“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 4.
Holy Family Catholic Church realizes that the loss of a loved one can affect families, friends and others. However, Jesus teaches us that we are all called to join him in his resurrection.
A funeral or memorial Mass honors the life of someone who has passed from this world, as we trust that the deceased is on the way to heaven. We work with families to give their loved ones a proper celebration of life through the funeral or memorial Mass.
The funeral liturgies follow the norm of the Order of Christian Funerals: Vigil, Mass, burial. They are done in light of good liturgical sensibilities, both beautiful and meaningful even to those unchurched or of another faith.
They are also meant to give families a chance to play a role in their loved one’s celebration of life. Families and friends are encouraged to take part in funerals – from the planning stage to the funeral Mass itself.
Holy Family’s Liturgy Department will help families plan the funeral liturgy. Here are some resources to help families begin the planning process:
- Funeral Planning Guidelines
- Family Liturgy Planner (for funerals at 8:30 a.m. Daily Masses)
- Family Liturgy Planner (for all other Masses)
- Funeral Readings
- Funeral Intercessions
- Funeral Liturgy Music
If you are considering cremation, please read these church documents concerning burial of the remains.
Ad Resurgendum cum Christo (Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; instruction regarding the burial of deceased and the conservation of ashes in the case of cremation)
From the Diocese of Orlando Norms for the Order of Christian Funerals:
The Church recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the faithful be observed. The Church does not forbid cremation unless it has been chosen for reasons that are contrary to Christian teachings (Canon 1176, #3). The faithful who choose cremation are presumed to have the proper motives and good intentions. However, a Catholic may not receive the funeral rites of the Church if the request for cremation is motivated by a denial of Christian dogmas or through hatred of the Catholic religion or Church. The parish priest is to refer the matter to the chancellor of the diocese before denying the Church’s burial rites.
The Church’s Funeral Rites may be celebrated for persons who choose to have their bodies cremated for reasons consistent with the Catholic faith. In some cases cremation will take place following the celebration of the Funeral Mass. In other cases it may be necessary for cremation to take place prior to the Funeral Mass. Funeral Masses are permitted to be celebrated with the presence of cremated remains.
The cremated remains of the body of the deceased must always be treated with respect This includes the use of a worthy vessel, the manner in which they are transported and carried, and the manner in which they are finally placed (OCF 427). Unless serious reason prevents it, the cremated remains should be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium (OCF 427).
The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or the keeping of cremated remains in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires (OCF 427).
After the funeral
Bereavement Outreach: Holy Family hosts an outreach for those who have lost a loved one on the third Wednesday of each month after the 8:30am Mass. The group meets in Upper Room A’s Fish Room. For information, contact Liz Caswell at 407-242-5973.
All Souls Day Celebration: Family members of those who are deceased are also encouraged to take part in the All Souls Day Celebration on Nov. 2 each year. At this special Mass, we honor all those who have passed away since the previous All Souls Mass. The parish office will contact all families about taking part in this Mass.