St Mary Catholic Church          4050 S. 3900 W., West Haven, UT 84401

Funeral Policies

[Canonical Overview] [Diocesan Regulations] [Parish Policies and Guidelines] [Assistance offered by the Parish]

Funeral Coordinator: Robert Shafer 801-628-3768

Funeral Luncheon Coordinator: Deanna Keller 801-698-5860

Canonical Overview

The Order of Christian Funerals describes the Church's ministry to the deceased and their family in these words:

At the death of a Christian, whose life of faith was begun in the waters of baptism and strengthened at the Eucharistic table, the Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end nor does it break the bonds forged in life. The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting word of God and the sacrament of the Eucharist.(Order of Christian Funerals, #4)

The celebration of the Christian funeral brings hope and consolation to the living. While proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and witnessing to Christian hope in the resurrection, the funeral rites also recall to all who take part in them God's mercy and judgment and meet the human need to turn always to God in times of crisis. (Order of Christian Funerals, #4, 5, & 7; Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1680-1684)

John 11: 25-26a
"I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”

Diocesan Regulations

Catholics have a right to Christian Burial unless they are deprived of such by ecclesiastical law.

The Church earnestly recommends the custom of burying the bodies of the dead be observed.

The Order of Christian Funerals offers three rites for the various stages between the time of death and the burial.

  • Vigil: The Vigil is the principal celebration of the Christian community during the time before the funeral liturgy and may be celebrated in a mortuary.
  • The Funeral Liturgy: The Funeral Liturgy is the central celebration of the Christian community for the deceased. When one of its members dies, the Church encourages the celebration of the Funeral Mass. The Mass is to be celebrated only in a Catholic Church unless the bishop determines there is sufficient pastoral cause for an exception.
  • Rite of Committal: This is the concluding rite of the funeral.

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Parish Policies and Guidelines

Funeral Policies Brochure

The Vigil is the only time the eulogy, if desired, is allowed for the deceased. The eulogy can be shared during either the recitation of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Vigil. Under no circumstances are eulogies permitted during the Funeral Mass.

Examples of eulogies are favorite music of the deceased, family speakers with memories, reading of poems, etc. Speakers are encouraged to keep remarks brief, lasting no longer than 5 minutes, and to maintain composure during delivery.

Funeral Mass
Only trained Lectors and Extraordinary (Eucharistic) Ministers are authorized to participate in the Mass. Normally, the parish will provide these ministers, however, if a family member has been trained from this or another Catholic Parish, such persons may participate. Please inform the Funeral Coordinator if someone from your family will serve in either of these ministries. Only Sacred Music is allowed during the Funeral Mass. Music recorded on any media is not allowed during the Funeral Mass.

“Cremation is permitted by the Church, although it does not enjoy the same value as burial of the body. The Church clearly prefers and urges that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral rites, since the presence of the human body better expresses the values affirmed in those rites.”

“The Church’s reverence for the sacredness of the human body grows out of a … conviction that the human body is in Christ, a temple of the Holy Spirit…” If the choice has been made to cremate the body, it is recommended the cremation take place only after the Funeral Mass. For the Rite of Committal, the cremated remains must be reverently taken to a place of burial (cemetery or entombment) at which time the appropriate form for the words of committal are spoken by the attending priest/deacon.

At no time may cremated remains be randomly dispersed upon bodies of water or land, or through the air. Likewise, cremation remains must never remain in the possession of surviving family members or friends.

Due to Health Laws, insurance policies and facility security measures, Viewings, cannot be held on the church property. However, the church will support the Vigil/Rosary at the mortuary of your choice.

Scheduling a Funeral
Although, the Church will make every effort to schedule the funeral on the date you desire, there are certain dates a funeral may not be conducted. These are the Easter Triduum (e.g., Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday), and Christmas Day.

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Assistance offered by the Parish

Funeral Fees

Although family members of the deceased may be current or past members of St. Mary’s Parish, the costs associated with a funeral creates extraordinary expenses not budgeted in Parish Finances. Therefore, the following fees will be assessed, payable to: St. Mary’s Catholic Church

Mass Stipend: $175
Includes Vigil, Rosary and/or Graveside: $100 (payable to: St. Mary Catholic Church) and $75 payable to: (Name of Presiding Priest)
Vigil and/or Rosary Service ONLY: $50
Graveside Service ONLY: $50

Funeral Luncheon
The suggested donation is $100. If appetizers and desserts only are served, we would ask for a $50 donation. We understand that life is very difficult when a loved one passes away. Thanks be to God, Christ gives us the strength to carry on.

If the family desires to have music during the Vigil and/or Funeral Mass, the family is responsible for contacting and directly paying any of the following selected musician(s). Their personal fees and phone numbers are listed for your convenience and direct contact.

  • Organist: Donna Masek: $50 (801-898-3821)
  • Piano &/or Vocalist: Chris San Nicholas: $100 (801-837-2387)
  • Guitarist &/or Vocalist: Buzz Nietert: $75 (801-725-1691)

Diocesan guidance prohibits use of any secular music during the Mass, including “Ave Maria”. Ask your parish Funeral Coordinator for further details.

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