There are no words that can fully capture the love and the pain family and friends must endure when a loved one dies. Christian faith is rooted in our faith of Christ’s victory over the finality of death. A funeral service attempts, through prayer and public ritual, to express gratitude for the gift of life and faith that, through Christ, those who have died will rise from death to see Him face to face.
Working with a funeral home and mortuary
Although there are often costs involved to help families to afford their loved ones a dignified funeral, the Church never wishes to burden her family members during their necessary time of grief and mourning. To that end, the parish tries to maintain good relationships with local funeral homes and cemeteries.
(Please remember, if you are financially unable to see to the final burial of a loved one, know that you can contact the Public Administrator of the County of San Diego for assistance.)
The following steps can be taken to minimize any burdens or confusion during this time of grief and emotional upset.
1. Always try to visit a funeral director when you are mentally alert and able to make important financial decisions objectively. It is helpful to have, not only other family members with you, but also a friend or neighbor who can help you clarify decisions you need to make.
2. A funeral service date should not be made without first inquiring about the availability of a church and/or the availability of local clergy.
3. According to the Federal Trade Commission: You have the right to choose only the funeral goods and services you want. The funeral home may not refuse, or charge a fee, to handle a casket you bought elsewhere. The funeral home must provide you with a general price list.
If state or local law requires you to buy any particular item, the funeral home must disclose it on the price list, with a reference to the specific law.
4. A funeral service is typically offered at the church or at the funeral home chapel. If a burial is anticipated outside of Oceanside, we can help, if necessary, to find a Catholic clergyman to assist at the graveside service.
5. If cremation services are to be expected, a funeral service at the church can be scheduled only when a proper interment of the urn is secured. This is in line with our Catholic and Christian faith in Christ’s own example of humbly submitting himself to the grave in anticipation of his own resurrection and of all who have died. If there will be a delay in transporting an urn from the church to its final resting place, the church can provide a secure place of temporary storage.
6. A church funeral is based on the pattern of a Sunday Mass. Depending on the circumstances of the family’s religious practice, a church funeral may or might not include Holy Communion. When Holy Communion is not anticipated, a funeral service can alternatively be offered by the parish clergy at the funeral home chapel if requested. Please be sure to ask the mortuary up front if you will be charged for a casket’s transportation to and from the church.
7. Our long experience has provided us with a ready tried and tested funeral format that respects the dignity of the deceased in the best tradition of Catholic ritual prayer. Because they have been trained and commissioned to do so, we can only use our own ministers for public reading and singing during the service.
8. Personal eulogies, if sincerely needed, are best given at the funeral home or at a private reception afterwards. The parish hall is often available for use by the family after a funeral service.
9. When circumstances anticipate only a local graveside service, the parish clergy are available to provide the necessary prayers of blessing and Christian burial.
10. Every November when we observe All Souls Day at the church, we invite all families who have recently lost a loved one to a special Mass when their names are honored and prayers are made for the repose of their souls.