Celebrating Funerals at Saint Patrick Catholic Church

We at Saint Patrick Parish want to express our sympathy at the loss of your loved one. Our faith reminds us that our Lord is the God of all consolation! (2 Cor. 1:2-4) May our compassionate Lord be with you in a special way during this time of grief.

At The Time of Death

As you begin to make funeral arrangements for the deceased our staff is prepared to assist you in planning a reverent Funeral Mass (with the casket or urn present) or Memorial Mass (no casket, no urn).

We understand that if you have recently experienced the death of a loved one, you may be feeling confused, sad, lonely, or even overwhelmed by your loss. We offer you comfort and a certain hope. For it is our Catholic belief that at death life is changed, not ended, and that we and our loved ones will find eternal life with God.

As you prepare a Funeral Mass or Memorial Mass, we hope that this resource assists you in preparing a liturgy that truly celebrates the great gift of a life that God has given us. If you are preparing a funeral for a loved one who has passed away, please make sure you are in touch with a Funeral Director who will contact the parish for you. Most funeral Masses in our parish are held at 11:00am.


The pastor normally presides at the funeral Mass. If you would like a visiting priest, please obtain our pastor’s permission first and then contact the visiting priest directly. A deacon may preside at any funeral liturgy outside of Mass (Liturgy of the Word) or at any vigil service. For funeral liturgies held at the church, the parish will check the availability of the parish organist/pianist, the choir and altar servers. Family members can serve in liturgical roles if desired, but this should be discussed with the priest or staff member at the planning meeting.

Selection of Readings and Music

Family members are encouraged to assist in the selection of the readings and music. This packet includes a list of recommended scriptures and hymns to assist you. Other scriptures or hymn choices are possible but not guaranteed and should be discussed at the planning meeting.

All music selected must be from the sacred repertoire and alternative choices should be discussed with the Director of Liturgy and Music. Select one reading from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, one Gospel reading, and one set of Prayers of the Faithful. Please also select 4 hymns and a responsorial psalm to be sung. If you are uncertain about making these selections, we are happy to help you or make those choices for you.

Worship Aid

Saint Patrick Church does not prepare a worship aid for the Funeral Liturgy but can provide you with a standard worship aid sample. Click here for sample. Remembrance or prayer cards and the like should be arranged with the funeral home.


Families are not required to provide flowers for the church. The casket will be covered with the pall during the liturgy; therefore, flowers cannot be placed on top of it. The local funeral homes are all accustomed to the placement of flowers at St. Patrick’s. For liturgies with cremated remains, a small arrangement may be placed by the urn or on the floor next to where it rests, provided that the presider still has sufficient space to walk around it.

Eulogies - Remembrances

Eulogies are not a part of the Catholic Funeral Liturgy and are to be expressed at either the visitation or during a gathering, such as a luncheon or after the rite of committal. The Order of Christian Funerals & The General Norms for the Celebration of Roman Catholic Funerals in the Diocese of Rockford (dated March 2002) states that a eulogy is not to be given where the Homily is prescribed (OCF 27, 141). The Vigil for the Deceased or luncheon is a more fitting time for a eulogy to share remembrances of the deceased, at which time, multiple eulogies could be shared.


The Rite of Christian Funerals was revised recently to allow the same funeral rites for cremains (ashes) as for the deceased body, although the Church still prefers the preservation of the body.
Cremains are usually placed at the front of the main aisle with the Paschal Candle.
If the family is going to have the body cremated, the church prefers that the body be present at the Funeral Liturgy and the cremation takes place afterwards.


Saint Patrick Catholic Women’s Club, when possible, offers all families the option of a luncheon following the funeral liturgy. Luncheons are held in the parish hall. The committee, made up of dedicated parishioners who choose to minister to your family and friends in this special way, takes care of the physical set-up of the room, serving the food and cleaning up after the event. This ministry requires at least a two-day notice for a luncheon which is limited to a maximum of 200 persons. Because of various planned parish events, there will be times when the facilities are not available, and a funeral luncheon cannot be provided. We ask for your understanding in this matter. Click here for menu and fees.


The following stipends are based on services rendered by St. Patrick staff. It is preferred that all stipend arrangements should be completed by the funeral home rather than the family. [In case of financial hardship, all fees may be waived.]
Church $ 120
Organist/pianist $100
Cantor/Soloist $*
Servers $10 cash each (3 servers for Funeral Mass when available)
Priest – The discretion of the family
Deacon $ 75 (for scripture service or rosary at visitation)
Visitation in the Holloway Center $ 200 (when requested and available)

*Soloists are not standard. If a soloist is requested, please let the Music Director know. The family or funeral home should contact the soloist directly for arrangements and required fee.



  • Gathering rites honor the life and body of the deceased.
  • The casket and family are met by the priest at the entrance of the church. The casket is sprinkled with holy water and the pall (white covering) is placed on the casket by the family if they choose to do so. This is a reminder of the baptismal water and garment and being claimed by Christ.
  • The music for the liturgy is chosen by the family; however, the music must come from the music director’s list which is provided.
  • The Processional Song draws the assembly into the sacred liturgy.
  • The casket is moved to the front of the main aisle accompanied by the pall bearers and placed in front of the paschal candle, which is a symbol of the union with Christ – the light of Christ given at baptism.
  • Scripture readings reflect the hope of eternity and our life in Christ.
  • Old and New Testament readings may be chosen and read by the family or their designee. Although families are invited to participate in the readings, please take into consideration the person’s ability to read in public given the circumstances and the intensity of the moment.
  • The Responsorial Psalm is sung between the two readings. It is chosen by the family.
  • The Gospel is proclaimed by the presider (priest) followed by the Homily, which is also delivered by the presider.
  • Preparation of the Gifts – families may choose the song played during the presentation of the gifts and may bring up the gifts of bread and wine.
  • Eucharistic prayer
  • The Lord’s prayer
  • Sign of Peace
  • Lamb of God
  • Communion Song –is chosen by the family.
  • Eulogies should be given at the wake or funeral luncheon.
  • Liturgical prayers are said over the casket and the casket is incensed by the presider of the Mass.
  • The Commendation Song is chosen by the family and reflects liturgical texts which request the deceased to be led into paradise.
  • The casket is then taken out to the place of interment by the pall bearers.
  • Recessional song – is chosen by the family.


The Music Ministry at Saint Patrick Catholic Church extends to you our deepest sympathy. We realize that at such a time it may be difficult to think about music for the Funeral Liturgy. To assist you with the funeral service music, we have developed the following guide.

Below is a list of suggested hymns that our parish community knows and frequently sings at funerals. You may use this list as a guide. Other selections may be used with approval. Please choose one Responsorial Psalm and up to four other hymns. If you have no specific music preferences the Music Ministry will gladly make the selections for you. St. Patrick’s Resurrection Choir will be present and hymn numbers will be posted for the assembly to participate.

Amazing Grace
Be Not Afraid
Here I Am Lord
I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
On Eagle’s Wings

Amazing Grace
Be Not Afraid
I, the Lord
Peace Prayer
Prayer of St. Francis
We Remember
Where My Father Lives

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus
At That First Eucharist
Behold the Lamb
Eye Has Not Seen
Gift of Finest Wheat
O Sacrament, Most Holy
Take and Eat
The Supper of the Lord
We Are One Body

Song of Farewell (only when casket is present)
O Loving God (Danny Boy melody)
May the Choirs of Angels (Sands)
Song of Farewell (Old Hundredth)

Blest Are They
Faith of Our Fathers
Go in Peace
How Great Thou Art
I Know That My Redeemer Lives

As the Deer Longs (Hurd)
As the Deer Longs (O Waly, Waly)
Be Still and Know That I Am God
Be Still, My Soul
Forever (We Sing Hallelujah)
Give Me Jesus
Goodness of God
I Am the Bread of Life
I Have Loved You
I Will Rise
It Is Well
My God and My All
No Longer Slaves
O God, You Search Me
Only This I Want
Pastures of the Lord
Shelter Me, O God
Shepherd Me, O God
Softly and Tenderly
The King of Love My Shepherd Is
There Is a Longing
These Alone Are Enough
What Wondrous Love
Who You Say I Am
Wonderful Merciful Savior

Additional music may be selected upon approval. It must be liturgical or sacred in nature.

Responsorial Psalms (choose one to be sung between readings)

Psalm 16:         You are my inheritance, O God.

Psalm 23:         Shepherd me, O God beyond my wants, beyond my fears from death into life.

Psalm 23:         The Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.

Psalm 23:         I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

Psalm 25:         To You, O Lord, I lift up, I lift up my soul, O God.

Psalm 27:         The Lord is my light and my salvation, of whom should I be afraid, of whom should I be afraid?

Psalm 34:         Taste and see the goodness of the Lord, the goodness of the Lord.

Psalm 42:         As the deer longs for running streams, so I long, so I long, so I long for You.

Psalm 63:
         O God, I seek you, my soul thirst for You, Your love is finer than life

Psalm 63:         My soul is thirsting, for You, O Lord, thirsting for you, my God.

Psalm 84:         How lovely, how lovely, is Your dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts.

Psalm 91:         Be with me Lord, when I am in trouble, be with me Lord I pray.

Psalm 103:    The Lord is kind and merciful.

Psalm 116:    I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

Psalm 130:    With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.