Planning a Funeral & Bereavement

Planning Your Funeral

Thinking about you own death can be a daunting and humbling task. However, planning key parts of your funeral in advance can offer an important opportunity to talk things through with your loved ones, sharing your thoughts, feelings and ideas together.

Catholic funerals are modelled on the Easter journey of Jesus, from His death to His resurrection. It is because of this journey that Catholic funerals are celebrated in three stages: The Prayer Vigil, Funeral Liturgy and The Committal. Our Guide to Catholic Funerals resource below explains what happens at each of these stages.

Our Preparing Your Funeral Booklet aims to alleviate some of the uncertainties or concerns that you, or your loved ones, might have. By choosing readings that are special to you, particular hymns or the liturgy, you can help those closest to you to make important decisions at a difficult time, with certainty - particularly if they are not familiar with the Catholic faith.

Please speak to your parish priest or deacon if you need additional help or support - they will be very happy to talk things through with you.

‘It is my Father’s will that whoever sees the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and that I
shall raise them up on the last day.’

John 6:40

The Ministry of Consolation – Bereavement Support

Are you struggling with bereavement or loss? Would it help to have someone to talk to? There are more than 120 people across our Diocese trained to extend the consoling hand of Christ and accompany people experiencing grief.

Each Deanery in our Diocese has a team of Catholic Bereavement Supporters able to listen to, and support, people experiencing the loss of a loved one, with a number of groups across Sussex and Surrey able to welcome and support people during their painful journey of loss. If you would like to find out more about bereavement support, please contact our Adviser or speak to your parish priest, who will be able to put you in touch with a member of the Bereavement Supporters team.

If you have been given some worrying news about yourself or a loved one, we can help to support you through the uncertainty or confusion that this can bring. You might also find the Art of Dying Well website as it explores questions you may have from a faith perspective.

Please remember you are not on your own, our team of Bereavement Supporters are here to listen, support, and journey with you. Please contact our Marriage and Family Life Project Officer for more details.

‘I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord, whoever believes in me will never die.’

John 11:25

Could you support someone experiencing grief?

Are you a good listener? Do you feel called to journey with and support people experiencing bereavement and loss? Training to become a Bereavement Supporter takes place annually between January and March, to find out more about becoming involved with the Ministry of Consolation please contact our Marriage and Family Life Project Officer.