6 tips for funeral planning

| October 22, 2015 | 4 Comments
CNS photo

CNS photo

When it comes to planning a funeral, families and loved ones have decisions to make, but pre-planning one’s funeral service can ease the burden by determining many details ahead of time.

“Pre-planning is a loving thing to do for your family,” said John Cherek, director of Catholic Cemeteries in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

“From a practical point of view, when a husband and wife decide to sit down and talk about what can be a difficult subject, it allows them to think about their wishes and express them to family members,” he said.

“It removes the burden of family members having to guess what their wishes might be.”

Today, he added, family members may not be as connected to the Church as are older generations. “Catholic funeral traditions may not be important to them,” Cherek said, making it more important that parents express their wishes regarding funeral services.

The Catholic Cemeteries office offers some steps and questions to consider in pre-planning funerals.

  1. Make an appointment with your pastor, the pastoral minister, the liturgist or other staff person in charge of funeral planning. Find out what guidelines the parish follows. Some parishes have a helpful checklist of things to be considered.
  2. Reflect on Scripture readings that are special to you. What Gospel story speaks to you of your own life? Ask for a list of the optional readings for a funeral in your parish. Perhaps you can use that list as a means of meditation on your life and on what death means for Catholics.
  3. What are the hymns and music that are used for funerals at your parish? Which ones do you think are appropriate for your own celebration of new life?
  4. What members of your family and what friends do you want to have certain roles in the various services?
  5. If you have not made arrangements with a cemetery, consider calling Catholic Cemeteries or your parish to review burial options.
  6. If you have not made prior arrangements with a specific funeral home, your parish may assist with recommendations.

Catholic Cemeteries recently updated its booklet “A Pre-Planning Guide for Catholics” that, when filled out, includes information that may be needed by loved ones charged with handling funeral and burial details.

To request a copy by mail, contact Catholic Cemeteries at 651-228-9991 or Catholic-Cemeteries.org.

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Category: Funeral & Hospice Planning

  • gailrubin

    This article provides a good start. There are many more details a family needs to know before there’s a death in the family. There’s a free planning form available online at http://www.AGoodGoodbye.com that consistently ranks as a “10” in thoroughness and usability. October 30 is the 14th annual Create a Great Funeral Day. Please, start a conversation with your loved ones today!

  • cyndy419

    I know what planning for funeral are like-my sister I lost our Mother in 2002;
    the Pastor on 10th Street and Cedar was most co-operative. I wish to thank you again for assisting us both!

  • Gary Blauman

    My family just went through a death and I wish that we would have considered your tip about making certain family members in charge of certain parts of the service. Our service turned out really nice, but I think we could have done a little bit better job getting everything prepared. I also think it would really help to work with good funeral home. Thank you for sharing. http://www.christmansfuneralhome.com

  • Emily Bennette

    Planning a funeral it can be a really hard and emotionally draining. My grandmother is pretty sick and we are afraid that she will pass away soon. I am trying to plan the funeral so my mother doesn’t have to deal with it and it is a lot harder than I thought. I liked your 6th tips about getting your paster to help you work with the funeral home. Which seems like a great idea to do and it would connect well with your faith.