In order to be buried from St. Mary’s, one should be a registered parishioner, although exceptions will be made for a parent, child, or sibling. We encourage our parishioners to receive a Christian burial, as we seek to emulate our Lord and Savior who prayed for those who crucified him and who promised heaven to the repentant thief.
Christian burial ordinarily takes place in the context of the Eucharist. However, a family may choose the Rite of Christian Burial outside of Mass if the deceased person did not regularly choose to receive the sacraments. Please contact the parish office (727) 896-2191 to make arrangements.
The Catholic funeral rites highlight several important beliefs and values that the Church affirms in its funeral practices. They include:
• the sacredness of all human life;
• the dignity of the person;
• the resurrection of Jesus Christ;
• death is an occasion to comfort and embrace our mortality;
• the respect that is to be shown for the bodies of the dead;
• the importance of remembering the dead and offering prayers for them;
• and the need for the Church to provide a ministry of consolation for those who mourn.
Just as Jesus spent three days in the tomb between His death and Resurrection, the Catholic Funeral Rite is divided into three main parts, each with its own purpose.
The Vigil Service
The Funeral Liturgy
The Rite of Committal
“At the vigil, the Christian Community keeps watch with the family in prayer to the God of mercy and finds strength in Christ’s presence.”
The Vigil service usually takes place during the period of visitation at the funeral home, church, or at the home of a family member or friend. During the Vigil, we ask God to console us in our grief and give us strength to support one another.
The Vigil can take several forms, which include readings from Sacred Scripture accompanied by reflection and prayers. The parish Funeral and Bereavement Ministry can assist in planning such a service, in cooperation with the funeral home.
It is most appropriate at this service, when family and friends are gathered together, to recall the life of the deceased. For this reason, eulogies, poems, stories and other remembrances are encouraged to be done at this time rather than at the Funeral Mass, where all of the attention is turned to Christ
“The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting Word of God and Sacrament of the Eucharist.”
The funeral Mass is the central liturgical celebration of the Christian community for the deceased. At the funeral Mass, the Church gathers with the family and friends of the disceased to praise God for Christ’s victory over sin and death, to commend the deceased to God’s tender mercy and compassion, and to see strength in the proclamation of the Paschal Mystery—that is, Jesus’s death and Resurrection. The funeral liturgy, therefore, is an act of worship, and not merely an expression of grief. The deceased is mentioned in the homily, but all attention is to be given to Christ our Savior and victor over death.
The parish Funeral and Bereavement Ministry assists families in the planning of the funeral Mass, in cooperation with the funeral home, if appropriate.
"The Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end, nor does is break the bonds forged in life."
The Rite of Committal is the final act of the community of faith in caring for the body of the deceased member. It should normally be celebrated beside the open grace or place of interment.
In committing the body to its resting place, the community expresses the hope that, with all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, the deceased awaits the glory of the resurrection.