Questions Regarding Funerals, Cremations and Memorial Masses
Can a Catholic be Cremated?
Yes, cremation is now permitted by the Catholic Church. The cremated remains should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they come. They must be placed in a worthy container and buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium. Remains should never be scattered or kept in the home.
Can a Funeral Mass be celebrated after cremation?
The Catholic Church clearly prefers and urges that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral rites. Cremation may take place after the Funeral Liturgy. When extraordinary circumstances make the immediate cremation of a body necessary, the cremated remains can be brought to church in a timely manner for the Funeral Mass.
What is meant by "a timely manner" to have a Funeral Mass with cremated remains?
At St. Jane Frances de Chantal, within one week of the person's death. If a longer period of time has passed, the remains should have been properly interred.
What is the difference between a Funeral Mass and a Memorial Mass?
The remains of the deceased person are always present at a Funeral Mass, whether the body is cremated or not. Special prayers, Scripture readings, music and rites (such as blessing with holy water and incensing) are part of a Funeral Mass, but not part of a Memorial Mass. At a Memorial Mass, the deceased would be prayed for by name during the Prayers of the Faithful and Mass would be offered for the intention of the happy repose of their soul. The Readings of the day would be used, and the music would reflect the theme of the Readings.
What time are Funeral Masses/Memorial Masses scheduled for at St. Jane Frances de Chantal?
Times for Funeral Masses are 10:00 am, and 11:30 am Monday through Saturday. If Fr. Jerry is not available the staff of St. Jane Frances de Chantal would be happy to assist you with arranging for a priest. The stipend for the visiting priest would be the responsibility of the family.
Are pictures of the deceased permitted in church for a Funeral Mass or a Memorial Mass?
The purpose of a Funeral or Memorial Mass is to pray for the deceased in the hope that the person who has died will be received into God's loving hands. Pictures of the deceased (for a Funeral Mass) could be placed in the area where the body is in state or, in the case of a Memorial Mass, in the vestibule/gathering space of the church. Once Mass begins the emphasis is on the soul of the deceased. Pictures of the person who has died, therefore, would not be appropriate in the worship space when Mass is being celebrated.
If someone dies, and a Funeral Mass is celebrated and the person is then cremated, is it permissible to have a second Funeral Mass for the deceased with the remains present?
In such a situation, rather than a second Funeral Mass, a Memorial Mass would be celebrated for the person who has died.
What is the policy regarding music for a Funeral or Memorial Mass?
Music is always provided for a Funeral Mass. This normally includes an organist and a cantor. If music is desired for a Memorial Mass arrangements would need to be made through the parish Music Minister and the expense/stipend would be the responsibility of the family. Due to the emotional nature of a funeral, we strongly advise that parish music ministers be utilized, rather than family members of the deceased. All songs must be liturgical in nature and be taken from the printed list provided by the parish, or have the approval of the Minister of Music.
Can a family member or friend speak about the deceased at a Funeral Mass or a Memorial Mass?
As with any celebration of Mass, the Homily is reserved to an ordained minister. No eulogies are permitted by a family member or friend at Funeral Masses or Memorial Masses. Personal remembrances of the deceased are best shared during the Vigil Wake Service at the funeral home, or at the cemetery after committal prayers or at some other gathering of family and friends.
Does St. Jane Frances de Chantal provide a luncheon after a Funeral Mass or a Memorial Mass?
When possible, a catered luncheon in our Parish Hall may be available after a Funeral Mass, providing the deceased or an immediate family member is a registered member of St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish. Luncheons following Memorial Masses will not be provided. The costs associated with the luncheon would be the responsibility of the family.
Revised: October 26, 2010
  1. Vatican Council II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concillium, art. 5
  1. The "Order of Christian Funerals" has been freely quoted on pages 3 and 7.
  1. "Blessed Are They Who Mourn" a pastoral letter to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Detroit on our Catholic Funeral rites by Adam Cardinal Maida, Archbishop of Detroit, November 2, 2001.
(Rev. 08/12/2010)

Parish Mission Statement: Nourished by God's Word and the Eucharist, St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish is a welcoming, diverse Catholic community dedicated to living and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
St. Jane Frances de Chantal, 38750 Ryan Road, Sterling Heights, MI 48310