Funeral FAQ

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions about Funerals

What is a Christian Funeral?
A funeral encompasses all of the various elements that surround the way in which we mark the death of a loved one. This includes the time surrounding the moment/process of dying, the time of saying good-bye, burial, and the grieving process that follows the immediate events.

What is the difference between a Mass of Christian Burial and a Memorial Mass or Service?
A Mass of Christian Burial takes place with the remains of the deceased person present. A Memorial Mass/Service is held in memory of the deceased person, but no remains are present.

How is the Mass of Christian Burial or Memorial Mass/Service scheduled?
The time of the liturgy is arranged by the family in contact with the parish and the funeral director. Dates & times must be confirmed by St. Patrick's before official announcements are made. 

No Mass of Christian Burial or Memorial Mass may be scheduled on Sundays, Feast Days, or during the Paschal Triduum (Holy Thursday evening through Easter Sunday).

What about visitation?
Times for visitation are usually one hour before the funeral Mass at the church. Some families also schedule a visitation at the funeral home on the evening before the funeral liturgy.

What does the Catholic Church say about cremation?
Cremation is accepted by the Roman Catholic Church. It is preferred that the body of the deceased be present at the funeral liturgy and cremation take place afterward, but it is also acceptable for the cremation to take place first and the cremains to be present at the funeral liturgy.

The Catholic Church requires that the cremains be buried, or interred, as a whole following the funeral, just as a body would be interred. At least one person from the funeral home must be present at the church if there is a cremation.

What about burial or entombment?
Burial is scheduled according to the requirements of the cemetery chosen by the family. (Fort Snelling National Cemetery is closed on Saturdays.)

The preferred time for a burial is the same day as the funeral, in which case a priest will accompany the family to the cemetery for the Rite of Committal.

Most families choose to have a meal or refreshments served immediately following the funeral liturgy and then proceed to the burial. 

What about a meal or refreshments?
St. Patrick's staff will help plan a funeral meal or refreshments for the family and loved ones of the deceased. Arrangements are made at the same time the funeral liturgy is planned.

What resources are available for advance funeral planning?
Materials for advance planning can be picked up at the church office or mailed to you.

For more information email Meg McManmon or call 952-767-0944.