Accompanying the Family

The Our Lady of the Pillar parish family and the Marianist Community accompany your family as you grieve the loss of your loved one. It is difficult for anyone to face the death of a loved one. Each individual/family deals with death in a special and unique way. The parish family supports and accompanies you prayerfully in your time of loss. One special way we can support you is in helping you prepare the Catholic funeral liturgy.

Order of the Funeral Mass

Mass Planning Sheet
Please download/print a copy of the Funeral/Memorial Plan Sheet   This sheet will assist in keeping a record of the readings, music, etc. Please bring this sheet with you to the meeting to plan the funeral.

Entrance Rite
This opening part of the Mass calls us together as a community. At a funeral, the gathering is centered on receiving the body at the entrance to the church and sprinkling it with holy water (symbolic of the person’s baptism). Next the casket is covered with a white cloth (the “pall”) that is symbolic of the white garment given at baptism.

When a body is cremated, the cremains may be brought to the Church for the Funeral Mass. In this case, the Cremains are placed near the altar prior to the beginning of the service.

Liturgy of the Word
Reading from sacred Scripture is one of the two major parts of the Mass. This will include an Old Testament reading, a responsorial psalm (which is sung), a New Testament reading and the proclamation of the Gospel. Please select a family member or friend to proclaim the first and second readings. Reading at a funeral can be quite emotional and so experienced and confident readers should be your preferred selection. The priest (or a deacon, if present) will proclaim the Gospel reading.

Possible Scripture Readings: Readings that may be used for the Funeral Mass are provided below. A short description is provided to help you select the readings.

The priest will speak about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and, so that the he can personalize his homily, he will ask you to provide a few thoughts or traits about the deceased that your family and friends will relate to and find meaningful.

Prayers of the Faithful
You may invite a family member or friend to read the prayers of the faithful. Possible petitions will be suggested at the meeting to plan the funeral.

Sometimes called the Procession with the Gifts. You may choose two people to bring the bread and wine to the altar.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion need to be individuals who have previously been trained in this ministry and are currently active in their parish Church. Please give these names to the Priest/Deacon presiding at the Funeral mass.

Words of Remembrance
Sometimes called the Eulogy. After communion, a memorial reflection by a family member or a friend may be given. This is offered by one person and should be no more than three to four minutes in length. The priest will discuss appropriate guidelines for you to convey to the person speaking. The text should be prepared ahead of time.

Concluding Rites
The Final Commendation and the Song of Farewell focus on the dignity of the body as the “temple of God” and incense is used as a sign of the community’s prayers for the deceased rising to God.

Our Lady of the Pillar & The Funeral Mass

The Funeral Mass takes place in our beautiful Church, which is the center of the life of faith. This information is provided to allow you to prepare for the meeting with the priest presiding at the Funeral. Our Lady of the Pillar uses the “Through Death to Life” booklet by Fr. Joseph M. Champlin. OLP will provide a copy of this book to you. The information booklet is a synopsis of the main areas treated in the booklet. This intended to help you prepare for the funeral planning meeting.

Planning the Funeral Mass

The Deacon/Priest presider will meet with you to prepare the Funeral Mass. Great care is always taken to see that the services for this special moment are reverent, graceful, beautiful and open to the movement of God’s Spirit among us.

The celebration of the funeral Mass is rooted in listening to the Scriptures that can be nourished and strengthened by God’s Word. The Funeral Mass provides many choices of Scripture readings and hymns, which will allow you to make selections that are meaningful to you and your family.

Please use the Funeral Planning Sheet. Enter your selections on the sheet.

Family Help Needed:
You may invite family members or friends for the following:
Placing of the Pall – 2 to 4 people (This is an option. Many families choose to have the funeral home staff place the pall.)
Scripture Readings – 2 people
Prayers of the Faithful — 1 or 2 persons
Procession with Gifts – 2 people
Words of Remembrance (if desired)— 1 person

This information will assist all who will gather to plan the funeral Mass.

If there are any questions you should have regarding this information, please contact the Priest presiding at the funeral.

Readings for the Funeral Mass
Scripture Reading
Select One Reading from the
Old Testament: C1-C7
Responsorial Psalm: Is usually sung. The music minister will help you select one an appropriate hymn from the listed selections.
Select One Reading from the
New Testament: E1-E15
Select 1 Gospel: G1-G19
(1 Required from this section.)

Scripture Reading Possibilities

Old Testament Reading
Please record the number selected (e.g. C1) on the Funeral Planning sheet.

C1, 2 Maccabees—He acted in an excellent and noble way as he had the resurrection of the dead in view.
C2, Job 19:1, 23-27—I know that my Redeemer lives.
C3, Wisdom 3:1-9—The souls of the just are in the hand of God.
There is a slightly shorter version of C3, Wisdom 3: 1-6, 9
C4, Wisdom 4:7-15—A blameless life is a ripe old age.
C5, Isaiah 25:6a, 7-9—Hewill destroy death forever.
C6, Lamentations 3:17-26—The mercies of the Lord are renewed every morning.
C7, Daniel 12: 1-3—Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake

New Testament Reading
Please record the number selected (e.g. E1) on the Funeral Planning sheet.

E1, Romans 5:5-11—Hope does not disappoint
E2, Romans 5:17-21—Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more
E3, Romans 6:3-9—We shall live with Christ
There is a slightly shorter version of E3, Romans 6:3-4; 8-9
E4, Romans 8:14-23—We also grown within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
E5, Romans 8:31b-35, 37-39—Who can separate us from the love of Christ?
E6, Romans 14:7-9, 10c-12—Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s
E7, I Corinthians 15:20-28—So too in Christ shall all be brought to life
There is a slightly shorter version of E7, I Corinthians 15:20-23
E8, I Corinthians 15:51-57—Death is swallowed up in victory
E9, 2 Corinthians 4:14-5:1—What is seen as transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.
E10, 2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-10—We have a building from God, eternal in heaven.
E11, Philippians 3:20-21—He will change our lowly bodies to conform to his glory.
E12, I Thessalonians 4:13-18—We shall stay with the Lord for ever
E13, 2 Timothy 2:8-13—If we have died with Christ, we shall also live with him.
E14, 1 John 3:1-2—We shall see him as he is
E15, 1 John 3:14-16—We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers.

Gospel Reading
Please record the number selected (e.g. G1) on the Funeral Planning sheet.

G1, Matthew 5:1-12a—The beatitudes: Blessed are they…
G2, Matthew 11:25-30—Come to me and I will give you rest
G3, Matthew 25:1-13—Behold the bridegroom! Come out to him!
G4, Matthew 25:31-46—Come, you who are Blessed by my Father
G5, Mark 15:33-39; 16:1-6—Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last
There is a slightly shorter version of G5, Mark 15:33-39
G6, Luke 7: 11-17—Young man, I tell you, arise!
G7, Luke 12:35-40—You also must be prepared
G8, Luke 23:33, 39-43—Today you will be with me in paradise
G9, Luke 23:44-46, 50, 52-53; 24:1-6a—Father, into your hands I commend my spirit
There is a slightly shorter version of G9, Luke 23:44-46, 50, 52-53
G10, Luke 24:13-35—Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?
There is a slightly shorter version of G10, Luke 24:13-16; 28-35
G11, John 5:24-29—Whoever hears my word and believes has passed from death to life
G12, John 6:37-40—Everyone who believes in me will have eternal life
G13, John 6:51-59—Whoever eats this bread will live…
G14, John 11:17-27—I am the resurrection and the life
There is a slightly shorter version of G14, John 11:21-27
G15, John 11:32-45—Lazarus, come out!
G16, John 12:23-28—If it dies, it produces much fruit
There is a slightly shorter version of G16, John 12:23-26
G17, John 14:1-16—There are many rooms in my Father’s house
G18, John 17:24-26—I wish that where I am they also may be with me
G19, John 19:17-28, 25-39—And bowing his head he handed over his Spirit

Music for the Funeral Liturgy

Music is an important element of the funeral liturgy, as it enables us to participate fully in the mystery that we celebrate. Live music is therefore important in helping the family celebrate the life of their loved one. Recorded music is usually note used for the Funeral Mass. The OLP music minister will assist you in selecting appropriate music and will also help you obtain any additional musicians or cantors that you would like for your family music. Here are a few options for music for the different parts of the Mass.

Music Hymn Possibilities:
OLP offers these suggestions as a way to assist you in your preparation for the meeting with the presider presider for the funeral. The music director will also be present at the meeting to provide additional suggestions and assistance in selecting music.


Responsorial Psalm (sung)
The selection of the Responsorial Psalm will be discussed with the Music Director.
23—Shepherd me, O God beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death to life
27—The Lord is my light and my salvation
34—The Lord hears the cry of the poor
63—My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God
91—Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble
103—The Lord is kind and merciful
130—With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption

Other possible music selections.
Amazing Grace
Be Not Afraid
Behold the Lamb
Bread for the World
Eat This Bread
Gift of Finest Wheat
Holy God We Praise Thy Name
How Great Thou Art
I Am the Bread of Life
I Know that My Redeemer Lives
I Received the Living God
Jesus, Wine of Peace
Lord of All Hopefulness
On Eagle’s Wings
Take and Eat
Taste and See
There Is a Balm in Gilead
You Are Mine
***Ave Maria–may only be song during the Preparation of Gifts