When a death occurs, it is a traumatic time for the bereaved and yet immediately various practical things need to be attended to. Relatives and friends need to be contacted. A funeral director needs to be chosen and contacted. Arrangements need to be made for a funeral Mass or funeral service.

The funeral rites in the Catholic tradition seek to both comfort the bereaved and intercede for the dead, as we commend the person who has died into the loving hands of God.

To help families plan and prepare the funeral Mass or funeral service in Holy Family Parish, a funeral pack will be provided. This will provide information on appropriate Readings from Scripture, Prayer of the Faithful & information on music for the ceremony. This information is also available to download here (see below).

 The steps set out below can help with preparations.


Step 1: FUNERAL READINGS (see the Readings for Funerals booklet below for options)

  1. One First Reading should be chosen from the first section of the booklet. Usually this is from the Old Testament. See pages 2-9, from 1.1 to 1.13.
  2. One Responsorial Psalm should be chosen. See pages 10-21, from 2.1 to 2.11. If there is a singer, the Psalm may be sung. You should speak to the person providing music about this.
  3. One Second Reading should be chosen from the third section of the booklet. See pages 22-30, from section 3.1 to 3.17. 

Family or friends, who feel up to it and are able, can proclaim these readings at the funeral.



A selection of prayers is provided in the document below. Normally 4 or 5 prayers are chosen.  Again, family or friends, who feel up to it and are able, can read these prayers. One person, or a few people, can read these.



Two, three or four people can bring forward the gifts of bread and wine that are going to be transformed into the Body & Blood of Christ during the Liturgy of the Eucharist.


Step 4: MUSIC

Many families wish to have music during the funeral Mass or service. Music played in the church should be RELIGIOUS MUSIC ONLY reflecting the sacredness of the building.  If you wish to have a ‘favourite song’ played during the funeral rites, it could be played in the home before the coffin leaves for the church – this is often more practical and more personal.  If there is a cremation a ‘favourite song’ can be played at the crematorium.  

Below is a list of some liturgical musicians who regularly sing in churches.  This is only for guidance and you are not bound by this list.  You should contact the musician yourself and discuss their musical repertoire and expenses.


Download Readings for Funerals

Download Prayer of the Faithful 

Download Contacts for some Liturgical Musicians & Singers.


The moment of the sealing of the coffin, and the time of the removal of the body from the home, are emotional and private moments for immediate family. The family may wish to say a final farewell, and to do so in its own personal way. The prayers offered below may be used by the family as they gather in the home just before the transfer of the body of the deceased to the church.

Download Removal Prayers: Gathering in the home of the deceased before the transfer to the church