Stations of a Catholic Funeral – Part 1: What is involved? – Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

 Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to funeral facts with Deacon Marc. This will be a section of a weekly blog where we talk about funeral facts from a Catholic perspective, something none of us really want to talk about but it’s important for all of us to understand because we all have to deal with it at one point or another with family, loved ones, and eventually with ourselves.

So, let us begin today. We’re talking about why do we have funerals and what is the order of Christian funerals?

The Church has had funerals since day one we can see that with Lazarus with Christ when he raised him from the dead and we throughout church history funerals have played an important role within the Catholic faith.  So, why do we have them?

I’ve asked this question to people and one of the most interesting responses I get was well we need do something with the body.

Well, yes we need do something with the body but we want do that respectfully and there are reasons why we have funerals, and really there are four primary reasons why we have funerals. We can have all these other reasons but there are four primary ones.

One, we want to worship God. We want to come together and worship Him for He gave us our lives, and He gave us that opportunity to be with that person and so we’re thanking Him and worship Him.

We’re also thanking God and remembering about His mercy that He has for us, His ultimate mercy. None of us deserve that mercy but He is merciful, loving, and we trust in His mercy and so we thank Him for that mercy.

The third reason is to fill that void of loss that we have with that person who’s no longer with us and so we come together as a community we pray with each other, we grieve with each other, and we’re filling that void with Christ and God at our center of our lives.

And then the fourth reason is probably maybe the most important reason is; we’re praying for that person on their journey. Christ told us that not everybody goes to heaven he says that the gate is narrow and the road is thin and not everybody is going to get through that and so we want to pray for that person on their journey on their journey to the heavenly Father.

Four reasons why we have Catholic funerals:

1) Worship God
2) Thank God for His mercy
3) Fill the void of loss with faith
4) Pray for the deceased

So then what does a funeral look like?

You know I can remember growing up when we had funerals it would seem like they would go on for an entire week and things have changed over the years but the one piece that has remained the same is there really are three stations to the order of Christian funerals.

First, we have the vigil, this is when the community comes together and they start remembering the person, they also start praying to God and coming together and filling that time with the love of God you know in a prayerful type of way.

The second piece is the funeral liturgy, typically this is the mass that can be a funeral liturgy outside of the mass but this is when we go to the source and summit the Eucharist and we pray for that person and we have that mass in honor and intention for that individual.

And then, finally we have the committal, and this is typically out of the grave site where we say the final prayers and we commend that individual to God and to their last lasting resting place.

And so there are those three stages and it’s interesting when you look at those three stages it really goes from the home, to the church, to the cemetery, and it’s like a procession of taking that person on a journey and we go on that journey with them. So, we’re going from the home of the vigil to the to the church with the mass and finally to the cemetery with the committal.

So, three stations we’ll be talking about those more in depth over the next couple weeks but that does for today’s issue of funeral facts with Deacon Marc.

We hope they have a blessed week!

 

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funeral homes in Aurora, CO
What is the Role of a Pallbearer?

If you have been asked to be a pallbearer for a loved one’s funeral you may be a little nervous as you are unsure of what all that entails. However, as this is a huge honor you want to be there and do what you can for the grieving family. As directors of funeral homes in Aurora, CO. We understand this task can be a little dusting, and that’s why today we are going to cover what a pallbearer is as well as their roles and responsibilities.

What is a Pallbearer?

Most people have heard of pallbearers but are not sure exactly what their role is. A pallbearer’s main role is to assist with the carrying and placement of the casket during the funeral services as well as the gravesite.

How Many Pallbearers Are There?

There are typically six to eight pallbearers depending on the size of the casket. There may also be “honorable” pallbearers that do not actually help carry the casket but walk alongside it. The exact number of pallbearers is entirely up to the family.

Carrying the Casket

Each pallbearer will take their place next to the casket and assist in lifting and carrying it to its destination. While it is more normal to see men act as pallbearers, it is not uncommon for women to also take part. There are also sometimes honorable pallbearers who walk alongside the casket as they may be too weak due to age or illness to take part in the carrying.

What Are the Additional Duties of a Pallbearer?

As stated, the pallbearer’s main role is to carry the casket. This means that the pallbearers will gather at the funeral home and wait for the family to say their last goodbyes. The pallbearers will then carry the casket and place it in the hearse to be taken to the funeral location. There, the pallbearers will assist the funeral home directors in taking the casket out of the hearse.

When the funeral begins the pallbearers will carry the casket into the location and place it in the front of the room.funeral homes in Aurora, CO When the service is over they will then place the casket back into the hearse to be transported to the gravesite. Typically the pallbearers will be in a vehicle behind the hearse and follow it to the cemetery. There they will remove the casket from the hearse and place it at the graveside for the service.

Proper Attire for Pallbearers

A pallbearer should look respectful and dress appropriately. For men, this would typically mean a dark suit or black or another dark color. Shoes should also be nice and dressy. However, while style should be a big consideration when it comes to shoes, so should comfortability as they may have to walk for a long distance.

Final Thoughts

Being asked to be a pallbearer is a very big honor yet can be intimidating and leave you feeling anxious if you have not been one before. As directors of funeral homes in Aurora, CO. we want you to know that this is entirely common. We hope that today’s article gave you a little insight into this position and the role they play in the funeral. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us anytime.

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How to Personalize a Memorial Program

If you are planning a funeral service for a loved one with funeral homes in Aurora, CO. you may be looking for ways to make it more personalized. With the services being a time for friends and family to come together and pay tribute to the deceased, it is a wonderful time to add personal touches to express what your loved one was all about. One way to do this is in the designing of the funeral program.

The funeral program is a printed pamphlet that details the order and flow of the service. Each guest will be given one and they are typically a four-page program with a front cover, middle section, and back cover.

They typically include a picture of the deceased, an outline and details of services, a short obituary, a poem or passage, as well as a place that acknowledges anyone who the family would like to thank. While this is great information and you can certainly still include all of this, there are many ways to add a little extra and make it much more personal for your loved one.

Front Cover

Most programs will have one single image of the deceased on the front cover and while this can make a beautiful bold design, consider adding more images. You could make a collage and include images from your loved one’s life that were from major milestones such as their wedding or an award ceremony.

Perhaps they were an avid traveler and you could add images of them in the different cities or countries they visited. Maybe they loved music or dancing and you could show that in the images chosen. Think about what could display your loved one’s core personality and find images that express that to the guests.

Inside Pages

Inside the program is where you will find the details of the services as well as an obituary. This is most commonly designed on a two-page spread with the obituary on the left page and the order of services on the right page. If you would like to keep this length and layout of the program but want it more customized, you could consider the colors, fonts, or background image and tailor it more toward your loved one.

If you want to take it up a notch and add more personalization, you can certainly add another page or two to allow for more room to do so. With more space you could add things like:

  • Painting or drawings that your loved one made
  • Poems or song lyrics that they wrote
  • A list of their favorite charities or causes and ways people can help
  • A longer, more detailed obituary
  • Interesting facts about them. For example, if they traveled, you could create a list of all the places they visited

Back Coverfuneral homes in Aurora, CO

The back cover of the program is where you will find any acknowledgments as well as a list of any pallbearers. This is pretty standard and not much of a place to add extra information. Instead, to make it personalized, once again consider the colors, fonts, and perhaps a background image.

While planning services with funeral homes in Aurora, CO. there will be many things to think about, and designing the funeral program is one of them. Designing one that is unique and truly shows off your loved one’s personality is a wonderful way to honor them and their life.

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Why Movement Is Important When Grieving

Dealing with grief is challenging. If not handled and worked through in a healthy way, it can lead to isolation and deeper depression. Even though it may be difficult to think about your own mental wellness at this time, it is crucial to ensure you process everything in the most healthy way possible. One way to help with your grief is by being physically active. Directors of funeral homes in Aurora, CO. explain how movement can help you while grieving.

Movement Can Help Your Mind

Dealing with grief can be draining on your mind. Constantly experiencing all of the intense feelings of sadness can be emotionally draining. Movement can be a much-welcomed and needed distraction. The good news is that this movement doesn’t have to be anything over the top to gain these mental benefits. Anything from taking a walk around your neighborhood to going to a yoga class can give your mind a much-needed break. Participating in these activities and being mindful while doing so can act as a wonderful distraction.

Movement Allows an Outlet for Emotions

The emotions you will experience while grieving will be intense and range from sadness to anger or even fear. Movement is a wonderful way to get these emotions out. For example, if you are angry, join a kickboxing class or boxing. Use that anger and let it all out on the heavy bag. If you feel jittery or anxious, go for a run and burn off that nervous energy. Although we are often taught not to give in to feelings of anger and other emotions, as long as we can express them in a healthy way like this, it can be beneficial to face them head-on.

Movement Elevates Your Mood

The movement had been proven to help release chemicals in your brain which help elevate your overall mood. Now, you still may feel sadness, but by moving your body you can help your mood be a little more balanced. Once more, elevating your mood can help you better handle any stresses that come along your way.

Movement Helps You Sleep Betterfuneral homes in Aurora, CO

We all know how important it is to get a good night’s rest but many people still don’t. This can be especially true when we are experiencing grief as our routine may be off and our lack of motivation for self-care can come into play. Adding movement into your day can help you relax and feel more tired so you are able to get those much-needed hours of sleep.

Movement Feels Good

Last, but certainly not least, moving your body just feels good. We were meant to move. That is how our bodies are designed. When we lay down or sit for too long at a time we get stiff and uncomfortable. It can also spiral out of control with the longer we sit, the longer want to sit. Get up and move your body. Even if it is just to clean your kitchen, do laundry, or rake the yard.

We hope these reasons have inspired you to add movement to your day. As directors of funeral homes in Aurora, CO. we know it can be tough to find the motivation so if you need additional help, consider asking a friend or family member to be an accountability partner.

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Using Journal Prompts to Cope With Grief

After making arrangements with funeral homes in Aurora, CO., grieving the loss of our loved one is normal. It is normal and it is necessary. It is our human way of processing what has happened, accepting it, and learning how to go on in this new way. Although grieving is natural, sometimes, if we are not careful, it can turn into depression.

Luckily, there are things you can do to help ensure you are processing and dealing with your grief in a healthy way. One of those ways is through writing and using journal prompts to help guide you.

Why Writing is Beneficial

Studies have shown again and again that writing-especially journaling- can be extremely effective when it comes to dealing with trauma, loss, and grief. Taking pen to paper and writing allows you to let go, get in your flow state, and connect with your emotions on a much deeper level than just thinking about them.

By exploring your feelings on paper you may discover new insights into them or even how they may connect with other emotions you are experiencing.. Because the physical act of writing helps your brain make these insights and connections, it is suggested you do not journal on your laptop or smartphone, but instead use pen or pencil and paper to physically write out your thoughts.

What Are Journal Prompts?

If you aren’t familiar with journal prompts, they are simply predetermined question or thought that gives you a topic to write about. They can be general prompts or they can be focused all around one main topic. Some examples of general self-discovery prompts are as follows:

  • Think back to your favorite day. What made it so great? What can you do to recreate it?
  • What do I know to be true now that I didn’t know a year ago?
  • When do I feel most in tune with myself?
  • How would my best friend describe me?
  • What makes me feel most grounded?

You can use prompts such as these or find more grief-specific prompts, or a combination of both; the choice is yours

How Journal Prompts Can Helpfuneral homes in Aurora, CO

When you first begin to journal, it may feel very uncomfortable. This is especially true if this activity is new to you. Using journal prompts can help because they give you direction and a focus to write about. Rather than think about what you should write, you can simply look at the prompt for direction and start writing.

You can find journal prompts online by doing a Google search. You can also find journals with preprinted prompts in them. Another source is online sites like Etsy where individuals design and sell prompts in both digital and physical formats.

Final Thoughts

While grieving is a natural process, it can be an extremely challenging one. Because of this, it is crucial to make a conscious effort to engage in activities that help you process your grief in the healthiest way possible. If you need further grief support after your loved one’s services from funeral homes in Aurora, CO., please reach out to us any time. We are always here to help and have sample resources we can assist you with.

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