is received at the church. A reminder of the baptismal garment of the deceased, the pall is a sign of the Christian dignity of the person. The use of the pall also signifies that all are equal in the eyes of God (see James 2:1-9)…” (Order of Christian Funerals)
The Canadian Bishops also say this about the significance of the pall:
“This pall is a reminder of the white baptismal garment, a sign of the Christian dignity of the person. Just as the new Christian was clothed in the white garment when he or she became a member of the Church, the coffin is covered with a white cloth as the person enters into a new life in the resurrection of Jesus.
Covering the coffin is a way to make a statement about the identity of the deceased; it proclaims that the greatest thing that can be said about the deceased person is that he or she is a sister or brother of Christ, a member of the Church.
The pall is also a sign of hope, of the resurrection, of new life beyond this life, a banner that points to a continued relationship to the deceased person in the time to come. Its use also signifies that in the eyes of God all are equal…This identity of the deceased person as a Christian is considered by the Church to be fundamental and primary, and it is the focus in a special way.”
(Image from www.slabbinck.de)