Are you being called to Funeral Home Ministry?

In the Catholic Church there are three parts to a funeral liturgy. The first part is the Vigil Service which takes place at the funeral home. This can be a scripture service or a scriptural Rosary. The Vigil Service is held the evening before the funeral and can be led by a priest, deacon or lay person (non-ordained).

The second part is the Funeral Mass itself, or if requested a Funeral Service (outside of Mass). The Funeral Mass is celebrated by a priest and is almost always in the church. A Funeral Service is usually performed by a deacon and is almost always at the funeral home. In some circumstances, when a priest or deacon is not available, a lay person is permitted to lead a Funeral Service (this is not the norm in our Archdiocese).

The third part, the Committal Service, takes place at the cemetery. This can be led by a priest, deacon, and in some cases, a lay person.

We have a wonderful team at St Isidore that graciously brings the love and comfort of Christ to those families through this ministry. However, we need additional volunteers for the Vigil Service at the funeral home. They arrive about 15 minutes prior to the start of the service, meet with the family, and then with the assistance of funeral home personnel, begin the service. Typically, the amount of time spent at the funeral home is approximately 45 minutes. Each Funeral Home Minister has a copy of the approved Scripture Service and Scriptural Rosary to use in leading the mourners in prayer.

Training is a must before anyone is asked to lead either service. The training is less than two hours long.

Last year we had 109 funerals at St. Isidore. Since December we’ve had 11 funerals.  We have seven lay Funeral Home Ministers available to assist with Vigil Services. There are times when even seven Funeral Home Ministers is not enough to handle our needs.

If you are comfortable speaking and praying with groups of people, and also feel comfortable speaking with grieving families, then I ask you to consider volunteering to be a Funeral Home Minister.
If you are interested in this important ministry please contact me at (586) 286-1700.

Deacon Jeff Loeb
Evangelical Charity Coordinator