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 Lakewood, CO
3 Popular Funeral Reception Serving Styles

If you are hosting a funeral reception, there will be many things to consider. Some of these are the location of the event, how many guests will be attending, and making sure there are enough items for everyone such as chairs. Another big decision is choosing what type of food to serve and the style it will be served in. Directors of funeral homes in Lakewood, CO. look at some of the most popular styles to help you better decide.

1. Plated/Table Style

This serving style is definitely the most formal of the three and is when guests will be seated at a table at a certain time for their meal. It is a more formal, “high-class” feel as guests remain seated as the food is brought to them. This style can either have just one course or many that include things like soup, salad, or dessert. Many times guests will choose their entrée and RSVP so that they don’t actually “order” at the time of the reception. The food is catered in or made at the location and is nice and hot as it arrives at the table. This serving style can be more costly because you will need servers to transport the food, refill drinks, and attend to the additional needs of the guests as they eat.

2. Buffet Style

If you would like something that can still look elegant but be a bit more casual than a table style, consider having a buffet. These are very popular for a number of reasons. One is that it can offer a wider variety of foods. With a plated table dinner, the choices of entrees may be limited to one or two, but with a buffet, you may be able to provide many more. Another benefit to buffets is that you don’t have the extra cost of servers. Of course, if you wish, you can always have servers behind the buffet table to plate the food for the guests.

3. Food Trucksfuneral homes in Lakewood, CO

The most casual and easy option that is growing in popularity is having food trucks at the location. This can be a great choice if the event is outside at a park or other outdoor location. With almost every city having several food trucks to choose from, you can offer your guests a wide variety of foods.

Food trucks also offer a very casual, almost more “party celebration” mood than a sit-down dinner or buffet. This can be a perfect choice for those who wish to have a more light-hearted and happy rather atmosphere rather than serious and solemn.

In Conclusion

Food is a large part of most funeral receptions. This is because we often associate food with love and comfort. Also, we want to show the guests who come appreciation by providing them with a meal. With so many options of serving styles, it doesn’t matter if the reception is held at a church, outside park, or funeral home in Lakewood, CO. as there is a style for every reception.

funeral homes in Lakewood, CO
How to Make Your Loved One’s Headstone Unique

When making your funeral arrangements with funeral homes in Lakewood, CO., you are going to want to make the services personal and unique to them and their life. Many people carry this idea further by creating a headstone for their grave that is also very unique and customized to their loved one. If you would like to create a headstone that is one-of-a-kind for your loved one, there are many ways to do so. We are going to explore some of the most common design elements you can customize for your loved one’s headstone.

Headstone Shape and Design

One of the most prominent features of the headstone is its shape. With modern cutting and carving techniques, headstones can be shaped into just about any shape and design imaginable. Whether the family prefers a more traditional and elegant design such as a square or rounded top shape, other families may opt for something more free-flowing and choose a wavy or curvy design. Some other options for shapes include:

  • Oval with checks
  • Oval with shoulders
  • Ogee top
  • Half-round
  • Peon with checks
  • Offset peon top

Choosing the Headstone Color

The color of the headstone is the next design element to consider as it will make the most impact after the shape. The color choices will most likely depend on what material you choose but colors can often be found including rose, green, gray, black, red, and more. You can also choose to have the headstone include more than one color.

Font Choices

Not only will what is written on the headstone convey information such as your loved one’s name, date of birth, date of passing, etc., but will also affect the overall design aesthetic of the headstone.

The font you choose will play a part in the feel of the monument. For example, if you choose a curvy, cursive font, it appears to be more elegant and classy. While a very strong block font will give the appearance of being very rigid. Whichever font you choose, you want to make sure you do not sacrifice legibility for design. The font may look great, but if you can’t read what the words say, then go with another choice.

Additional Elements

Adding additional elements can really make the headstone unique to your loved one and stand out. Some additional items you could add include:funeral homes in Lakewood, CO

  • Portrait engraved directly on the stone
  • Sculptural elements such as a heart, cross, bird, angels, wings, etc.
  • A porcelain image being applied
  • A Bench added to the headstone
  • Vases included in the headstone design

Check With Your Cemetery

Before making any final decisions on the design of the headstone, always check with the cemetery first. This is because many cemeteries have rules on what is and what isn’t allowed. They may have regulations on what type of material the headstone can be or even what symbols are allowed. If you need additional help, headstone providers as well as funeral directors from funeral homes in Lakewood, CO. can assist you.

funeral homes in Lakewood, CO
10 Unique Funeral Locations

While it is customary for funerals to be held in churches or funeral homes in Lakewood, CO., there are several other locations you might want to consider. Choosing an alternative location can not only make your funeral unique but also express your loved one’s personality or passions. For example, if they loved animals, hosting a funeral service at a zoo might be a nice tribute. Keep reading as we explore some more untraditional places to hold your service.

1. On a Boat

If your loved one adored the ocean or lake, why not hold a service on a boat? There are many boats that you can charter that come in all types and sizes. You can even make the service more special by timing it with the sunset.

2. Local, State, or National Park

Was your loved one an avid camper? Maybe they enjoyed hiking and could always be found on the trails each weekend. If they had a favorite park or hiking spot, this may be a beautiful setting for their service as being surrounded by trees and fresh air can be a very serene environment.

3. museum

Whether it was the art or the special exhibits, if your loved one enjoyed the museum this may be the perfect space to host their service. And with most museums having event spaces, it can make a lovely location.

4. Historic Home

A very unique location to hold your loved one’s service is in a historic city home or mansion as these historic homes are full of charm and beauty.

5. Family Home

If you would like to keep your loved one’s service very intimate and personal, why not have it at a family home?

6. School or University

For those who had deep ties with their college or university, holding the service on the school grounds can be a fitting tribute.

7. Theme Park

This location may not be for everyone since it is on the very unconventional side, however, if your loved one enjoyed rides and parks, this could be the perfect setting for their service.

8. Public Garden

If you are looking for a truly beautiful setting to hold your service, a public garden can be the ideal location. These gardens are full of flowers and foliage that make the most beautiful backdrop.

9. Sports Stadium

Holding a funeral at a sports stadium might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those loved ones who were passionate about sports, what could be more fitting?

10. Observatoryfuneral homes in Lakewood, CO

Were your loved ones into sci-fi? Did they marvel at the stars and galaxies? Holding their service at an observatory is a perfect location.

Final Thoughts

While some families may still prefer the more traditional locations for funerals such as churches and funeral homes in Lakewood, CO. it is nice to know there are other options for those families that want something a little more unconventional. Whether you hold your service in a church or a sports stadium is entirely up to you and your family as well as what your loved one would have wanted.

funeral homes in Lakewood, CO
What to Say After a Death Has Occurred

If you are like most people, you have a difficult time finding the right words when it comes to expressing sympathy after a death. It may be that a friend or coworker has lost a loved one and whether you are looking for words to write in a card or say directly to them, your mind goes blank. You want to make sure what you say is appropriate and meaningful, yet you don’t want to ramble or say something inappropriate. Don’t worry as directors of funeral homes in Lakewood, CO. has some tips to help.

After a Death Has Occurred

It can always be an awkward moment when you see someone who has recently lost a loved one. After all, do you bring it up? Do you ignore the topic? If they bring it up, what should you say?

While it may feel uncomfortable to bring it up, it is polite to do so. Know that by doing so you are giving them an opportunity to talk about what they are going through. While they may or may not open up, providing them the chance to do so shows your support and will be appreciated.

Whether they open up or not, follow their lead. If they begin to talk about the passing, let them by listening patiently and offering your support. If they move on to another subject quickly after mentioning the passing, then move right along with them.

If you are most likely not going to see them in person, then sending a handwritten card or calling them on the phone is always a nice way to express your condolences.

Examples of Things to Say

When talking with the bereaved family either at the funeral or afterward, there are some simple things you can say that is appropriate, kind, and show sympathy. Some of these include:

  • He was a wonderful man and will be missed greatly
  • You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers
  • I’m so sorry for your loss
  • She will be missed by everyone who knew herfuneral homes in Lakewood, CO

If you knew the deceased more closely you can add something more personal such as, “I’m so sorry for the loss of your sister, Amy. She was always such a bright soul at work and she will be greatly missed.”

Examples of What Not to Say

One common thing that people say if they have also suffered a past loss is, “I know what you are going through”. While this is meant as a way to connect with the grieving person, it really isn’t helpful and should be avoided. Even if you have suffered a similar loss, everyone processes and works through grief in different ways. Therefore, you cannot truly understand what they are going through.

Additionally, stay away from general statements such as “He’s in a better place”, or “At least he had a great life”. You may mean well, but these words do little to provide comfort.

Hopefully, these tips from directors of funeral homes in Lakewood, CO. have allowed you to feel more comfortable when talking with someone who has recently suffered a loss. If you need further information or help on how to help a grieving friend, please reach out to us as we have several resources we can point you to.

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