Catholic Funeral Services
"At the death of a Christian, whose life of faith was begun in the waters of Baptism and strengthened at the Eucharistic table, the Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end, nor does it break the bonds forged in life. The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting Word of God and the Sacrament of the Eucharist." (Order of Christian Funerals, no. 4)
The Christian meaning of death is revealed in the light of the Paschal mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ in whom resides our only hope. The Christian who dies in Christ Jesus is "away from the body and at home with the Lord." (CCC 1681)
For the Christian death is the fulfillment of his birth begun at Baptism. The Church has nourished the Christian Catholic throughout their lives with the Sacraments of Christ, and accompanies each person on their journey toward the end of this life, and provides a closure to their life lived in Christ, with the hope "for the resurrection of the ded, and the life of the world to come" promised by Our Lord.
A Catholic funeral is a liturgical celebration of the Church, not a sacrament. It is fitting that at the end of our lives, the Church will return the departed back to God at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in thanksgiving for the faith received.
The following are some guidelines for funerals at Ave Maria Parish:
As you plan the funeral of your loved one, we hope that your experience will be filled with much support and care. Your participation in the planning process will allow Ave Maria Parish to personalize the Liturgy. A Catholic funeral is structured in such a way as to invite participation by those closest to the deceased. In this way, memories are created as we fulfill the corporal work of mercy by burying the dead and the spiritual work of mercy of praying for the dead.
If you are being assisted by the service of a funeral director, the funeral director will contact the Parish on your behalf to schedule the funeral. If you have chosen cremation and are using the service of a funeral director only to arrange for the cremation, you will be in direct contact with Ave Maria Parish.
The parish secretary will work with you to plan the funeral of your deceased loved one and assist you in selecting Scripture readings and sacred music. Our phone number is (810) 359-5400.
If you are working the Pomeroy Funeral Home, they will handle the customary funeral fees with you. The fee for the organist is $75. The suggested stipend for the priest is $100.
Ave Maria Parish has several cemeteries: St. Denis Cemetery in Lexington,MI; Old St Mary Cemetery and New St Mary Cemetery in Carsonville, MI; Mount Hope Cemetery in Croswell, MI.The parish secretary can provide information regarding the availability of graves.
In keeping with our hope in the resurrection of the body, it is expected that cremated remains will be buried in an individual grave or columbaria. Catholic teaching urges us to reverence cremated remains just as we reverence the body.
Recently, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the approval of Pope Francis, has issued an instruction regarding cremation. Here is a summary of this instruction.
It is recommended that the bodies of the deceased be buried in cemeteries or other sacred places. Burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy. By so doing, we confirm our faith in the resurrection of the body and we acknowledge the dignity that should be given to the human body. Although the Church prefers burial of the body, cremation is permitted. Respect must always be given to the wishes of the deceased.
When cremation has been chosen, the ashes must be laid to rest with respect in a sacred place and may not be divided, for example, among family members. Furthermore, the scattering of ashes in the air, on land or in the sea is not permitted, nor is the preservation of ashes in mementos, pieces of jewelry, or other objects allowed.
The instruction concludes by saying that, when the deceased has notoriously requested cremation and the scattering of his/her ashes for reasons that are contrary to the Christian faith, a Christian burial must be denied.
To view the full text of this instruction, click here.
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