The crisis of death forces sudden, complicated, and far-reaching decisions on those responsible for making arrangements. Without our planning those closest to us will be faced with many options at a time when they may be least capable of making appropriate decisions. Differences of opinion within the family may arise which, although understandable, may add an extra burden to the grief of those who we love most. In addition, members of families are not always equipped to make decisions about a Christian funeral and may not understand its significance.
For these reasons, planning for our own death is an act of love. This planning includes having a legal Will in place, and making arrangements for a Christian funeral that speaks of the hope that has nurtured you during your life time.
We spend enormous time planning for a birth. As followers of Jesus we are also called to face the reality that we will each die. Planning responsibly for our own death is a sign of the confidence that we have in the hope of the good news of Jesus, and the care that we have for our families and those closest to us. It is a Christian duty to:
- Provide instructions that seek the ministry of a priest for us near to the time of our death;
- Ensure that we have in place a legal Will so that our estate can be handed on with the least distress to those closest to us;
- Have in place arrangements for a Christian funeral that will assist people in their grieving, communicate our faith, and celebrate the hope of eternal life.
In most situations the next of kin bears the legal responsibility for decisions at the time of death. If you respond to the invitation to complete this customary you need to speak with your next of kin about your wishes, and let them know that the customary is held by the Parish Priest.
We recommend that this funeral customary is completed and signed, with the additional signature of a witness and then held in a sealed envelope by the Priest, not to be opened until the time of death.
An envelope containing a completed funeral customary should have your name written clearly on the outside. This envelope will be handed, unopened, from one Parish Priest to the next and will be held securely. The envelope containing your funeral customary can be returned to you at any time if you decide to make changes.
Planning for our own deaths can be confronting, and can also raise to the surface our grief about the death of loved ones.
Our Parish Priest is available to meet with you to discuss this confidentially and to provide you with assistance. You may also like to speak to our Director of Music if you would like to explore the various options for music.
You can download the Funeral Customary here, or collect a copy from the back of the church.