Rites of the Church
All baptized Catholics are entitled to the full Rite of Christian Burial in the Catholic Community. You and your family will have the opportunity to experience the Rite of Christian Burial in three distinct parts:
The preferred format is:
Some time of visitation for family and friends in the funeral home, with Father taking ten minutes there for some prayers, usually scripture readings and prayers, though if preferred, the traditional rosary can be prayed. Then the next day, the funeral Mass or Liturgy of the Word will be celebrated at the church, in the presence of the deceased person’s remains in the casket. Then we proceed to the cemetery, and Father will pray the concluding prayers of “committal” at the gravesite. If you are reading this information during a time of loss, please accept our condolences and know that we will do all that we can to help you through this difficult time with a spirit of love and compassion as well as trust in the Lord’s goodness and mercy. Often the people at the funeral home will contact Father as well, to confirm timing etc.
Some prefer CREMATION. Though not preferred by the church, this is acceptable. In this case, everything proceeds as above, but instead of going to the cemetery together, the deceased’s body in the casket is brought to the crematorium. After some days or weeks, Father will be happy to make arrangements to say the prayers of committal of the cremated remains at a gravesite or mausoleum “niche”. Sometimes people will want to have cremation immediately after the death. Before making this decision, please consider that most people “need” the time and occasion to grieve and receive condolences and support from family and friends during this time. You might be eliminating this support if there is no occasion to come together in comforting faith. If cremation is taking place immediately, it is still possible to have the Funeral Mass or Liturgy in the Church. In this case you may wish to have the cremated remains, together with a large photo of the deceased, present for the Mass or Liturgy in the church. Burial of the cremated remains could happen right after the faith celebration in the church.
Alternate Procedure: Service at Funeral Home only
Some families, especially if they have not been connected to the church in recent years, may not wish to have anything at the Church. In this case Father can do a “funeral service” in the funeral home.
For more information on choosing music or readings for the Funeral Mass contact the parish office.
In Memoriam Donations in lieu of flowers
St. Stephen’s Parish has In Memoriam cards so a parishioner may designate charitable donations to our parish in lieu of flowers or other charity. Upon request, these cards will be made available at funeral homes during the time of visitation. A card of condolence is left with the family, the donation is mailed to the parish, and a full income tax receipt for the donation will be issued to the donor. If you wish to designate charitable donations to our parish, would you kindly let the funeral director know and/or contact the church office at 905-529-1213. This helps to keep the Heritage of the parish growing.