Funeral Masses and Other Funerals

Who can have a Catholic Funeral?

Anyone, except a person who at the end of their earthly life would have objected to the idea. St Philip Evans will gladly host funeral rites not only for Catholics, but for family members of Catholics who were not themselves Catholic, as long as this is not in conflict with the likely wishes of the deceased.

What kind of funeral does the Catholic Church offer?

There are many options: A funeral Mass; a service in church without Mass; prayers in the family home or undertakers’ chapel immediately followed by burial; a single service only in the crematorium; and any other reasonable combination of these options. We can also receive the body of your loved one to rest in church overnight before the ceremony, and preside at a short ceremony for burying ashes at a later date. A special Mass can be offered on a significant date, such as a month or a year after the date of death.

How do I make the arrangements?

Most mourners engage a Funeral Director to assist. Tell the Funeral Director that you want a funeral arranged through St Philip Evans. The parish bereavement team consists of Pastor Gareth Leyshon, Deacon Steve Melhiush, Mrs Bernadette Nolan and Mrs Barbara Thomas. All of them are authorised to conduct all kinds of Catholic funerals (receiving a body into church, simple funeral service in church, funeral service in the crematorium, burial of ashes), except that only Pastor Gareth can lead a funeral Mass.

Is there anything the Catholic Church won’t allow?

Catholic funerals are acts of worship addressed to God, so the music used is traditional or modern Christian worship music and the readings are taken from the Bible. Your loved one’s favourite songs or poetry are most appropriately used at the social reception which follows, not within the Church service.

Also, because ashes, as human remains, deserve to be treated with dignity, Catholic ministers will not take part in any scattering of ashes, only their burial.

Can I have a minister from outside the parish conduct the funeral?

If you have a personal connection with a Catholic minister elsewhere, then they can take part in the funeral, either by preaching at a service led by a member of the parish team, or by conducting the actual service if no member of the parish team is available on your chosen date. Please mention this to the parish minister at the earliest opportunity.

How much will it cost?

The minister conducting the funeral will take a minister’s fee of £85. If the funeral is held in St Philip Evans Church, there will be a Church Usage Fee of £75 payable to the “Parish of St Philip Evans”. These may be reduced or waived in cases of genuine hardship. If an organist or other musician attends, they will also charge a fee. Separate fees and booking arrangements apply if you wish to hire the Parish Hall for a reception afterwards.

There is nothing wrong with making funeral arrangements in advance. Any member of the parish team will be happy to assist any parishioner wishing help to make a funeral plan, whether in time of chronic illness or as part of long-term preparation.