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St. Jude Catholic Parish

Christian Funerals at St. Jude Church

As Catholics, we affirm that Christ has conquered death.
Through this lens we celebrate, even in our grief, the passing of one who has died.
"This saying is trustworthy: If we have died with him we shall also live with him."
2 Timothy 2:11
What can we do?
Commonly asked questions
Funeral Planning
Order of Christian Funerals
Readings for a Christian Funeral
Music for a Christian Funeral


You can be involved in the ministry of consolation at St. Jude Church by:
Participating in the vigil, funeral liturgy, and rite of committal;
Praying for the dead;
Cooking or serving for funeral dinners. Contact Rosary Society.
Singing in the funeral choir or playing instrumental music (call Kevin Demetroff at 260-484-6412);
Serving as lectors, ushers, special ministers of the eucharist or servers (call Mary Pohlman at 260-484-6609)



What can we do?  [ To Top of Page]

CELEBRATING Christian funerals:

"In the face of death, the Church confidently proclaims that God has created each person for eternal life and that Jesus, the Son of God, by his death and resurrection, has broken the chains of sin and death that bound humanity. 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."

PRAYING for our beloved departed:

"The Church through its funeral rites commends the dead to God's merciful love and pleads for the forgiveness of their sins. At the funeral rites, especially at the celebration of the eucharistic sacrifice, the Christian community affirms and expresses the union of the Church on earth with the Church in heaven in the one communion of saints. Though separated from the living, the dead are still one with community of believers on earth and benefit from their prayers and intercession.  At the rite of final commendation and farewell, the community acknowledges the reality of separation and commends the deceased to God.  In this way it recognizes the spiritual bond that still exists between the living and the dead and proclaims its belief that all the faithful will be raised up and reunited in the new heavens and a new earth, where death will be no more."

COMFORTING mourners:

"The celebration of the Christian funeral brings hope and consolation to the living.  While proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and witnessing to Christian hope in the resurrection, the funeral rites also recall to all who take part in them God's mercy and judgment and meet the human need to turn always to God in times of crisis... 'If one member suffers in the body of Christ which is the Church, all the members suffer with that member' (I Corinthians 12:26). For this reason, those who are baptized into Christ and nourished at the same table of the Lord are responsible for one another .... when a member of Christ's body dies, the faithful are called to a ministry of consolation to those who have suffered the loss of one whom they love .... The Church calls each member of Christ's Body -- priest, deacon, layperson -- to participate in the ministry of consolation: to care for the dying, to pray for the dead, to comfort those who mourn. "

SHOULDERING our responsibilities:

"Members of the community should console the mourners with words of faith and support and with acts of kindness, for example, assisting them with some of the routine tasks of daily living.  The community's principal involvement in the ministry of consolation is expressed in its active participation in the celebration of the funeral rites, particularly the vigil for the deceased, the funeral liturgy, and the rite of committal.  In the celebration of the funeral rites, laymen and laywomen may serve as readers, musicians, ushers, pallbearers and, according to existing norms, as special ministers of the eucharist.

The quotes above are from the Order of Christian Funerals, approved for use in the United States by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and confirmed by the Apostolic See. 0 1989,1985, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. (ICEL). All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Some commonly asked questions  [ To Top of Page]

Why do we celebrate the funeral rites?
In the funeral rites we pray for the deceased, entrusting them to God's mercy and care.  We honor the body.  We comfort the living in their grief. We celebrate the funeral rites not only for the dead but also for the living.

Is cremation permitted by the Catholic Church?
Since 1963, the Church has permitted cremation as long as the Church's teaching on the resurrection of the body is upheld.

How are the rites celebrated for someone who chooses cremation?
The Church prefers that the body be present for the Funeral Liturgy and cremated following the Final Commendation of the Liturgy.  If there is a serious reason, it may be possible to celebrate the Funeral Liturgy in the presence of cremated remains.

What rites can be used for miscarried or stillborn infants?
"Funeral Rites may be celebrated for children whose parents intended them to be Baptized but who died before Baptism.  In these celebrations the Christian community entrusts the child to God's all-embracing love." (Order of Christian Funeral #237)

What rites can be used for a suicide victim?
This person is entrusted to God's love and mercy and is therefore entitled to the usual Funeral Rites.

What is done for a lapsed Catholic?
By virtue of Baptism this person is entitled to the prayers of the Church including the Funeral Rites.

What is the proper place for the Funeral Rites?
The Vigil service is celebrated in the presence of the body either in the funeral home or the Parish Church the night before.  The Funeral Mass is always celebrated in the Church.  The Commital Rite is preferably celebrated at the grave or the tomb.

Why do we recommend viewing in the Church before the funeral?
Gathering at the Church before the Funeral Mass begins allows family and friends a time to console one another, to say final goodbyes, and to enter into the spirit of prayer.

Where can I find the text for the prayers of the funeral service?
The Order of Christian Funerals is the text of all Catholic funeral rites approved for use in the United States of America. It has been in mandatory use in all Latin rite Catholic parishes of the United States since All Souls Day, November 2, 1989. All the major Catholic book publishers have a ritual edition. There is a less-expensive, paperback Study Edition published by:

Liturgy Training Publications
1800 North Hermitage Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622-1101
Phone:  (800) 933-1800
Fax:  (800) 933-7094
E-Mail Orders:

What is the Rite of Committal?
The Rite of Committal is the third station of the Catholic funeral liturgy, after the Vigil (usually the day or night before the funeral) and the Funeral Mass (or Funeral Liturgy outside Mass). It is normally celebrated at the site of burial.

The rite begins with an Invitation to prayer, followed by a Scripture Verse, for which there are several options. Then comes the Prayer over the Place of Committal, with seven text options.  Next comes the Committal itself, for which there are also seven text options.

Then come the Intercessions (four text options), the Lord's Prayer, a Concluding Prayer (five), the Prayer over the People, with two forms of the final blessing, depending on whether the minister is a cleric or not, and a dismissal.

A song may conclude the rite. Where it is the custom, some sign or gesture of leave-taking may be made.

Why is the grave or tomb the preferred site for the Rite of Committal?
The grave or tomb is preferred because the prayers from the ritual express clearly the finality of placing the body in the ground or in the tomb.

Order of Christian Funerals  [ To Top of Page]
THE ORDER OF CHRISTIAN FUNERALS has three principal parts: the Vigil for the Deceased; the Funeral Mass or the Funeral Liturgy outside Mass; the Rite of Committal.


Opening Song
Invitation to Prayer
Opening Prayer

Scripture Readings with Responsorial Psalm

The Lord’s Prayer
Concluding Prayer (A family member or friend may speak in remembrance of the deceased.)

Song and/or a few minutes of silent prayer


Greeting & Sprinkling with Holy Water
Placing of the Pall (and Christian Symbols)
Entrance Procession
Opening Prayer

Scripture Readings with Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation
General Intercessions

Preparation of the Altar and the Gifts
Eucharistic Prayer
Communion Rite

Invitation to Prayer
Song of Farewell and Incense
Prayer of Commendation



Scripture Verse
Prayer over the Place of Committal
The Lord's Prayer

Concluding Prayer

Prayer over the People

Readings for a Christian Funeral  [ To Top of Page]

These Readings are suggested in the Order of Christian Funerals.  At a funeral, one reading from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament and a Gospel are proclaimed.   (Click onto the Bible Gateway and enter a bible reference from the tables below to get the verse online.)

Old Testament

Job 19:1, 23-27
Wisdom 3:1-9
Wisdom 4:7-15
Isaiah 25:6a, 7-9
Lamentations 3:17-26
Daniel 12:1-3
2 Maccabees 12:43-46

New Testament

Acts 10:34-43
Romans 5:5-11
Romans 5:17-21
Romans 6:3-9
Romans 8:14-23
Romans 8:3lb-35, 37-39
Romans 14:7-9, l0b-12
I Corinthians 15:20-23, 24b-28
I Corinthians 15:51-57
2 Corinthians 4:14 -5:1
2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-10
Philippians 3:20-21
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
2 Timothy 2:8-13
1 John 3:1-2
1 John 3:14-16
Revelation 14:13
Revelation 20:11 - 21:1
Revelation 21:1-5a, 6b-7


Matthew 5:1-12a
Matthew 11:25-30
Matthew 25:1-13
Mathew 25:31-46
Mark 15:33-39, 16:1-6
Luke 7:11-17
Luke 12:35-40
Luke 23:33, 39-43
Luke 23: 44-46, 50, 52-53; 24:1-6a
Luke 24:13-35
John 5:24-29
John 6:37-40
John 6:51-58
John 11: 17-27
John 11:32-45

Here are other alternate suggestions for appropriate readings:

Old Testament

Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
Song of Songs 2:8-14
Song of Songs 8:6-7
Sirach 44:1, 10-15
Isaiah 35:1-6, 10
Isaiah 41:8-10, 13
Isaiah 57:15-19
Isaiah 61.1-3
Isaiah 65:17-21
Ezekiel 34:11-16
Ezekiel 37:12-14
Micah 6:6-8
Zephaniah 3:16-20

New Testament

Ephesians 3:14-21
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17- 18
1 Peter 1:3-9
Revelation 22:1-7


Matthew 6:19-23
Luke 1:67-74
John 3:13-17
John 10:11-18
John 10:27-30

Music for a Christian Funeral  [ To Top of Page]

The people of St. Jude Church hope this list will help you at a difficult time. These are appropriate songs for a Catholic Funeral Mass. A parish representative will assist you with your planning. The hymns listed below are in GATHER Third Edition, the hymnal in our pews. During the season of Lent, we do not sing hymns marked with *, because we do not sing “alleluia” until Easter. If the Funeral service is not a Mass, “Preparation of the Altar and the Gifts” and “Communion Song” are omitted.

Click on the icon to listen to the music where available. In some cases, the words have changed since the recording was made, so we may not be singing now exactly what you will hear on the recording. In the case of the psalm, the parish may be using a different refrain.

GATHERING SONG This is the first hymn of the Funeral Mass.
03 God’s Holy City Listen
05 If We Are Living  
103 Now Bless the God of Israel  
414 The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns
*525 The Strife Is O’er
527 I Know That My Redeemer Lives
536 At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing
539 Sing with All the Saints in Glory  
573 To Jesus Christ, Our Sovereign King
574 Crown Him with Many Crowns
578 How Great Thou Art  
582 Rain Down
590 Christ Be Our Light
*607 Sing a New Song
610 Sing of the Lord’s Goodness
*611 All Creatures of Our God and King (vs 1, 5, 6, 7)  
614 Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You  
615 Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
641 Love Divine, All Loves Excelling  
642 What Wondrous Love Is This
645 Amazing Grace
656 Lead Me, Guide Me
663 Lord of All Hopefulness
680 We Walk by Faith
683 Be Not Afraid
687 A Mighty Fortress Is Our God  
688 O God, Our Help in Ages Past  
694 How Firm a Foundation  
724 I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say  
728 Eye Has Not Seen 
733 Nothing Can Trouble
777 Here I Am, Lord
784 We Have Been Told
807 We Are Called
828 Make Me a Channel of Your Peace
(Prayer of St. Francis)
855 Morning Has Broken  
865 Soon and Very Soon  
870 Jerusalem, My Happy Home  
871 We Shall Rise Again  
*884 For All the Saints (choose verses)  
945 I Am the Bread of Life  
*949 Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!  

During the season of Advent

395 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (vs 1, 4, 5, 6)
406 Wait for the Lord  

During the season of Christmas

424 Hark! the Herald Angels Sing  
440 Good Christian Friends, Rejoice  
465 As with Gladness Men of Old  


During the season of Lent

475 Tree of Life
510 Jesus, Remember Me


During the season of Easter

*524 Alleluia No. 1
*540 Jesus Christ Is Risen Today  


*Not sung during Lent

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  The cantor or choir leads us in this scriptural song after the first reading from the Bible.

Click the Psalm below for the lectionary text.
In some cases, the lyrics used in the recording
may be different than the linked text.

34 Psalm 23
39 Psalm 25
41 Psalm 27
1227 Psalm 42 / Psalm 43
56 Psalm 63
75 Psalm 103
84 Psalm 122
87 Psalm 130
  Psalm 143 (not in hymnal)  


PREPARATION OF THE ALTAR AND THE GIFTS  Instrumental music may be played or we may sing:
 01-Lux Aeterna Litany
 (with names of deceased loved ones)
or another hymn from the lists may be sung.

COMMUNION SONG  Any of the Responsorial Psalms could be sung, or one of the following songs:

05 If We Are Living
06 A Place in Heaven  
35 Psalm 23: Shepherd Me, O God
47 Psalm 34: The Cry of the Poor
58 Psalm 63: Your Love Is Finer than Life
510 Jesus, Remember Me
*525 The Strife Is O’er
*537 Easter Alleluia  
679 Center of My Life
683 Be Not Afraid
691 On Eagle’s Wings
695 You Are Near
735 Blest Are They
930 Taste and See
932 One Bread, One Body
940 You Satisfy the Hungry Heart  
941 Eat This Bread
945 I Am the Bread of Life  
950 Take and Eat
1225 Make of Our Hands a Throne
1227 Like a Deer That Longs

*Not sung during Lent

SONG OF FAREWELL We sing our farewell, gathered around our loved one, before leaving the church.

03 God’s Holy City
04 I Shall See My God  
35 Psalm 23: Shepherd Me, O God
691 On Eagle’s Wings
976 Dwellers in the Holy City  

Other Psalms and Songs
Here are more options which might be possible during the preparation of the altar and the gifts or before the funeral.
They are also beautiful hymns for your own personal prayer:

31 Psalm 19: Lord, You Have the Words
42 Psalm 30: I Will Praise You, Lord
44 Psalm 33: Let Your Mercy Be on Us
83 Psalm 121:Our Help Comes from the Lord  
92 Psalm 145: I Will Praise Your Name
588 I Have Loved You
620 Bless the Lord
666 O Lord Hear My Prayer
721 You Are Mine
755 Bambelela (Never Give Up)
790 The Summons (Will You Come and Follow Me?)
961 Remember Your Love 
  Somlandela / I Will Follow Jesus (not in hymnal)



St. Jude Catholic Church, 2130 Pemberton Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46805 (260) 484-6609

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