funerals

Funerals

funerals

In Loving Memory...

Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. through the mercy of God rest in peace.

old man thinking
Jack Caroll

1939 - 2019

Loving husband to Jill, father to Patrick, Stella and Steph. Jack worked for 50 years in the building trade before retiring to Ealing. His faith became of increasing importance as he grew older, praying daily and attending Mass regularly.

RIP

young man smiling
David Merkovic

1982 - 2019

Loving husband to Jill, father to Patrick, Stella and Steph. Jack worked for 50 years in the building trade before retiring to Ealing. His faith became of increasing importance as he grew older, praying daily and attending Mass regularly.

RIP

aziz acharki 592558 unsplash
Robert Hernandez

1955 - 2019

Loving husband to Jill, father to Patrick, Stella and Steph. Jack worked for 50 years in the building trade before retiring to Ealing. His faith became of increasing importance as he grew older, praying daily and attending Mass regularly.

RIP

Canva Mans Black Hat
James Irish

1976 - 2019

Loving husband to Jill, father to Patrick, Stella and Steph. Jack worked for 50 years in the building trade before retiring to Ealing. His faith became of increasing importance as he grew older, praying daily and attending Mass regularly.

RIP

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:4
Planning For A Funeral

Funeral arrangements for a loved one at their time of death can be overwhelming. We have some helpful guidance for your consideration on this page and as you prepare to plan your loved one’s funeral, we invite you to consider the hopeful Christian message.

The Church And Death

There is a natural longing in the human heart for peace, friendship, love and happiness. And there is an even deeper longing, sometimes quiet or hidden, to discover the ultimate meaning of life, to know the love of God, and to live beyond this life. 

St Augustine summed it up well when he wrote: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

As Christians we look at death through the lens of life and God’s plan for that life. 

The Reality Of Death

God created us for joy and eternal life with him. But through original sin our nature has been wounded and we experience suffering and death. This was not part of God’s original plan, but it is now a reality we all face in our lives. 

The Hope Of Eternal Life

Death is a frightening mystery. Everything meaningless is stripped away and what truly matters is left. As Christians we have the hope of eternal life.

The first believers followed Jesus and saw him die on a cross. But soon after they began to proclaim that He Is Risen. They believed Jesus had conquered death because they saw him die and then they saw him alive. This changed everything. If Jesus had risen from the dead then everything he said must be true.

And what did he claim about death? That death would be defeated and the gates of heaven would be open for those who believe in him.

The fact of Jesus’ resurrection was and is monumental. As St Paul said: “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:14. St Paul knew that the whole of the Christian faith rests on the Resurrection.

The Apostles saw the risen Jesus and believed it was a reality as real as you reading this. It spurred them to spread the news that Jesus had conquered death even in the face of the threat of death. St Paul would write: “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.""
John 11:25
The Gift Of Salvation

Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

When we die, those who believe in Christ, and freely accept the salvation he offers, will enter heaven. This gift is a free gift from God and open to all of us.

God allows the possibility of rejecting him because he loves us too much to force us to be with him in heaven if we do not will it.

But this does not mean that those who have not known Christ in this life are simply excluded from the salvation he brings. The Bible says that God “desires all people to be saved.” 1 Timothy 2:4

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ or his Church, have the hope of attaining salvation, if they sincerely seek God and strive to do his will as far as they know it.

Sharing In The Resurrection

“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4

“Their dead shall live, their bodies shall rise.” Isaiah 26:19 

When someone is baptised they die to self so that they may rise to life in Jesus. This means that those who are born into the life of God (through Baptism) have the sure hope that their death is not final because Jesus has overcome death through his Resurrection. In Baptism and in a life of faith we have a share in Jesus’ Resurrection and conquering of death. 

The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith as Christians. “Christ is risen from the dead! Dying, he conquered death; to the dead, he has given life.” CCC 639

A Wonderful Hope

It is with this wonderful truth of the Resurrection that we place your loved one in the arms of the Father through Jesus Christ. We pray that the Christian teaching brings you consolation when you consider the life of your loved one.

May the Angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs greet you at your arrival and lead you into the holy city, Jerusalem.
May the choir of Angels greet you and like Lazarus, who once was a poor man, may you have eternal rest.

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

A Catholic funeral is an act of worship and thanksgiving to God for the gift of the life of the person who has died. People gather to pray to God for that person and to receive hope and consolation from God and each other.

As Catholics we believe that God sees the life of every person as precious. Your loved one will be mentioned by name in the bidding prayers at Mass.

  • Choose Funeral Director (they will help with advice)
  • Choose Burial or Cremation
  • Decide whether you want a Catholic Funeral or Mass, or Funeral without Mass
  • Fix date of the funeral with Funeral Director
  • Make a list of those you would like to attend
  • Help with Catholic Funeral readings
  • Help with Catholic Funeral music choices
  • Decide what family/friends will do at the Funeral
  • Decide whether you want someone to speak in memory of the person
  • Finalise Order of Service
  • Decide whether you will have a reception after the Funeral
  • A Catholic Funeral Mass usually lasts at least an hour
  • A Catholic Funeral without Mass takes around 40 minutes 

The Catholic Church allows a relative or friend of the person who has died to say some words in remembrance.

No. A Reception of the Body is optional and would normally take place on the evening before the Funeral takes place.

The Catholic Funeral has its particular ritual forms and texts. But within this, there is some flexibility with options for readings, music and the sharing of memories of the person who has died.

With time and preparation, a Catholic funeral can be a unique, personal and comforting occasion.

Abbot Martin Shipperlee said: “Death is a great dis-enabler and grief disables. Those who are grieving need action, and by praying for their loved one they are doing something.”

Arranging the funeral of someone close to you is one of the most loving things you can do but it can also be daunting. We are here to help prepare and support you in the process.

Priests usually suggest that non-religious music is played at the reception after the Funeral. The Funeral’s purpose is to commend and pray for the person who has died and religious music helps move our soul and mind to prayer.

Poems can be included in the words in remembrance. Many people have poems printed in the order of service or recite poems at the reception.

Normally the family sits at the front, friends behind them and work colleagues at the back.

Here are a number of readings to choose from for the first reading during the Funeral Mass:


First Reading from the Old Testament

2 Maccabees 12:43-46 He acted in an excellent and noble way as he has the resurrection of the dead in view.
Job 19:1, 23-27a   I know that my Vindicator lives.
Wisdom 3:1-9 (long form)   As sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
Wisdom 3:1-6, 9 (short form)   As sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
Wisdom 4:7-15   An unsullied life, the attainment of old age.
Isaiah 25:6a, 7-9   He will destroy death forever.
Lamentations 3:17-26   It is good to hope in silence for the saving help of the Lord.
Daniel 12:1-3   Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.

Here are a number of readings to choose from for the second reading during the Funeral Mass:


Second Reading from the New Testament

Romans 5:5-11   Since we are now justified by his Blood, we will be saved through him.
Romans 5:17-21   Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more.
Romans 6:3-9 (long form)   We too might live in newness of life.
Romans 6:3-4, 8-9 (short form)   We too might live in newness of life.
Romans 8:14-23   We also grown within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
Romans 8:31b-35, 37-39   What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Romans 14:7-9, 10c-12   Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
1 Corinthians 15:20-28 (long form)   So too in Christ shall all be brought to life.
1 Corinthians 15:20-23 (short form)   So too in Christ shall all be brought to life.
1 Corinthians 15:51-57   Death is swallowed up in victory.
2 Corinthians 4:14-5:1   What is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-10   We have a building from God, eternal in heaven.
Philippians 3:20-21   He will change our lowly bodies to confirm to his glory.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18   Thus we shall always be with the Lord.
2 Timothy 2:8-13   If we have died with him we shall also live with him.
1 John 3:1-2   We shall see him as he is.
1 John 3:14-16   We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers.

Here are a number of readings to choose from for the Gospel of the Funeral Mass:


Gospel Readings

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 15:33–16:6 “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 23.44-49 “Father, I put my life in your hands.”
Luke 24:13-35 “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer…”
Luke 24:13-16,28-35 “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.”

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:18
Grief & Healing

The days and months after the loss of a loved one can be very difficult. All at once there is a lot to do – contacting family and friends, organising the funeral, sorting out the financial affairs of the deceased and dealing with their effects, and so on. This can get in the way of the grieving process. 

We all grieve in different ways; some of us feel intense grief immediately, others later on, once these immediate activities have been completed. It’s important to allow ourselves to grieve; while it can be very painful, it’s a process that will allow us to move on to being able to remember our loved ones without anguish and rebuild our lives. It’s common to experience one or more of a range of strong emotions during the grieving process, not in any particular order: shock, denial, guilt, anger, sadness. These are natural reactions; tell God how you feel.  Gradually, these will give way to acceptance and healing.

Sometimes, with kind intentions, family and friends may offer advice, which may not be helpful. Give yourself time before making any big decisions about the future.  

You may find it helpful to talk to someone in confidence outside your immediate circle of family and friends, who will not offer guidance or advice, but lend a friendly listening ear, enabling you to make sense of your grief in your own way.  The Abbey has a Bereavement Support Group, with members who can provide this sort of support, as distinct from professional counselling. If you would like to speak to someone, please contact the Parish Office in the first instance on 0208 862 2160.

Sometimes, however, the grief can be so intense and prolonged that there seems no prospect of returning to a normal life. If that is the case, it would be better to seek professional counselling. Your GP should be able to advise; or you could contact the Ealing Abbey Counselling Service, which operates independently from the Parish, on 0208 998 3362.