The Order of Christian Funerals │ by Deacon Marc

The Order of Christian Funerals

Denver CO Funeral Home And Cremations

When I was 14, one of my closest friends passed away.  I was confused.  I was angry.  I didn’t know what to expect.  Thankfully, I had my parents to walk me through and support me through the journey.  I can remember vividly walking into the funeral home as a 14 year old boy.  I showed no emotion.  My mind was swirling.  I was thankful to see my friend one last time.   I did begin to find some joy when we were led in prayer by a priest which was followed by sharing stories.  I spoke about the times we went camping and the mentoring he provided me as a young scout.  The following day, we then went to the Catholic Church were we celebrated the Mass.  I can remember my friend being wheeled in his casket down the long aisle.  Within the Mass, my feelings all came to a head and this 14 year old strong boy started to cry, really cry.  I finally allowed myself to surrender in the presence of God to all the emotions I was feeling.  As he was carried out of the Church, I can clearly remember singing the hymn “On Eagles Wings” and asking God to help strengthen me.  We left the church and began the procession to the cemetery.  At the cemetery, the crying continued but I received comfort when the priest explained we were going to trust my friend to God.   The parents wanted to witness his final placement privately.  Therefore, after we finished the prayers, everyone started to leave.  I was one of the last.  I walked up and tapped on his casket twice asking God to care for my friend and to strengthen me.   It was not long after that final goodbye that the tears dried up.  I went to the reception where we continued to share memories of my friend.

Unbeknownst to me, at that time, I experienced the beauty of the Order of Christian Funerals and its three parts.  The church has the tradition of walking individuals through three distinct parts:  the Vigil, the Funeral Liturgy (typically a Funeral Mass), and the Committal.   These parts represent a journey from the home, to the church, and then to the cemetery.  These parts all include time for prayer and to varying degrees time to remember the individual who passed away.  Each of these traditions is designed to help individuals spiritually and psychologically move through the experience of losing someone and transitioning to a new way of life without that person.  The practices of the Order of Christian Funerals are built on many years of tradition, scripture, and Church teachings.   Hence, there is great wisdom and beauty in this practice.

While there is great beauty and wisdom in the Order of Christian Funerals, our world today does not always embrace this tradition.  As a society today, we often want things done quickly.  All too often I see families combining the three parts so that they take place back, to back, to back.  In other cases, individuals will skip one or more parts.  In doing so, individuals are often not only robbing themselves of opportunities to grow through this process both spiritually and psychologically, but in many cases they are foregoing graces for themselves and the deceased.  I am so thankful I was able to experience the Order of Christian Funerals when my friend passed away.  I was able to say goodbye to my friend, grow in love for God, and embrace a faith-filled community.   It was truly an experience of filling the void of loss with faith.

Deacon Marc Nestorick
Outreach Manager
Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado

For more information, visit our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/services/funeral/

Planning Your Funeral Needs – the Church │ Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

 

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to this week’s Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark.

This is actually the fourth video of the series where we’ve been talking about pre-planning.

So, our first one, we talked about the benefits of pre-planning, how it gives you peace of mind and make sure that your desires are oriented, it saves you money, a lot of and relieves the stress of your family members at that time and so, lot of benefits to it.

Then, we went into a little bit about what’s involved with pre-planning at the cemetery and talked about the important of getting working with a real professional and help guide you in just like you get a real estate agent help you with the house. Really recommend having somebody work with you through all the different questions so that they can get the best space for your final internment.

And then, we talked about the funeral home side of things and planning the funeral home side of things.

So, there’s a third piece of planning that needs to take place and that’s the church and the services are going to be taking place and we always recommend, we’re a ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver. We always recommend people go to their parishes for that planning and they can help you plan what readings you want, what kind of music you want. If you have preferences to who would say the funeral, mass, service, whatever you may have. They can help you with those kinds of decisions.

At the same point in time, we do have some resources here to help you with that as well and one of the things I want to offer to you is we do have a free planning guide that you’re welcome to request through our website that we’ll put up here on the screen for you.

We can send this to you digitally, give it to you for free, and it really is nice. It walks you through a lot of different things to plan for the church. So, all the readings are in here and we have samples of songs that can be used, hymns that can be used but then, also and it talks about what records should be gathered, how you should have everything one place, a lot of great resources in this book that we can get to you for free.

So, we offer this to you as a good way to help you continue this planning process or begin planning process so we got the four pieces why pre plan is important, the cemetery, and the funeral side and then the church and the service.

That is this week’s Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark

Make it a great week.

For more information, visit our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/services/funeral/

Resources

Planning Your Funeral Needs – the Mortuary / Funeral Home │ Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

https://youtu.be/AxO-w3NgK2o

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to this edition of Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark.

We've been going through a journey in the last couple of videos of looking at what is the importance of pre-planning. Our last video, we talked about pre-planning for the cemetery.

Today, we're going to look at the other side of it, pre planning for your funeral home and so, give you a little bit of overview of what a funeral home is, some of the decisions you have to make and then, talk a little bit about the importance of a general price list.

So, funeral home is the one the entity that will care for your body. Everybody is going to need a funeral home. And so they're the ones that take your body in. They care for you. They make they make the final disposition arrangements and then they also are the ones that coordinate services.

It's almost like a wedding planner and also a care for the body of bringing those two pieces together.

The funeral home is a very important decision for you to make. When you're thinking about decisions that you are going to have to make around the funeral home.

There's a wide variety of them.

So, the last time I talked about the importance of having a real estate agent when you buy a house, it really is important to have someone help walk through those decisions for you and with you to help you guide you in them but at the same point in time, let me give you a couple different areas that you can look at and be thinking about in and around funeral planning.

The first is, what is your final disposition? Do you want a traditional burial or do you want a cremation?

That decision is really crucial 'cuz then, it guides all the other decisions that you're going to have to be 'cuz if you choose cremation, then, you have to decide, do you want to the services before or after cremation as the church recommends and prefers.

The services should be before cremation and then, that also leads to the question of if you're going to be cremated and you're going to have be at present service, what kind of casket are you going to use? A rental casket?

So, that disposition question has a lot of impact on other areas.

Another thing to think about is what services do you want and we've done other videos that talked about the Catholic services, the right Christian funerals and the three stages of the right of Christian funerals and so we can refer to that but the funeral home and especially a Catholic Funeral Home can help guide you through planning those services in alignment with the rights that the Catholic Church has.

Another thing to think about is what kind of care do you want for your body?

There's some people feel very adamantly that they don't want a viewing and other people who say I do want a viewing and then there's implications for that is do you want then if you're going to have a viewing is it going to be an open casket and if you have an open casket you have to have embalming.

Do you want makeup? the hairstyle? all those different things how do you want your body cared for one of the final things to think about is then notifications and tributes, do you want an obituary? do you want it in a newspaper? which really is expensive at this point or do you want it on the funeral home website? What kind of tributes do you want? Do you want a video made with pictures of you and different pieces like that and so those are all some of the different decisions that you have to make but it really all starts with that final disposition.

The other thing to be aware of with regards to funeral homes is by law, all funeral homes are required to have a general price list and are required to provide you that general price list so that all the cost are known upfront so that there's no surprises and you should be able to ask any funeral home to give you that their general price list and they should be able to provide it to you at any time and so if you like a general price list for ours, you're welcome to give us a contact here at Catholic Funeral Cemetery Services and we'll be happy to provide you one of those as well.

Hopefully this is helpful in helping you to understand not only the importance of pre planning but also what goes some of the components that go into pre planning with the funeral home.

Let's make it a great week, great day.

God bless and this is Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark.

For more information, visit our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/services/funeral/

 

Benefits of Preplanning Your Funeral and Cemetery Needs │ Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello this is Deacon Marc with funeral facts with Deacon Marc in the last video we talked about an introduction to pre planning and the three different pieces that are involved in pre planning; The Funeral Home, The Cemetery and The Church.

This week we’re going to take it in a little bit of different approach and talk about what are the benefits of pre planning and then we’ll go into each of those three parts in a little bit more detail in a future video.

But let’s talk about the benefits of pre planning and there are several.

The first one I want to talk about is you guarantee that your wishes are granted.

By doing the pre planning no one has to think about what you would have wanted or anything like that. Your wishes and desires are made clear in that plan and especially today where so many families are experiencing children that are leaving the church it’s really important especially if you want a church funeral, to have those plans clearly outlined so that you have that mass, that service that you want.

So one, your wishes are met.

Two is that it relieves stress. Now it’s not your stress that I’m talking about as my wife would tell me your dead you have no stress. OK, what we’re talking about is stress for your family.

Imagine at your passing they’re trying to figure everything out they’re grieving and now they have to deal with planning a funeral. By having them pre plans in place it really diminishes the stress in the family where they can really focus on their grieving and praying for you.

So, it makes your wishes clear, it relieves the stress of your family there’s, also financial savings to it. When I first got here at the cemetery we laid to rest a gentleman and did his pre planning in 1985 and yet he was buried in 2021 so he paid 1985 prices for 2021 funeral let me just put that in perspective.

In 1985 I can remember going getting a candy bar for $0.35 getting my favorite Snickers bar. Now you go anywhere you’re talking $2.00, $2.25, $2.50.

So, there’s that savings overtime especially the earlier you do your pre planning the more you’re going to save within it.

And then the final piece and maybe the most important is it helps you have the sense of accomplishment but it also spiritually it helps you realize that our life today is not the end but it’s the beginning.

We were created to be with the heavenly father and it helps us put this light into perspective.

There’s many benefits to pre planning and I would encourage you to pre planning if you want more information about preplanning please give us a call here at Catholic Funeral Cemetery Services (CFCS) of Colorado.

But whatever you do, begin; become prepared because it does make a difference and that is Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Make it a great day!

For more information about preplanning your funeral and cemetery needs, please visit our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/pre-planning/

For a FREE funeral and cemetery planning guide, visit: https://cfcscolorado.org/funeral-and-cemetery-planning-guide-request/

 

Preplanning Your Funeral and Cemetery Needs │ Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark.

So my question to you today is are you prepared for your for your passing by doing your pre-planning. Pre-planning is important to help us in our own preparations to realize that we are coming to a final end of our life at some point and that preparation is actually absolutely crucial and there are three parts to pre-planning your funeral arrangements.

One is funeral home. The funeral home takes care of your body and it’s almost like the wedding coordinator. They coordinate all the services and do all those different pieces.

The second part of it is the cemetery. Where do you want to have your body interred where your cremated remains in Interred.

And then the third piece is the church and the services. Where do you want to have the services? What kind of readings do you want? What kind of music you want? And so there really are three different pieces to that pre-planning to truly become prepared for your final days.

In a future video, we’re going to talk about the benefits of pre-planning but for right now, I wanted to give you an understanding of what is involved.

You have the funeral planning of who’s going to take care of your body. You have the cemetery planning of where you’re going to be laid to rest and then you have the church services of where those services are going to happen and what those services are going to look like and in doing that, you can be prepared. Just like we’re preparing for Christmas.

Have a great day. God bless and make it a great day.

This is Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc.

To request a free funeral and cemetery planning guide, visit our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/funeral-and-cemetery-planning-guide-request/

For more information about preplanning your funeral and cemetery needs, visit our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/pre-planning/

Veteran Funeral and Cemetery Services – Denver, Colorado │ Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to this week’s funeral facts of Deacon Marc, we want to talk about two things.

We’re going to start by talking about Veteran Services and then we’re going to talk about taking care of those in need and those that can’t for the funeral so we’re going to talk about those two pieces at to wrap up our series on the ministries of Catholic Funeral Cemetery Services Archdiocese of Denver and then we’ll go from there.

So today, Veteran Services. Just wanted to let people know that we do have many veterans buried here at Mount Olivet at Saint Simeon and we work with the veteran’s families to make sure that they receive their military honors to many veterans. It’s important for them to be buried in a Catholic cemetery and we can do that here. We also have programs in place to help make it more affordable for veterans to be buried in the Catholic Cemetery if that’s what they wish to do.

So please there’s a page on our website that talks about Veteran’s Services and our ministry to help the veterans as well.

https://cfcscolorado.org/mission-programs/veteran-services

But I want to talk today mostly about those who cannot afford a funeral and the piece that is important for you to know is the Catholic Church is taking care of many many and most of those in the Denver metropolitan area we have regularly individuals coming into our care that have passed away unfortunately with absolutely no means.

It doesn’t mean they’re homeless they may have been living with a family member and have no resources no savings nothing and they passed away with nothing and so we work with those families we work with the county government to provide them a proper funeral and what does that mean?

We provide them with, for example, if they’re Catholic they can have the mass they can have the committal they’re placed in a grave that is with a vault and proper casket and with a headstone with their name on it.

There’s some restrictions on it, to be good stewards you know but with what the monument is we have a standard monument for the for the families that we’re working with that are needing these services but at the same point in time every person that comes to us is given a dignified and spiritual burial here at Mount Olivet.

We haven’t turned anybody away, it is a sacrifice on many families parts for the funeral and things like that but please know those who can’t afford it a funeral are receiving it and they’re receiving it through the Catholic Church.

That is funeral facts with Deacon Marc, make it a great week.

For more information about our Veteran services, visit: https://cfcscolorado.org/mission-programs/veteran-services/

 

Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

Comforting the Sorrowful, a Spiritual Act of Mercy

Hugging Thornton CO Funeral Home And Cremations

Pope Francis appealed for a “culture of care” in his message for the 2021 World Day of Peace released on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. The Church’s Spiritual and Corporal Acts of Mercy can help guide us towards this “culture of care”.

Comforting the sorrowful, especially those dealing with grief, is one of the Spiritual Acts of Mercy.

Comforting the Sorrowful

Be open to listening and comforting those who are dealing with grief. Even if we aren’t sure of the right words to say, our presence can make a big difference.

• Lend a listening ear to those going through a tough time.
• Make a home cooked meal for a friend who is facing a difficult time.
• Write a letter or send a card to someone who is suffering.
• A few moments of your day may make a lifetime of difference to someone who is going through a difficult time.

Source: https://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/jubilee-of-mercy/the-spiritual-works-of-mercy

 

Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

Stations of a Catholic Funeral – Part 4: The Rite of Committal – Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

We’ve been going through a journey where we started talking about why we have funerals and the four basic reasons why we have funerals; that worshipping God, thanking God for his love and mercy, for asking God’s graces to fill that void that we have with faith, and then finally to pray for that person who passed away.

And then we talked about the fact that there are three stages or stations to the right of Christian funerals, and we talked about the vigil, we talked about the funeral liturgy which is the funeral mass the source and summit of our faith, and then today we’re talking about that final stage the committal.

The committal is a very powerful time it’s that time where we are saying goodbye to the loved one for that final time and turning it that loved one over to God in their final resting place in most cases the committals held right where that person is going to be laid to rest and so there are times when it can’t be you have pouring down rain you have snow hail whatever it may be sometimes the presider won’t end or the family will say let’s hold it inside the building and then we’ll move to that place to final rest and place the person in the ground or in that fault or niche or whatever it may be but for the most part that committal is held right at graveside or right at that point of the person being placed in that in a niche where they’ll have that final resting place.

There are two forms of a committal there’s the right of committal and then there’s also the right of committal with commendation so if the person didn’t have a funeral liturgy didn’t have a commendation at the funeral liturgy that can be done at the committal time as well but for the most part most people have that liturgy and we’re doing the right of committal and so we’ll talk about that today.

The committal has a couple of different pieces to it there’s the introductory right where we talk and welcome people to the right and we really talk about the fact that we’re here for two reasons one again to pray for that person passed away and secondly to pray for ourselves and ask God to fill us at this time of trouble that this time where many of us are feeling a lot of pain.

We’ll then have a very brief scripture verse just to ground ourselves back into scripture and a scripture verse that we read and then there’ll be a prayer of over that place of final commitment and oftentimes that location will be sprinkled with holy water and blessed at that point in time if it is not already blessed.

After we have the prayer of the place of final rest that is where traditionally the person is laid to rest so if the person is a traditional burial that casket will be lowered into their place or if they’re being placed in a niche the person will be placed in the nitche and door will be placed over in front of it.

That can also be done at the end of the right for pastoral reasons if it’s believed it’s best to do so at that time but in a lot of ways it makes sense to do it here because then after that final committal of that person into the ground or into their place of rest then there is the Lord’s prayer, there’s a final prayer for the individual and then there is the blessing of those that are there and so it kind of does bring closure to the whole right by having that committal of the body take place right there in the middle.

And so, you have some opening prayers the committal of the body and then some closing prayers and the blessing at the end. People always ask, “should we stay for that committal body into the final resting place?” and I always highly encourage it.

The reason being is we are physical psychological beings and we’re spiritual beings as well and that seeing that person laid into the ground or put into the nitche has a very powerful impact in helping us in those four components that we’ve talked about regularly about why do we have funerals and so being present therefore that is highly recommended and highly impactful in most cases as well but it’s also understandable as to why people wouldn’t be there for that

And so, it all does come down to why do we have the right of Christian funerals? why do we have a committal? We have a committal because we’re going to thank God for his love, we’re going to worship him and we’re going to ask God to fill us with his graces through this right, and then finally we’re praying for that person on their journey.

That is our funeral facts this week with Deacon Marc make it a great week and May God bless you.

 

Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

Stations of a Catholic Funeral – Part 3: The Funeral Mass – Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

We’ve been going through we started a couple weeks ago looking at why do we have funerals and so we have those three stations and today we really want to talk about the liturgy and what is the liturgy, and we need to go fundamentally that the liturgy, the mass is the source and the summit of our faith.

So, when we’re thinking of the liturgy, it is really that high point where we’re coming from the home with the vigil. We’re moving into the church where we’re putting up placing ourselves directly in god’s presence through that source and summit of the liturgy of Mass and then finally we’re moving to the cemetery for the committal where we will be turning our loved one over to the love of god and the mercy of god and committing on to their final resting place so the funeral liturgy again the most common preferred way is the funeral mass this is a traditional mass with a couple different components in it that we’ll talk about but then you can also do the funeral liturgy outside of mass for different pastoral reasons.

It may be we don’t can’t get a priest. It may be that for the good of the family that it’s better to do the liturgy outside of the mass. We have two formats. The funeral liturgy outside of mass
and in the preferred the funeral mass itself and that is what we will spend our time talking about what is that funeral mass look like.

The other piece before we go into that those components is the church really highly recommends and asks that the body be present for that Funeral Mass. Now, the cremated remains can be, but the preferred way is always to have that body present representing for the body of Christ that was there and laid to rest at the same point in time. Having the body there provides both spiritual and psychological benefits for those attending the liturgy and so there’s spiritual and psychological reasons for it but we really do like to have the body present for that funeral liturgy for that funeral mass but the same point in time you can have the cremated remains and there’s a lot of different reasons why people do that as well.

When we’re thinking about the mass, the liturgy, it follows basically the same format as a traditional mass but at the beginning and the end, there’s some slight differences. At the beginning, you’re going to most likely have the reception of the body. If you have a full body there, a pall will be placed over the casket reminding us of the the white garment that was provided to us at our baptism. We’ll have the sprinkling right. We’re reminded of the baptism of the of the loved one going back to the sprinkling and of the baptismal washing that occurred at the baptism and so we’ll have that reception right.

The individual will be brought into the chapel at that point in time and then the mass will proceed as typical with the liturgy of the word, the liturgy of the Eucharist and then at the end, we have the commendation prayers and the commendation prayers have some different components to it where we’re asking God to take this loved one into his care and take him into his arms at that point in time and so when you think of the funeral mass it really is a similar components of a mass with just a an addition at the beginning of the end.

Now one of the things I think needs to be clear and we’ll end with is who is that mass for? Often times, I’ll be talking to families that come in and say you know what we don’t really practice our faith anymore even though mom went to church every single day, we don’t really think we need to have the mass. Well, the bottom line is that Funeral Mass, well, it has some benefits for ourselves and filling that void that we may have. The Funeral Mass is for that person who passed away. It’s their final time in the church. It’s their final time within that sacrament of the Eucharist and so, when we’re thinking about the Funeral Mass, this is really a time for that loved one who passed away where we’re praying for their soul, their journey that they’re having to the heavenly father and so important that we remember that that mass is really for that person who passed away.

And so there we have it the second station the funeral liturgy where you have the funeral mass but you can also have the liturgy outside of mass with it again all that goes back to why do we have funerals we have it to worship god we have it to thank him for his love and mercy we have it to ask for his graces to fill us and fill that void that we have at the loss of loved one and finally we have it to pray for that person passed away.

We thank you for joining us this week and make it a great week.

Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

Stations of a Catholic Funeral – Part 2: The Vigil – Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Last week when we got together we talked a little bit about what were the reasons we have Catholic funerals and talked about that we give thanks to God for his love and mercy of us that we worship God that we asked God to help us fill with his graces that void of that loss that we have, and then finally we pray for that person that passed away.

And then we introduced at that time that there are three stations to right of Christian funerals as the vigil or sometimes called the wake the funeral liturgy and then the right of committal and so today what we’re going to do is spend a little bit of time just going through that first one the vigil service or the wake and what is that look like and what is its purpose.

The vigil has evolved many times over the years, I can remember early in my childhood my parents going to vigils for many, many nights in a row. My wife can tell stories about her grandfather having wake or vigil on the living room table at their house in New York.

Typically vigils are the night before the funeral but they are usually before the funeral it’s the first time the community gathers together to come together to remember the person passed away but then also at the same point in time beginning praying to god and filling that void of loss with god’s love with god’s grace and the graces of the holy spirit and so it’s that time when they come together. The vigil has a couple different components to it.

A traditional vigil starts out with the introductory right welcoming opening prayer and then we ground ourselves as we should always in scripture with the opening reading either from the Old Testament or the New Testament the gospel a brief, brief homily to ground ourselves and have a reflection in that scripture and then after we ground ourselves in scripture we then have time for intercessory prayer and that intercessory prayer can take on a different component with it.

Often times it can be traditional like we do at mass where we say we pray for the world. Let’s pray to the Lord. Lord hear our prayer.

And we do those different litanies of intercessory prayers. The intercessory prayer can also be the rosary. The rosary is one big intercessory prayer where we’re asking for Mary to intercede on our behalf for us. And so we have that intercessory prayer.

Then finally ending with the our father and a blessing of all those who are coming here and again as we’re thinking about those components what we’re doing again is grounding ourselves and remembering that god loves us that we’re worshiping him we’re praying for that person who passed away and then at the same point in time we’re asking god to fill us with his love so that we can make it through that very difficult time.

The vigil again is that first time we get together and we start remembering that person so it’s a very appropriate time to have eulogies and how people speak about that person and the impact of that person in their lives and it really is that preparation stage where spiritually, psychologically, we’re getting ready to make that transition from the home then to the church where our second station is the liturgy and we’ll talk about that in a future video and then finally, the Committal where we go to the cemetery and so you have this progression and at the same point in time supporting each other through that

So that’s our funeral facts for this week. We’ve talked about the vigil at first stage. An important stage for us as we could go through the three stations of the Right of Christian Funerals.

Make it a great week and God bless you.

Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

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