The Funeral & Bereavement Ministry supports grieving families in their time of sorrow and grief. We strive to ensure that the funeral service is a beautiful, prayerful occasion in which to give thanks for the life of the deceased and commend them to God’s infinite, loving care.
Sacred Heart - 617-969-2248
Our Lady Help of Christians - 617-527-7560
Before the funeral - A lay minister meets with the family to assist in the selection of the Readings and Music, and to identify family members who will participate in the service. The Family Visitor will answer any questions and otherwise assist in planning the Liturgy.
Music - Music selections must be appropriate for a Catholic funeral. The Music Director is happy to make the selections if the family has no particular requests. Participation in the service by other musicians needs to be worked out directly with the Music Director beforehand.
Wake Service - A member of the Parish Pastoral Staff will attend and offer brief prayers with the family. If the burial takes place immediately after the funeral service, they will go to the cemetery to lead graveside prayers as well.
Funeral Mass - Members of the Funeral & Bereavement Ministry will be at the church to support and assist at the Funeral Liturgy. They will offer guidance and direction throughout the Mass, and will assist the priest as needed.
Gathering: The funeral Mass begins in the gathering area. After the Opening Prayer, the casket is sprinkled with holy water recalling baptism and the Pall (white covering) is spread over the casket. Family members are invited to help spread the Pall.
Liturgy of the Word: There are three Bible readings. The text of the readings can be found at the bottom of this page. A lay minister will help the family select readings. The family may select two people to proclaim the First and Second Readings. Usually the First Reading is from the Old Testament and the Second Reading is from the New Testament. If the family does not have readers, a minister is available to proclaim. The Gospel is proclaimed by the priest.
Prayers of the Faithful: The Prayers of the Faithful are usually written and read by a member of the Pastoral Staff. If the family wishes to write and/or read the prayers, this can be discussed during the lay minister visit.
Offertory/Gifts Procession: At the Offertory family members are invited to bring forward the bread and wine to be consecrated. There are usually 2 or 3 gifts. This is a good place for children to participate in the service.
Liturgical Ministers: If there are members of the family who serve as Liturgical Ministers in their home parishes, they are welcome to serve at the funeral service.
Eulogy: The Eulogy is an optional part of the funeral liturgy, where a family member or good friend of the deceased pays loving tribute, and provides a glimpse of their life and Christian Character. There should be only one Eulogist, and he/she should speak for 3-5 minutes. Please see our "Guidelines for Preparing a Eulogy," for more details.
A Memorial Mass is held twice a year where the recently deceased are remembered in a special way.
The Sacred Heart/Our Lady's Collaborative also offers a Bereavement Support Group program. Please contact the parish offices for details and for a schedule of upcoming gatherings.