At Sacred Heart, we find that the main service is the Funeral Mass. During Mass we do try to have all three moments experienced: we celebrate the life of this person, we celebrate our faith in the resurrection, and we face together the pain of loss we all encounter in the death of a loved one.

Families are encouraged to participate in this service. They do the Readings and General Intercessions; they bring up the gifts of bread and wine. Before Mass, one person may speak for about five minutes. We call this a moment of remembrance. We want to catch the spirit of this person. If there is more than one person who wants to speak or if the person wants to speak longer than five minutes we encourage that story-telling happen at the mortuary the night before or at a reception after the Mass.

Call the Ministry Center at (619) 435-3167 to begin planning the Mass. Assistance with the funeral, music and liturgy is available with our Ministry to Console volunteers. Music is always planned and prepared with our Music Director.

Reflection

Losing a loved one to death is one of the most profound moments in anyone’s life. We are honored when families and friends come to us to share this moment with them and help them to commend this person to the Lord.

Death is a profoundly human experience. No matter what culture or religious tradition one is rooted in, there are three moments that need to happen: We need to tell the story and celebrate the person’s life. We need to see this in the context of our faith: what we believe about life and death. We need to face the reality that this person is gone physically and our lives have changed. These three moments are dynamic: we move through them over and over again. In a moment we could have a happy memory, knowing that the loved one is at peace with the Lord.  Later we feel sad that this person will not be here for the next family event. It is important to move through these moments as we grieve for our loved one.

As Roman Catholics, we have ritualized these moments. A Mass is celebrated. This is our communal faith response. We bring our loved one to the banquet of the Lord where we formally commend them to the Lord. We bless them with the holy water and clothe them with the pall, reminding them of their baptism into the death and resurrection of the Lord. Following the funeral Mass we take the loved one to the cemetery and bury them, knowing that life had changed.

Prior to the Mass of Resurrection some gather for viewing and prayers at the mortuary; some do not. Some say the rosary; some do not. There is a variety of experiences surrounding this time prior to the funeral Mass. After the funeral Mass, there are many options. Some are buried in cemeteries; some are cremated and entombed; some are taken back to their families places of origin — maybe another city, state, or country.