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Funeral Guidelines

Funeral Scheduling
To schedule a funeral, please call Gayle Prola at the parish office at 612-781-6529.  She will need to know the name of the deceased, the name and telephone number of the family contact, and the name of the funeral home.  She will obtain any other necessary information to help facilitate funeral planning which will involve the availability of the priest, the church, and other parish facilities.  Once the priest celebrant verifies the day and time of the funeral, only then may it be placed on the parish calendar and published in the newspaper. 

Arrangements for the Liturgies
The priest celebrant will contact the designated family member to arrange a meeting with the family to assist in the grieving process, to discuss the details of the funeral, the wake, and the burial, and to gain further information about the deceased. 

Several opportunities are offered for family involvement in the funeral Mass.  These include placement of the funeral pall at the beginning of the Liturgy, bearing the gifts of bread and wine at the offertory procession, and selecting the Readings from Scripture to be used at the Mass.

The reader of the Old and New Testament readings at the funeral Mass is typically a professional reader on the staff of St. Charles.  This is to ensure a clear, articulate, and dignified proclamation of the Word of God.  For exceptional reasons, a Catholic family member or friend may proclaim the readings from Scripture by permission of the priest celebrant, if that person is a skilled and experienced reader (for example, at another Catholic parish).

The Vigil Liturgy (“Wake”) and/or the funeral luncheon are the ideal opportunities for family members and friends to share reflections about the deceased.  Within reason, there are no limitations of time or content in these settings.  The priest celebrant or deacon will make every effort to reflect knowledge of the deceased in the homily after the Gospel, and weave that knowledge into the Christian message based on the Scriptures.  Accordingly, eulogies are not permitted at the funeral Mass itself.

Gayle will notify the music director and soloist, Diane Vnak, and the organist of the pending funeral.

Special musical requests may only be made by contacting Diane Vnak directly at dvnak@stchb.org or 612-781-6529.  Music is an integral part of the Sacred Liturgy.  Diane is aware of Church guidelines governing liturgical music and will advise the family as to whether specific requests are permissible during the Mass. 

Music not permitted during Mass may be played in Doran Hall during the funeral luncheon, if desired.

We request a member of the funeral director’s staff to be present in the Church during the Mass to give appropriate directions to family and friends who are participating, e. g. for the offertory procession.

Funeral Luncheons
Should the family choose to provide a luncheon following the Mass or burial, Doran Hall may be used when available. 
 
Arrangements for the funeral luncheon are to be made directly by the family with Gayle Prola by calling 612-787-1150 or at gprola@stchb.org.  She will recommend established caterers familiar with St. Charles facilities.  Gayle will need to know the approximate number expected and the name of the caterer providing the food.

The family will make arrangements for ordering and payment of the food directly with the caterer.  Volunteers will be provided to serve the luncheon, and will be contacted by the Church staff.  

Flowers
Please do not have flowers delivered from the florist before the morning of the funeral.  St. Charles Church does not have anyone on staff to accept and care for flowers delivered from the florist.

Flowers may be left in front of the altar after the funeral Mass, but this is optional.  No flowers may be left during Advent and Lent.  We ask that funeral directors not move flowers belonging to the Church already in the sanctuary.

All flower stands or displays or bulletins boards moved in the Atrium to facilitate visitation prior to Mass need to be returned to their original positions.

Fees
The funeral stipend is $400.00, which includes the services of a soloist and organist.  Additional musicians would need to be paid directly by the family.

An offering may be made to the Parish in appreciation for the services provided for the funeral luncheon.  This is, however, not required and is purely discretionary.


Regarding Cremation
Family members and those making funeral arrangements are to be reminded that the clear desire of the Catholic Church, both in Canon Law and the Order of Christian Funerals (the Church’s funeral ritual book), is that the body be present for the funeral Mass and then be properly interred.  This reflects the dignity of the human body according the teachings of the faith.  Cremation is permitted, but it is not preferred.

 
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