St Leonard's, East Kilbride
a parish in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Motherwell

ST LEONARD'S CHURCH, EAST KILBRIDE

FUNERAL MASSES

INTRODUCTION

Making the arrangements for the funeral of a loved one is difficult and even distressing for the family. Sensitive to this, we have prepared the following advice for bereaved families and for Undertakers whose professional help they have sought in making arrangements for a funeral.

GENERAL

Arrangements for a funeral should not be finalised without prior consultation with, and agreement of, the Parish Priest. The parish cannot be bound by arrangements which have been made without the courtesy of involving the Parish Priest.

The Parish Priest will not normally agree to offer the Funeral Mass for a deceased person whose home is not in this parish. Families in such circumstances should make contact with the Priest in the parish where the deceased was a member at the time of his/her death.

We should remember that our every thought, word and action in the Mass should be directed to the following:
  • Praying to our Father that he will raise up our brother/sister with his Son in glory;
     
  • Asking God to bring comfort and consolation to the bereaved family in their time of grief; and
     
  • Giving thanks to God for the life of a fellow human being whom we have known and loved, and in whose life we have been involved.
     
TIME OF MASS

Mass is celebrated in this parish at 10:00 a.m. each weekday. Funeral Masses will normally be celebrated at this time. The body of the deceased person will be received into the church at 9:50 a.m., shortly before the start of Mass.

READINGS

The readings at Mass must be taken from Sacred Scripture. Poems and other texts, even if they were favourites of the deceased, are not suitable for use in the Funeral Mass. They should instead be reserved for other settings, for example the reception when the mourners return from the crematorium or cemetery.

Details of readings from the Old and New Testaments are available from the Parish Office. They are also printed below. These readings are suitable for particular occasions and circumstances. The Parish Priest will select the Gospel reading; this will enable him to relate his homily to the chosen passage from Scripture.

HYMNS

It is right that families should be involved, if they wish, in the selection of hymns for the Funeral Mass of a loved one. We stress, however, that the Funeral Mass is a sacred and solemn occasion and that this should be reflected in the choice of music. The Parish Priest reserves the right not to agree to the inclusion in the service of a song or piece of instrumental music which, though it had meaning for the deceased, is not appropriate in the Mass.
A copy of a list of hymns suitable for a Funeral Mass may be obtained from the Parish Office. You can also view the list below.

INVOLVEMENT OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS IN THE LITURGY

Such involvement is appropriate and welcome. We encourage the involvement of the family in the liturgy, and we will provide full support for any family which feels unable to cope with what can be a very emotional experience. Families may wish to consider taking part in the following:
  • The readings from Scripture. As noted above, advice on suitable readings is available from the Parish Office.
     
  • The singing of a Psalm. If the family wishes to have a Cantor lead the singing of a Psalm, they should inform the Parish Priest, especially of the Psalm that is to be sung.
     
  • The Prayers of Intercession or Bidding Prayers. Copies of prayers suitable for reading at funerals are available from the Parish Office. If a family wishes to adapt or adjust a prayer, they should discuss this with the Parish Priest or with a member of the Parish Pastoral Care Committee. This will ensure that the adapted prayer is suitable for Mass.
     
  • The bringing forward of the gifts at the Offertory.
     
It will be helpful if the Parish Priest is provided with the names of those involved so that he can call them forward personally at the appropriate time in the Mass.

SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR FUNERAL MASSES

On the following pages you will find readings thought to be appropriate in a Funeral Mass. The readings are set out in three categories:

  • First Reading - from the Old Testament (choose one passage from below)
     
  • Psalm - choose one Psalm from below.
     
  • Second Reading - from the New Testament (choose one passage from below)
     
You may choose to have a reading from each of these categories and in this order.

Alternatively, you can choose to have just one reading from the Old or New Testament. This should be followed by the Psalm you have chosen.

You may, if you wish, have a Psalm sung, not read. If so, Hymns numbered 57, 122, 533, 631 and 783 on the attached list of hymns may be appropriate.

When you have selected your readings, it may be helpful to the Readers if they also look them over before the Funeral Mass in the lectionary from which they will read at the Mass.

The Priest will select the Gospel reading.

If you need further advice, please ask the Parish Priest or his representative.

SELECTION OF FIRST READINGS - FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT

A reading from the book of Job 19: 1, 23 - 27

Job said:

'Ah, would that these words of mine were written down, inscribed on some monument with iron chisel and engraving tool, cut into the rock for ever.
This I know, that my Avenger lives, and he, the Last, will take his stand on earth. After my awaking, he will set me close to him, and from my flesh I shall look on God. He whom I shall see will take my part: these eyes will gaze on him and find him not aloof.'

The word of the Lord.


A reading from the prophet Daniel 12: 1 - 3

I, Daniel, was doing penance when I received this message from the Lord:
'At that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who mounts guard over your people. There is going to be a time of great distress, unparalleled since nations first came into existence. When that time comes, your own people will be spared, all those whose names are found written in the Book. Of those who lie sleeping in the dust of the earth, many will awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting disgrace. The learned will shine as brightly as the vault of heaven, and those who have instructed many in virtue, as bright as stars for all eternity.

The word of the Lord


A reading from the book of Wisdom 3: 1 - 9

The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God,
no torment shall ever touch them.
In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die,
their going looked like a disaster, their leaving us, like annihilation,
but they are in peace.
If they experienced punishment as men see it,
their hope was rich with immortality;
slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be.
God has put them to the test and proved them worthy to be with him;
He has tested them like gold in a furnace and accepted them as a holocaust.
When the time comes for his visitation, they will shine out;
As sparks run through the stubble, so will they.
They shall judge nations, rule over peoples,
and the Lord will be their king for ever.
They who trust in him will understand the truth,
those who are faithful will live with him in love;
for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.

The word of the Lord.


A reading from the second book of Maccabees 12: 43 - 45

Judas, the leader of the Jews, took a collection from the Jews individually, amounting to nearly two thousand drachmae, and sent it to Jerusalem to have a sacrifice for sin offered, an altogether fine and noble action, in which he took full account of the resurrection. For if he had not expected the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. Whereas, if he had in view the splendid recompense reserved for those who make a pious end, the thought was holy and devout. This was why he had this atonement sacrifice offered for the dead, so that they might be released from their sin.

The word of the Lord


A reading from the book of Lamentations 3: 17 - 26

My soul is shut out from peace; I have forgotten happiness.
And now I say, 'My strength is gone, that hope which came from the Lord'.
Brooding on my anguish and affliction is gall and wormwood.
My spirit ponders it continually and sinks within me.
This is what I shall tell my heart, and so recover hope:
the favours of the Lord are not all past, his kindnesses are not exhausted;
every morning they are renewed; great is his faithfulness.
'My portion is the Lord' says my soul, 'and so I will hope in him.'
The Lord is good to those who trust him, to the soul that searches for him.
It is good to wait in silence for the Lord to save.

The word of the Lord


A reading from the book of Wisdom 4: 7 - 15

The virtuous man, though he die before his time, will find rest.
Length of days is not what makes age honourable,
nor number of years the true measure of life;
understanding, this is man's grey hairs,
untarnished life, this is ripe old age.
He has sought to please God, as God has loved him;
As he was living among sinners, he has been taken up.
He has been carried off so that evil may not warp his understanding
or treachery seduce his soul;
for the fascination of evil throws good things into the shade,
and the whirlwind of desire corrupts a simple heart.
Coming to perfection in so short a while, he achieved long life.
His soul being pleasing to the Lord, he has taken him quickly from the wickedness around him.
Yet people look on, uncomprehending; it does not enter their heads that grace and mercy await the chosen of the Lord, and protection his holy ones.

The word of the Lord


A reading from the prophet Isaiah 25: 6 - 9

On this mountain,
the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples
a banquet of rich food.
On this mountain, he will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples,
and the shroud enwrapping all nations,
he will destroy death for ever.
The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek;
he will take away his people's shame everywhere on earth,
for the Lord has said so.
That day, it will be said: See, this is our God
in whom we hoped for salvation; the Lord is the one in whom we hoped.
We exult and we rejoice that he has saved us.

The word of the Lord.

SELECTION OF RESPONSORIAL PSALMS

Psalm 26
Response: The Lord is my light and my help.

The Lord is my light and my help;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
before whom shall I shrink? R/

There is one thing I ask of the Lord,
for this I long, to live in the house of the Lord,
all the days of my life,
to savour the sweetness of the Lord,
to behold his temple. R/

O Lord, hear my voice when I call;
have mercy and answer.
It is your face, O Lord, that I seek;
hide not your face. R/

I am sure I shall see the Lord's goodness
in the land of the living.
Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.
Hope in the Lord R/


Psalm 114
Response: I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

How gracious is the Lord, and just;
our God has compassion.
The Lord protects the simple hearts;
I was helpless, so he saved me. R/

I trusted, even when I said:
'I am sorely afflicted,'
and when I said in my alarm:
'No man can be trusted.' R/


Psalm 22
Response: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want
or
Response: If I should walk in the valley of darkness, no evil would I fear, for you are there with me

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit. R/

He guides me along the right path, he is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness, no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff;
with these you give me comfort. R/


Psalm 41
Response: My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life.

Like the deer that yearns for running streams,
so my soul is yearning for you, my God. R/

My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life.
When can I enter and see the face of God? R/

These things will I remember as I pour out my soul:
how I would lead the rejoicing crowd into the house of God,
amid cries of gladness and thanksgiving,
the throng wild with joy. R/


Psalm 102
Response: The Lord is compassion and love.

The Lord is compassion and love,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
He does not treat us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our faults. R/

As a father has compassion for his sons,
the Lord has pity on those who fear him.
For he knows of what we are made,
he remembers that we are dust. R/

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flowers like the flower of the field;
the wind blows and he is gone
and his place never sees him again. R/

But the love of the Lord is everlasting
upon those who hold him in fear;
his justice reaches out to children's children
when they keep his covenant in truth. R/

SELECTION OF SECOND READINGS - FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans 5: 5 - 11

Hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us. We were still helpless when at his appointed moment Christ died for sinful men. It is not easy to die, even for a good man - though of course for someone really worthy, a man might be prepared to die - but what proves God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Having died to make us righteous, is it likely that he would now fail to save us from God's anger? When we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, we were still enemies: now that we have been reconciled, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son? Not merely because we have been reconciled but because we have been filled with joyful trust in God, through our Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation.

The word of the Lord


A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Philippians 3: 20 - 21

For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body. He will do that by the same power with which he can subdue the whole universe.

The word of the Lord


A reading from the second letter of St Paul to the Corinthians 5: 1, 6 - 10

We know that when the tent we live in on earth is folded up, there is a house built by God for us, an everlasting home not made by human hands, in the heavens. We are always full of confidence, then, when we remember that to live in the body means to be exiled from the Lord, going as we do by faith and not by sight - we are full of confidence, I say, and want to be exiled from the body and make our home with the Lord. Whether we are living in the body or exiled from it, we are intent on pleasing him. For all the truth about us will be brought out in the law court of Christ, and each of us will get what he deserves for the things he did in the body, good or bad.

The word of the Lord


A reading from the first letter of St John 3: 14 - 16

We have passed out of death and into life, and of this we can be sure because we love our brothers. If you refuse to love, you must remain dead; to hate your brother is to be a murderer, and murderers, as you know, do not have eternal life in them. This has taught us love - that he gave up his life for us: and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers.

The word of the Lord


A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans 6: 3 - 9

When we were baptised in Christ Jesus, we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father's glory, we too might live a new life.
If in union with Christ we have imitated his death, we shall also imitate him in his resurrection. We must realise that our former selves have been crucified with him to destroy this sinful body and to free us from the slavery of sin. When a man dies, of course, he has finished with sin.
But we believe that having died with Christ we shall return to life with him; Christ, as we know, having been raised from the dead will never die again. Death has no power over him any more.

The word of the Lord


A reading from the first letter of St John 3: 1 - 2

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God's children; and that is what we are. Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us. My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed, we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is.

The word of the Lord


A reading from the second letter of St Paul to Timothy 2: 8 - 13

Remember the Good News that I carry, 'Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David'; it is on account of this that I have my own hardships to bear, even to being chained like a criminal - but they cannot chain up God's news. So I bear it all for the sake of those who are chosen so that in the end they may have the salvation that is in Christ Jesus and the eternal glory that come with it. Here is a saying that you can rely on:
If we have died with him, then we shall live with him.
If we hold firm, then we shall reign with him.
If we disown him, then he will disown us. We may be unfaithful, but he is always faithful, for he cannot disown his own self.

The word of the Lord


A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans 14: 7 - 12

The life and death of each one of us has its influence on others: if we live, we live for the Lord: and if we die, we die for the Lord, so that alive or dead we belong to the Lord. This explains why Christ both died and came to life: it was so that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. We shall all have to stand before the judgement seat of God; as scripture says: By my life - it is the Lord who speaks - every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall praise God. It is to God, therefore, that each of us must give account of himself

The word of the Lord


A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Thessalonians 4: 13 - 18

We want you to be quite certain, brothers, about those who have died, to make sure that you do not grieve about them, like the other people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus: God will bring them with him. We can tell you this from the Lord's own teaching, that any of us who are left alive until the Lord's coming will not have any advantage over those who have died. At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall stay with the Lord for ever. With thoughts such as these you should comfort one another.

The word of the Lord


A reading from the second letter of Paul to Timothy 2: 6 - 8, 17 - 18

As for me my life has already been poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to be gone. I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day; and not only to me but to all who have longed for his Appearing. But the Lord stood by me and gave me power, so that through me the whole message might be proclaimed for the pagans to hear. And so I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from all evil attempts on me, and bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever.

The word of the Lord


A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans 8: 31 - 35, 37 - 39

With God on our side, who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us - he rose from the dead, and there at God's right hand he stands and pleads for us.
Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.
For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus Our Lord

The word of the Lord


A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans 5: 17 - 21

If it is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one man's fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause everyone to reign in life who receives the free gift that he does not deserve, of being made righteous. Again, as one man's fall brought condemnation on everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them justified. As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous. When law came, it was to multiply the opportunities of falling, but however great the number of sins committed, grace was even greater; and so, just as sin reigned wherever there was death, so grace will reign to bring eternal life thanks to the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

The word of the Lord


A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians 15: 20 - 28

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ, but all of them in their proper order; Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet, and the last of his enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet. Though, when it is said that everything is subjected, this clearly cannot include the One who subjected everything to him. And when everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subject in his turn to the One who subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all.

The word of the Lord

HYMNS FOR FUNERAL MASSES

We have printed below a list of hymns which our parish hymn book suggests are suitable for funerals. The hymns are listed in alphabetical order of their first lines. Against each first line we have also shown the number of each of these hymns in our hymn book.

INDEX OF FIRST LINES

Abide with me (4)
Be still and know I am with you (57)
Be still, my soul (59)
Be thou my vision (61)
Do not be afraid (122)
Going home, going home
Holy God, we praise thy name (213)
I am the bread of life (226)
Jesus, remember me (717)
Just a closer walk (289)
Lay your hands gently upon us (295)
Lead, kindly light (297)
Like a shepherd (727)
Lord of all hopefulness (329)
O Jesus Christ, remember (397)
O Lord, my God (404)
On a hill far away (413)
Praise my soul, the king of heaven (449)
Psalm 22 (631)
Psalm 129 (655)
Soul of My Saviour (498)
Sweet Saviour, bless us ere we go (508)
The Lord's my shepherd (533)
The love I have for you, my Lord (536)
Walk with me, O my Lord (582)
You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord (783)


There may be other hymns, not listed here, which were loved by the deceased person and may be appropriate at her/his funeral. For example, some families choose to include a hymn to Our Lady because of a personal or family devotion to her. There are other traditional hymns, sometimes sung in funeral Masses but not listed in our parish hymn book, which some families have wished to include because they have had a special meaning for the family and, especially, for their loved one who has died. These include:

Guardian Angel
I rise from dreams of time