"The Christian meaning of death is revealed in the light of the Paschal Mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ in whom resides our only hope. The Christian who dies in Christ Jesus is 'away from the body and at home with the Lord.'...The Christian funeral is a liturgical celebration of the Church. The ministry of the Church in this instance aims at expressing efficacious communion with the deceased, at the participation of the community gathered for the funeral, and at the proclamation of eternal life to the community." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 1681, 1684
Faith in the resurrection of Jesus gives all of us hope who share in his death and life by the Sacrament of Baptism, for where He has gone, we hope to follow. Please read on to learn more about our parish's ministry which is here to support you and your loved ones for the transition into eternal life.
This information is provided to assist families who have just lost a loved one as well as for those who are making funeral preparations for themselves or a loved one prior to their death. The additional forms are meant to help you with general preparation; for more specific details, you can contact Nick Coffman, Director of Liturgy.
The church offers these three formal services, all or some of which may be used depending upon the desires and wishes of the family:
Vigil for the Deceased: This takes place the evening prior to the funeral liturgy at the funeral home. The service as given to us by the church is a Liturgy of the Word. Remembrances of the deceased (both spoken reflections and/or a video remembrance) are allowed during this service. It can also include a portion of the rosary during the service or the entire rosary led by the family prior to the vigil service.
Funeral Mass: Catholics celebrate the funeral rites to offer worship, praise and thanksgiving to God for the gift of life which has now been returned to God, the Creator and Author of life. The Mass, the memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection, is the principal celebration of the church’s funeral rites.
Rite of Committal/Graveside Service: This is celebrated at the place of burial/inurnment. Special remembrances of the deceased can also take place at the graveside. The Rite of Committal is strongly encouraged immediately following the funeral, prior to the funeral luncheon.
Our parish staff is here to assist you and yours during this time. If you are pre-planning, you may wish to consult the resources available here, including the Funeral Planning Guide, the Sacred Scriptures for Funerals and Music for Funerals resources. The reverse side of the Funeral Planning Guide has a Funeral Planning Form to help make you aware of the various needs for the funeral Mass. If you would like more information for a general overview, please consult the Funeral Overview resource.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who assists with the funeral planning? The funeral rites are planned in coordination with the family of the deceased, the Parish Pastor (Fr. Steve Zabrocki) and the Director of Liturgical Music (Carolyn Peters). During this meeting at the church, assistance is provided in selecting Sacred Scriptures, appropriate liturgical music and the needed liturgical ministers (Proclaimers, Eucharistic Ministers, gift bearers, etc.).
When are funerals held at St. Thomas? Funerals are held at St. Thomas at 10:00 am during the weekdays. Before publishing the date, it is imperative to have the date confirmed with the parish as there is always the potential for a conflict.
What about a luncheon reception? St. Thomas is fortunate to have several individuals who help coordinate and serve food for funeral luncheons. However, a significant portion of the food is purchased by the parish such as ingredients for sandwiches and desserts as well as beverages. We ask that you consider a contribution to the parish to defray expenses in the amount of $3.00 – $4.00 per person. A funeral luncheon at St. Thomas is not required, as you may wish to have one catered elsewhere.