The death of a loved one is a difficult time for families. At St. John’s, our commitment is to assist the family of the deceased in preparing a meaningful celebration of life both on earth and eternal life.
Planning a Funeral
Funeral planning typically takes place during a meeting between the priest or deacon who will be presiding over the funeral rites and family members of the deceased. If a funeral home is involved, they will assist the family in arranging this meeting. If a funeral home is not involved, the family should contact the parish office by calling (651) 633-8333 to schedule a meeting to make the necessary arrangements.
People and families are welcome to download the Funeral Planning Sheet to begin the planning process prior to meeting with the priest or deacon who will preside over the funeral rites. No funeral planning is finalized until after a meeting with the presider of the funeral.
Please note that if you are making funeral preparations well in advance, we may not be able to honor requests for specific personnel.
Suggested Funeral Readings
The following are lists of Scriptures appropriate for use at Catholic Funeral Liturgies. One reading is chosen from each the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Gospels.
*Other Scripture passages can be presented to the presider for approval.
**Non-Scripture readings cannot be read in place of these readings, but could be used in the worship aides or through some other means.
- 2 Maccabees 12.43-46 “…he made atonement for the dead…”
- Job 19 “…I know that my vindicator lives….”
- Ecclesiastes 3.1-15 (1) “…A time to be born, a time to die…”
- Ecclesiastes 3.1-8 “…A time to be born, a time to die…”
- Wisdom 3.1-9 “…The souls of the just are in the hand of God…”
- Wisdom 3.1-6.9“…The souls of the just are in the hand of God…”
- Wisdom 4.7-14“The Righteous One, though he die early, shall be at rest…”
- Sirach 2.1-11 “…in fire gold is tested….Compassionate is the Lord…”
- Isaiah 25.6.7-9 “…he will destroy death forever…”
- Isaiah 26.7-19“…your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise…”
- Isaiah 35.1-10 “…Here is your God, he comes with vindication…”
- Isaiah 40.1-11“…Here is your God, Here comes with power…”
- Lamentations 3.17-26“…My portion is the Lord, says my soul…”
- Ezekiel 37.12-14“O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise…”
- Daniel 12.1-3 “…the wise shall shine brightly…”
- Micah 7.7-9 “…though I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light…”
- Acts 10.34-43 “Everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins”
- Acts 10.34-36.42-43 “Everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins”
- Romans 5.5-11 “…We were reconciled to God through the death of his Son…”
- Romans 5.17-21 “…through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all…”
- Romans 6.3-9 “…if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall live with him…”
- Romans 6.3-4.8-9 “…if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall live with him…”
- Romans 8.1-11 “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ…”
- Romans 8.14-23 “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are Children of God”
- Romans 8.31-35.37-39 “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
- Romans 14.7-9.10-12 “This is why Christ died and came to life”
- 1 Corinthians 2.6-10 “Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard…”
- 1 Corinthians 15.12-20 “If there is no resurrection of the dead…”
- 1 Corinthians 15.20-28 “In Adam all die, so too if Christ shall all be brought to life.”
- 1 Corinthians 15.51-57“Death where is your victory?”
- 2 Corinthians 4.14-5.1 “The one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us…”
- 2 Corinthians 5.1.6-10 “We would rather leave the body and go home…”
- Philippians 3.7-14 “…I run toward the prize to which God calls me…”
- Philippians 3.20-21 “He will change our lowly body…”
- 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18 “If we believe that Jesus died and rose…”
- 2 Timothy 2.8-13“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead…”
- 2 Timothy 4.1-2.6-8 “I have competed well, I have finished the race…”
- 1 John 3.1-2“Beloved, we are God’s children now…”
- 1 John 3.14-16 “We know that we have passed from death to life…”
- Revelation 14.13“…Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord…”
- Revelation 20.11-21.1 “…The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades…”
- Revelation 21.1-5.6-7 “…I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem…”
- Matthew 5.1-12 “The Eight Beatitudes”
- Matthew 11.25-30 “come to me . . . and I will give you rest.”
- Matthew 25.1-13 “Look. The bridegroom comes. Go out to meet him”
- Matthew 25.31-46 “Come, you whom my Father has blessed”
- Mark 15.33-39 “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
- Mark 15.33-39 “Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last”
- Luke 7.11-17 “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
- Luke 12.35-40 “Be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect,…”
- Luke 23.33.39-43 “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
- Luke 23.44-46.50.52-53 24.1-6a “Father, I put my life in your hands.”
- Luke 23.44-49 “Father into your hands I commend my spirit”
- Luke 24.13-16.28-35“Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer…”
- Luke 24.13-35 “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer…”
- John 5.24-29 “Whoever hears my word and believes has passed from…”
- John 6.37-40 “All who believe in the Son will have eternal life…”
- John 6.51-58 “All who eat this bread will live for ever….”
- John 11.17-27 “I am the resurrection and the life.”
- John 11.21-27“I am the resurrection and the life.”
- John 11.32-45 “Lazarus, come out.”
- John 12.23-28 “If a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies…”
- John 12.23-26 “If a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies…”
- John 14.1-6 “There are many rooms in my Father’s house.”
- John 17.24-26“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me…”
- John 19.17-18.25-39 “Jesus bowed his head and gave up his spirits.”
Because music has such a dignified place within the funeral liturgies at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, we presume that our organist and cantor will be assisting at each funeral, please see Funeral Procedures and Protocol for further details. Guest musicians or cantors will be considered at the family’s request and could be incorporated into the funeral liturgy according to the specific abilities and preferences of each musician or cantor.
Remarks of Remembrance
It has become increasingly popular to remember the deceased at the funeral Mass by asking a member of the family or a close friend to share some thoughts about the deceased. While this can be a very fitting way to honor the deceased, it is actually preferred to have these remarks shared during the Vigil. Through the presence of Christ found in the Eucharist, Scripture, the gathered faithful and the priest, the funeral Mass moves us from intense grief and loss, to hopeful joy and peace. Having a sad or unrehearsed eulogy after Communion can tend to negate the prayer before it. It is for this reason that the preferred place of the eulogy, if done at all, be at the Vigil or before the Liturgy of the Word of the funeral Mass.
STEPS for preparing Remarks of Remembrance
What sets this person apart or what can you share about the person’s spirit, particularly in living out the faith or bringing Christ’s presence into the world?
Be specific and brief. About 3-5 minutes is the norm. Remarks should always be written out for better delivery. Hearing a poorly prepared, longwinded or incoherent eulogy can be embarrassing and can be detrimental to the atmosphere of prayer and the proper spirit of the occasion.
The remarks should be done with decorum, decency, and with respect to the Catholic faith and tradition. Referring to things such as poems or song texts that are in opposition to the Catholic belief of death and resurrection are not appropriate.
It is most appropriate that the remarks or other stories be shared during the time of the Vigil. Do not feel that it is necessary to offer memories at the funeral. In fact, it is an option.
Writing can be especially helpful during the grieving process. In place of a eulogy, the family is encouraged to write down loving memories of the deceased. These memories could be given to the priest or deacon a day or two before the funeral so that he can include those memories in the homily.