A Message from Our Parish Family
We, at St. Mary Church, understand that if you have just experienced the death of a loved one you may be feeling confused, sad, stunned, and even overwhelmed by your loss. We are here to offer both comfort and great hope for the future.
Catholics believe that at death “Life is changed, not ended.” Death is a passage to a new and fuller life, and ultimately to resurrection and eternal union with God.
“If the spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his spirit in you.” Romans 8:11
Although death brings a deep sense of sadness and loss, faith provides solace and strength. It is a time when we encounter the things of God and our belief in Him in new way. It is a time for us to support and console one another–especially in our belief in the gift of eternal life. So, when as Christians we encounter death, we are drawn to prayer–to pray for those who have died and to pray for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
The Church emphasizes life in the funeral liturgy. The resurrection is the theme and the readings, hymns, and prayers reflect the overall tone of expectant joy.
When we celebrate death in the Church, if the loved one is a baptized Catholic it is customary to celebrate a Mass of Christian burial, however there are circumstances that may allow for a funeral service outside of the Mass.
We have provided several resources to help you better understand Catholic beliefs about death and to help you plan the funeral celebration for a loved one or for yourself. Please review the information available and contact us at the Parish Office at 815*732*7383 so we can answer your questions and assist you in identifying your preferences in assuring that the funeral ceremony captures your faith and hope in the resurrection as well as reflects your life or the life of a loved one as a disciple of Christ.
To better understand Catholic beliefs about death and begin planning a Catholic Funeral Service, it is often helpful to first review the rest of the funeral planning section. This section is provided for you to gather the information that would be helpful in communicating your preferences when you meet with the funeral director, the clergy, and the music director. Please remember that we are here to help you and to offer both comfort and hope for the future.