To those who are bereaved Death is always a sad occurrence. To lose a spouse, parent, family member or close friend is surely one of the most painful experiences we must endure in life. While nothing at this time can remove the pain of loss, the Funeral Mass has a clear message of hope. The Readings, Psalms and Communion Reflections in this small booklet all convey compassion and hope.
We want you to know that your sorrow and grief is shared by the whole Parish Family. We will pray for you and with you.

The people of the parish are most anxious to be a source of support and strength at this time and will be here to help in the months and years ahead. People often suffer in isolation. The bereavement process for some is very prolonged, but for all it is intense. Our prayers are never unmindful of your grief. Fr. Brendan and the parish team would feel privileged to be of help in any way and at any time during your time of grief.
The Funeral Mass has a clear message of hope. Below you will find a selection of Bible readings to choose from. Pick those that have a special meaning for you, and someone who will be composed and comfortable enough to read them. If it’s all too much one of our funeral team would be glad to help and read on your behalf. Traditionally people pick an Old Testament Reading, (OTR 1+ below)then the Psalm is normally sung, and a New Testament Reading (NTR 1+ below). However it really is your choice if you like two from the one section.
After the Sermon we have the Prayers of the Faithful, between four and six are normal and you can have one reader for each prayer or one reader to do them all, again whatever suits you.
After that comes the Offertory Procession. This is different from the Presentation of the Symbols at the beginning and you might have about two people to bring up the bread and wine to be used at the mass.
Feel free to chat with me about any aspect of the mass.
Fr. Brendan

Some General points on Funeral Arrangements
At a time, which is generally sad and emotional for the family and friends of the deceased, we are ready and anxious to assist in any way possible. Arrangements for Church Liturgies are made with Fr. Brendan.
The Rite of Christian burial normally consists of
(1) Reception of Remains in Church, this was most often the evening before, this gives people a chance to express their sympathy to the family in a more structured way if they can’t get to the funeral the next day. And your loved one spends their last night in front of the Tabernacle. For the parish there is no extra cost to the Removal service but there are added expenses incurred by the Undertakers.
(2) Funeral Mass, here in St. Judes is at usually at 11am each weekday morning.
(3) Final commendation and burial or cremation.

Some General Points

The following points may help summarise what is needed:

… This first thing is not to worry about the arrangements. All the material above may seem rather detailed, but in practice the priest and undertaker will guide you through it. Don’t feel you have to do everything. Fr Brendan and the Funeral Team are there to look after you.

… After a death has occurred people sometimes feel under pressure to have the Mass and burial as soon as possible. If possible, avoid the temptation to rush things. Sometimes if you have been around a loved one’s bed in hospital or home for a while, you might need a short break to catch up on sleep and other family affairs.

… You may wish to involve family members or other chief mourners in the celebrations in a special way. Give them some of the simpler tasks: placing symbols on the Table of Life, bringing up the gifts at Mass. You can also involve a lot of people in a more informal way by gathering for prayer (Vigil for the Deceased) and reflection at the Church or in the funeral home or at deceased’s home. This is an ideal time for favourite songs, prayers, poems and stories.

… Sacred Music can add greatly to the meaningful celebration of a funeral. In the church itself for the mass we use only religious music that has been written for the liturgy during the mass. There is room for a favourite non-religious piece which you can work out with myself, Fr. Brendan, who while flexible I’m afraid there are some songs that might not just be appropriate for a church. If you are not too aware of hymns old and new our Funeral music team can offer some wonderful ideas that will enhance the liturgy.


Old Testament Readings


OTR1:
A reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Next let us praise illustrious people,
or ancestors in their successive generations.
The lord has created abundance of glory and displayed his greatness from earliest times.
Some wielded authority as kings and were renowned for their strength;
others were intelligent advisers and uttered prophetic oracles.
Others directed people by their advice,
by their understanding of the popular mind,
and by the wise words of their teaching;
others composed musical melodies, and set down ballads;
others were rich and powerful,
living peacefully in their homes.
But here a list of generous people whose good works have not been forgotten.

The Word of the Lord.

OTR2:
A reading from the Book of Ecclesiates: (3.1-13)

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What does a worker gain from his or her toil ?
I have seen the burden God has laid on his people.
God has made everything beautiful in its time,
also he has put eternity into the human mind,
yet even still we cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
I know that there is nothing better for a person than to be happy and to do good while they live.
That everyone may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their work - that is the gift of God.

The Word of the Lord.

OTR3:
A reading for the Prophet Isaiah. (41:10, 44:22, 49:15-16)

Fear not I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, and uphold you with my right hand of justice. For I am the Lord your God who grasps your right hand; it is I who say to you 'fear not, I will help you'.

I have brushed away your offences like a cloud, your sins like a mist, return to me, for I have redeemed you. Can a mother forget her infant be without tenderness for the child within her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. See, upon the palm of my hand I have written your name. Yes, in joy you shall depart, in peace you shall be brought back.

The Word of the Lord.

OTR4:
A reading from the Prophet Isaiah. (25:6-9)

On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food. On this mountain he will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples, and the shroud enwrapping all nations, he will destroy Death forever.

The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek, he will take away his people's shame everywhere on earth, for the Lord has said so.

That day, it will be said. See, this is our God in whom we hoped for salvation, the Lord is the one in whom we hoped. We exult and we rejoice that he has saved us.

The Word of the Lord.

OTR5:
A Reading from the Book of Wisdom. (3:1-6,9)
The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God,
no torment shall ever touch them.
In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die,
their going looked like a disaster,
their leaving us, like annihilation;
but they are in peace.
If they experienced punishment as others see it,
their hope was rich with immortality;
slight was their affliction, great will their blessing be.
God has put them to the test
and proved them worthy to be with him;
he has tested them like gold in a furnace,
and accepted them as a holocaust.
They who trust in him will understand the truth,
those who are faithful will live with him in love;
for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.

The Word of the Lord.

OTR6:
A reading from the book of Wisdom. (3:1-6.9)
[a slightly different translation of the above.]

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment will ever touch them.
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died,
and their departure was thought to be a disaster,
and their going from us to be their destruction;
but they are at peace.

For though in the sight of others they were punished,
their hope is full of immortality.
Having been disciplined a little,
they will receive great good,
because God tested them and found them worthy of himself;
like gold in the furnace he tried them,
and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them.

Those who trust in him will understand truth,
and the faithful will abide with him in love,
because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones,
and he watches over his elect.

The Word of the Lord.

OTR7:
A reading from the Book of Wisdom. (4:7-15)

The virtuous man, though he die before his time, will find rest.
Length of days is not what makes age honourable,
nor number of years the true measure of life;
understanding, this is man's grey hairs,
untarnished life, this is ripe old age.
He has sought to please God, so God has loved him;
as he was living among sinners, he has been taken up.
He has been carried off so that evil may not warp his understanding or treachery seduce his soul;
for the fascination of evil throws good things into the shade,
and the whirlwind of desire corrupts a simple heart.
Coming to perfection in so short a while, he achieved long life;
his soul being pleasing to the Lord, he has taken him quickly from the wickedness around him.
Yet people look on, uncomprehending;
it does not enter their heads
that grace and mercy await the chosen of the Lord,
and protection, his holy ones.

The Word of the Lord.

 

OTR8:
A reading from the Prophet Isaiah. (46:8:14-16)

Thus say the Lord: 'in a time of favour I have answered you, on a day of salvation I have helped you." But Zion said, 'The Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me.'

'Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands".

The Word of the Lord.

 

OTR9:
A reading from the prophet Isaiah. (61:1-3)

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed;
to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning.

The Word of the Lord.

 

OTR10:
A reading from the Prophet Isaiah. (41:9-11,13-14)

You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off.
Do not fear, for I am with you.
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you.
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

All who are incensed against you
will be ashamed and disgraced;
those who strive against you
will be as nothing and will perish.
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you,
"Do not fear,
I will help you'.
Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

The Word of the Lord.

 

PSALMS


PSALMS – These are the Prayers of the People of Israel and of Jesus and of Christianity. They can be read straight from the top or with the response (R) after each verse.

PR1:
Psalm 23
Response: The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures when he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me to revive my drooping spirit (R).

He guides me along the right path, he is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff, with these you give me comfort (R).

You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil.
My cup is overflowing (R).

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life.
in the Lord's own house shall I dwell forever and ever (R).

PR2:
Psalm 27
Response: The Lord is my light and my help.

The Lord is my light and my help, whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; before whom shall I shrink? (R).

There is one thing I ask of the Lord, for this I long,
to live in the house of the Lord; all the days of my life,
to savour the sweetness of the Lord, to behold his temple (R).

O Lord, hear my voice when I call, have mercy and answer.
It is your face, O Lord that I seek,
hide not your f ace (R).

I am sure I shall see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living.
Hope in him, hold firm and take heart;
Hope in the Lord (R).

PR3:
Psalm 25
Response: To you O Lord I lift up my soul.

Remember your mercy, Lord.
And the love you have shown from of old.
In your love remember me,
because of your goodness, 0 Lord (R).

Relieve the anguish of my heart
and set me free from my distress.
See my affliction and my toil,
and take all my sins away (R).

Preserve my life and rescue me.
Do not disappoint me, you are my refuge.
May innocence and uprightness protect me;
for my hope is in you, 0 Lord (R).

PR4:
Psalm 103
Response: The Lord is Compassion and Love.

The Lord is compassion and love,
slow to anger and rich in mercy
he does not treat us according to our sins
nor repay us according to our faults (R).

As a father has compassion on his children,
the Lord has pity on those who revere him;
for he knows of what we are made, he remembers that we are dust (R).

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flowers like the flower of the field;
the wind blows and he is gone a
nd his place never sees him again (R).

But the love of the Lord is everlasting
upon those who hold him in reverence;
his justice reaches out to children's children
when they keep his covenant in truth,
when they keep his will in their mind (R).

PR5:
Psalm 130
Response : Out of the depths I cry to you O Lord.

Out of the depths I cry to you, 0 Lord,
Lord, hear my voice!
0 let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleading (R).

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?
But with you is found forgiveness; for this we revere you (R).

My soul is waiting for the Lord, I count on his word
My soul is longing for the Lord more than watchmen for daybreak (R).

Because with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption,
Israel indeed he will redeem from all its iniquity (R).

PR6:
Psalm 34
Response: Taste and See that the Lord is Good.

I will bless the Lord at all times,
his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
The humble shall hear and be glad (R).

Glorify the Lord with me;
Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
From all the terrors he set me free (R).

Look towards him and be radiant.
Taste and see that the Lord is good,
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted;
those whose spirit is crushed he will save;
those who hide in him shall not be condemned (R).

PR7:
Psalm 139
Response: Lord you know me and you love me.

O Lord, you search me and you know me;
You know my resting and rising,
you discern my thoughts from afar
You mark when I walk or lie down, all my ways lie open to you (R).

O where can I go from your Spirit,
or where can I flee from your face?
If I climb to the heavens you are there
If I lie in the grave, you are there (R).

If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell at the sea's furthest end,
even there your hand would lead me,
your right hand hold me fast (R).

For it was you who created my being.
Knit me together in my mother's womb
I thank you for the wonder of my being,
for the wonders of all your creations (R).

O search me, God, and know my heart
O test and know my thoughts.
See that I follow not the wrong path
and lead me in the path of eternal life (R).

 

New Testament Readings


NTR1:
A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans (8:3I-35, 37-39)

With God on our side, who can be against us? Since God did not spare his only Son, but gave him up to benefit all, we may be certain after such a gift, that He will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits could anyone condemn?

Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us - he rose from the dead, and there at God's right hand he stands and pleads for us. Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loves us. For I am certain of this; neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, nor heights, nor depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible through Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

NTR2:
A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Romans. (8:37-39)

We know that for those who love God, and are called to his plan, everything works out for the good.
With God on our side who can be against us ? Since God did not spare his own son but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain that after such a gift he will not refuse anything he can give.
When God acquits can anyone condemn ?
Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of God even if we are troubled or worried. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.
For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power nor any created thing can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

NTR3:
A reading from the first letter to St. John. (I In. 3:I-3)

Think of the love that the Father has shown us by betting us be called God's children and that is what we are. Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us. My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed, we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is.

The Word of the Lord.

NTR4:
A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians. (4:3-I8)

We want you to be quite certain about those who have died, to make sure that you do not grieve about them, like the other people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus; God will bring them with him. With such thoughts as these you should comfort one another.

The Word of the Lord.

NTR5:
A reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (I3:4-I4)

Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with truth. Love never gives up, and its faith, hope and patience never fail. Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge but it will pass.

For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial, but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.

When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those .of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways. What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. What I know now is only partial; then it will become complete - as complete as God's knowledge of me.

Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope and love: and the greatest of these is love.

The Word of the Lord.

 

NTR6:
A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans. (I4:7-9)

The life and death of each of us has its influence on others; if we live, we live for the Lord; so that alive or dead, we belong to the Lord. This explains why Christ both died and came to life. It is so that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

The Word of the Lord.

 

NTR7:
A reading from St Paul’s letter to the Philippians. (3:8-14)

I believe that nothing can happen that will outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For him I have accepted the loss of everything and I look on everything as so much rubbish if only I can have Christ and be given a place in him. I am no longer trying for perfection by my own efforts, the perfection that comes from the Law, but I want only the perfection that comes through faith. All I want to know is Christ and the power of his resurrection and to share his sufferings by reproducing the pattern of his death. That is the way I can hope to take my place in the resurrection of the dead. Not that I have become perfect yet, I have not yet won but I am still running trying to capture the prize for which Christ Jesus captured me. I can assure you, my brothers and sisters, I am far from thinking that I have already won. All I can say is that I forget the past and I strain ahead for what is still to come. I am racing for the finish, for the prize to which God calls us upwards to receive in Christ Jesus.
The Word of the Lord.

NTR8:
A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Phillipians. (4:4-9)

May you always be joyful in your unity with the Lord. Rejoice! Show a gentle attitude towards everyone. The Lord is coming soon. Do not worry about anything but in all your prayers, ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. In conclusion, my brothers and sisters, fill your minds with those things that are good and deserve praise, things that are true, noble, right, pure and lovely and honourable. Put into practice what you learned and received from both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.

The Word of the Lord.

NTR9:
A reading from the Book of Revelations. (Rev. 21:1-5)

Then I saw a new earth and a new sky, for the present earth and sky had disappeared. And I, John, saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. It was a glorious sight, beautiful as a bride at her wedding. I heard a loud shout from the throne, 'Look, the home of God is now among men, and he will live with them, and they Will be his people; yes, God himself will be among them. He Will Wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, or sorrow, or crying, or pain. All of that is gone forever".
And the one sitting on the throne said, 'See, I am making all things new!' And then he said to me, "Write of the knowledge of the glory of God, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true".
The Word of the Lord.

NTR10:
A reading from the second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (4:5-I0)

We do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.
For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’ who has shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.
We are affected in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.

The Word of the Lord.

NTR11:
A reading the second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy. (4:6-8)

As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

The Word of the Lord.

NTR12:
A reading from the first letter of St John. 4:7-12
God is love
My dear people,
let us love one another
since love comes from God
and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Anyone who fails to love can never have known God,
because God is love.
God's love for us was revealed
when God sent into the world his only Son
so that we could have life through him;
this is the love I mean:
not our love for God,
but God's love for us when he sent his Son
to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.
My dear people,
since God has loved us so much,
we too should love one another.
No one has ever seen God;
but as long as we love one another
God will live in us
and his love will be complete in us.
The Word of the Lord.