Blessed are those who mourn; they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:3)
WHEN SOMEONE YOU LOVE DIES...
The death of a family member or anyone loved or close to us can be one of the most traumatic and difficult experiences of our lives. When it happens there is so much to cope with and so much to do.
The Church wants to be there to support and help you in any way possible during the especially difficult days around the death of a loved one.
In the “Order of Christian Funerals” (the Catholic Church’s book of funeral rites) it says: “The time immediately following death is often one of bewilderment and may involve shock or heart-rending grief for the family and close friends. The ministry of the Church at this time is one of gently accompanying the mourners...The priest helps the mourners to express their sorrow and to find strength and consolation through faith in Christ and his resurrection to eternal life.”
It also reminds us that: “Christians celebrate the funeral rites to offer worship, praise and thanksgiving to God for the gift of a life which has now been returned to God, the author of life and the hope of the just. The Mass, the memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection, is the principal celebration of the Christian funeral.”
The priest will help you to arrange the details of the funeral so that it will be a fitting celebration of remembrance, thanksgiving and prayer for the deceased. Hymns, Scripture Readings and prayers should be chosen from the Church’s liturgical books to reflect the life and faith of the deceased and those who mourn him. The priest will guide you through these arrangements and explain the Church’s liturgy.
You will wish to think about what kind of Services you may want and where and when would be appropriate for them. The Requiem Mass is the most usual form of Catholic celebration for a funeral but it may be that a simple Service of Scripture Readings, Prayers and hymns either in the church or crematorium may be more appropriate for the family and congregation. The involvement of family and friends is very important and there are opportunities for them to be part of the liturgy in church and at the graveside.
Note: Catholics often give a ‘Mass Card’ to the family. A Mass card expresses one’s sympathy and condolences but also most importantly informs the family that a Mass has been requested and will be offered for the repose of the soul of the deceased. This has to be arranged with a priest.
Your Funeral Director will advise you on all aspects of the Funeral ceremonies and celebrations and help you organise them.
St Mary’s Cemetery
The cemetery is an important part of our heritage. St Mary’s graveyard is by custom for the use of parishioners or those who have had a longstanding link with St Mary’s and supported it in some way. The history of many local families over the past centuries can be traced from its headstones and monuments.
Charges apply for the purchase of a grave or any work done on a grave or memorial.
The purchaser of a grave has the exclusive right of (usually two) burials in it. Rights may not be transferred.
Grave spaces shall generally follow on in order as agreed by the parish committee.
For burial, a suitable coffin must be used.
Grave spaces cannot be bought and reserved in advance of their first use.
Ashes will be interred in the plot reserved for them or in a family grave.
Before a memorial is erected permission for the size, design and wording must be obtained from the Parish Priest. Our graveyard is a Christian burial place and headstones and memorials should be in keeping with the Christian tradition.
Only Memorials conforming to current practice and with appropriate symbols and text are allowed on graves.
Memorials to mark the burial of Ashes should be a flat granite memorial laid at ground level.
Kerbstones and other fittings and additions other than the headstone are not permitted on graves.
Flowers, including plastic and other ornaments should be removed as they wither or lose their appearance. We reserve the right to remove weathered or decaying items from the cemetery.
All headstones and other memorial stones are erected at and remain at the owners sole risk and St Mary’s shall not be held responsible for any damage caused by them.
The owners of vaults and graves are required to keep their monuments and memorials in a safe condition. If the owner is not known or does not make safe a dangerous monument, the parish may be obliged to make it safe by removing or repairing it.
Monuments may only be erected by an approved Memorial Mason.
Memorial Masons must have permission to work in the cemetery.
We reserve the right to remove any headstone or other memorial stone erected without approval.
We hope everyone will continue to use and treat St Mary’s cemetery with respect.
We are always glad to help if we can in grave searches or ancestry enquiries.
Fr. Ernest Attah (Priest in Charge) and
Fr. Mario-Benedict Ashuikeka (assistant priest)
at St Mary's, Fernyhalgh
Telephone: mostly via the Sisters on 07934 222978 or 01772 862437
but also via Fernyhalgh parish on 01772 862231
Sister Maria dee Lacson and
Sister Sheinrose La Torre
belonging to congregation St. Paul of Chartres.
at The Convent (formerly OLSE presbytery).
Tel: 07934 222978 or 01772 862437
Fr. Bob Horn:
at St Mary's, Newhouse
Telephone: 01772 862831
See the new website launched by the Catholic Church in England and Wales by following this link
It is designed to help all grappling with issues around the meaning of dying and death. Based on the Catholic tradition but open to all, it features real-life stories about dealing with the journey through death to eternal life.