Funerals at St Christopher’s - some common questions

Screen presentations

Screen presentations are not allowed for funerals at St Christopher’s.  The size and structure of the Cathedral are not suitable for these; and they tend to shift the focus of the occasion from what should properly be prayer and spiritual remembrance, rather than a recounting of the details of a person’s life. At a Catholic funeral, the principal celebration of which is the Requiem Mass, we reinforce our belief in eternal life, where we and the deceased will be reunited, and we pray for the repose of his/her soul.

Forms of service

Where Mass (which includes the Liturgy of the Eucharist and Holy Communion) is not celebrated, there is a simpler prayer service, consisting of a Liturgy of the Word, Prayers of Intercession, and the Final Commendation.

Music

Primacy is given to the use of the organ and vocal singing. Hymns selected for the occasion should be liturgically appropriate and must comply with copyright requirements. The use of secular music, recorded or sung, is not permitted for funerals at the Cathedral, which is set aside as a sacred space for the worship of God.

Service booklet

Any booklet printed for distribution at the Mass/service must include the appropriate copyright acknowledgements for Mass texts, Scripture texts, and hymn texts. Please refer to the following link or contact the Parish Office for information on this.

Opportunities for speaking

Catholic funeral Masses allow for one person to speak some words of farewell, as a brief intervention of a few minutes, the wording of which is to be approved by the celebrant beforehand. The structure of the Roman liturgy is always concise and does not admit of other interventions disproportionate to the liturgy itself.

The purpose of the Requiem Mass is to celebrate not so much the deceased’s life as rather Christ’s victory over death. Relatives or friends desiring to speak about the deceased’s character or life’s events can do so at a prayer service (e.g.) at home or at the graveside, after the rite of committal.

Church offering and celebrant’s Stole Fee

It is customary to make an offering to the Cathedral on the occasion of a funeral. The customary donation for the use of St Christopher’s is $350 (or $150 for parishioners). The Stole Fee for the celebrant is $200. These two payments (with the addition of a third if an organist is engaged) are organised through the funeral home.

 

 1 Exceptions in extraordinary cases can be made by the Cathedral Administrator - so long as the family provide the necessary audio-visual equipment themselves, the intended celebrant approves beforehand of the material to be displayed, and the sanctuary is in no way obstructed in the event.

 

 

 

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