Funeral Rites of the Roman Catholic Church

In the Funeral Rites of the Catholic Church, we celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We give thanks to God for the gift of your loved one’s life and their life in Jesus Christ, we pray for their soul that they might have peace and enter heaven, and we grieve with you their loss.

If you need to arrange for a funeral, please call the parish office at (360) 754-4667. It is always difficult to lose a loved one, but especially so during the current COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot grieve as we normally do and the Church cannot offer the fulness of her rites of mourning. At Saint Michael Parish we are doing the following to help you and your family give thanks to God for the life of your loved one and grieve their loss.
Due to government restrictions, we cannot have any type of receptions on our campus. These times of being together are extremely important to us as Catholics because they give us the opportunity to share in Christian communion with each other and to support each other in the faith of Jesus Christ and a commonly shared life. We encourage you to pray the Rosary as a family at home or at the funeral home before the Funeral Mass. If you need help praying the Rosary, you can find it here: https://dynamiccatholic.com/rosary/how-to-pray-the-rosary
We encourage you to find a way to share stories about your loved one together, even though we cannot be physically together. This might include asking everyone to write down memories in a shared location and/or planning on a communal celebration at a later time, on a date special to your loved one.

Funeral Mass

We are currently scheduling Funeral Masses on Fridays at noon. Other times may be available based on circumstances, but we are unfortunately never able to offer Funeral Masses on Saturdays. When you contact the parish, one of our staff will help you find a date that is available. After that initial contact, one of our parishioners will be assigned to be your funeral coordinator. This person is there to help you with some of the details around the Funeral Mass.  They are especially important during this time of ever-changing restrictions from the government.
A priest will also reach out to you.  He will try and find a time for you and some of your family to come to the parish so that we might talk about the life of your loved one. If you are Catholic or other Christian, this is an opportunity to discuss some of the readings that you might find helpful for your loved one’s Funeral Mass and if anyone in the family might like to participate in one of the ministries of the Mass. You can find those readings here:
If this is overwhelming, that’s okay. It is okay to ask Father to choose the readings for you. The most important part of the Funeral Mass is that we are together to give thanks to God for the life of your loved one and to grieve their loss.
To maintain the sacredness of the events for your loved one, we ask that any eulogy that will be given be given by a single person before Mass begins. The priest will discuss with you more about what this looks like to honor your loved one.

Rites of Christian Burial

The Church also has prayers and rites for your loved one before we place them at their final place of rest. Even if a Funeral Mass is not said, the Church desires that all who are Catholics have a Christian burial. Ordinarily, the Rites of Christian Burial occur immediately following the Funeral Mass. This provides good closure for all of your family and friends.
If you have a plot at our Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Tumwater, we will work with you to ensure that all is prepared on the day of burial. We ask that you contact the Steward for Cemeteries at (360) 292-7138 so he can assist you and us.
If your loved one is not being buried at Calvary Cemetery and you are working with another funeral home, let us know. They will assist us in making sure that we are able to bury your loved one in the way that they would desire: as a Catholic.
If the Funeral Mass for your loved one will not occur, burials take place during normal business hours during the week and a deacon will most likely assist you with those prayers.

Conclusion

It is our hope at Saint Michael Parish that families will contact the parish office immediately upon the death of a loved one. Usually families will be put in touch with one of the priests or a staff person. That person can help put you in touch with a funeral home that is familiar with our Catholic faith traditions and customs. Our goal is to assist you as a part of the greater Catholic family to bury your loved one in a Catholic manner, to assist you in giving thanks to God for their life and especially their hope for eternal life in Christ, and to grieve with you at the time of their loss.
We as a parish family are here to assist you. Please do not hesitate to call upon us. We support you in prayer and assure you that as a community gathered around the Table of the Lord, we pray, “Lord, remember those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith.” Those you have loved will not be forgotten.