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March 16, 2018

Catholic funeral planning

A Holy Death

INSIDE: Planning a Catholic funeral, 2-3, 6-7 Cremation vs. burial? 3-4 Local Catholic cemeteries and columbaria, Why do we pray for the dead? 8 Guidance on end-of-life health care 10-11



Catholic funeral rites explained Editor’s note: St. Mark Church in Huntersville has produced this guide to funeral planning that is applicable for Catholics. While each pastor sets his own guidelines within the Church’s “Order of Christian Funerals,” we offer this guide as a reference for your family to consider and discuss:

‘At the death of a Christian, whose life of Introduction the death of a loved one, please contact faith was begun theUpon funeral home so that they may assist you in making the necessary funeral arrangements. in the waters We encourage parishioners to do pre-planning to make a difficult time easier for your family. Funeral home services are very willing to help of baptism and you in this process. Normally, the funeral home will contact the strengthened at parish to secure the date and time of the funeral. At St. Mark we will do everything we can to accommodate family needs, but please know that the Eucharistic as a busy parish the church may be in use for other events during the time period first chosen. Once the date and time have been decided, the table, the Church family will be contacted by one of the parish priests or deacons to plan the Mass of Christian intercedes burial and other funeral rites. This involves choosing readings, hymnody and discussing how family and friends might be involved in on behalf of the funeral liturgy. While there is always an element of the funeral rites that are personalized the deceased to reflect the life of the deceased, it should always be remembered that Christians celebrate the funeral rites to offer worship, praise, and because of its thanksgiving to God for the gift of a life which now been returned to God, the author of confident belief has life and the hope of the just. The Mass, the memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection, is the principal celebration of the Christian funeral that death is (“Order of Christian Funerals,” no. 5). Catholic funeral rites consist of three principal or movements: the vigil or wake, the Mass not the end, nor parts of Christian Burial, and the burial rites. Each of does it break the these is discussed briefly here: bonds forged in The Vigil for the Deceased life.’ (sometimes called the Order of Christian Funerals, no. 4 More online At prayer-and-worship/ bereavement-andfunerals/index.cfm: Get more information on Catholic funeral guidelines, prayers, suggested readings at funeral Masses, and more

At www. catholicsensibility. funeral-rites: Read the entire Order of Christian Funerals as well as explanations of each section

Wake) The Vigil for the Deceased is the principal rite celebrated by the Christian community in the time after death and before the funeral liturgy. “At the vigil the Christian community keeps watch with the family in prayer to the God of mercy and finds strength in Christ’s presence,” “Order of Christian Funerals,” no. 56.) The Vigil can be celebrated at the funeral home, the home of the deceased or at the parish church. During the course of the Vigil service, there will be a brief proclamation of the Word of God, intercessory prayer, and blessing. If someone in the family would like to offer a personal remembrance of the deceased (eulogy) this may be done at the conclusion of the Vigil service.

The Funeral Liturgy/ Mass of Christian Burial The funeral liturgy is the central celebration of the Christian community for the deceased. At the funeral liturgy the community gathers with the family and friends of the deceased to give praise and thanks to God for Christ’s victory over sin and death, to commend the deceased to God’s tender mercy and compassion, and to seek strength in the proclamation of the Paschal Mystery. Through the Holy Spirit the community is joined together in faith as one Body in Christ to reaffirm in sign and symbol, word and gesture

that each believer through baptism shares in Christ’s death and resurrection and can look for the day when all the elect will be raised up and united in the kingdom of light and peace (“Order of Christian Funerals,” no. 129). The funeral Mass includes the reception of the body, the celebration of the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and final commendation and farewell.


The rite of reception takes place at the beginning of the funeral liturgy or Mass. It begins with the greeting of the family, the sprinkling of the coffin with holy water as a reminder of baptism, and the placing of the pall which symbolizes the baptismal garment. If the family so chooses, they may drape the pall over the coffin of the deceased. The entrance procession follows with the ministers leading the coffin and family members into the church. During the procession an entrance hymn will be sung. The family remains standing with the remainder of the congregation in the pews until the conclusion of the opening prayer. It is our practice at St. Mark to place a crucifix and Bible on the coffin at the conclusion of the entrance procession. These symbols of Christian life are carried in the entrance procession and can be placed on the coffin by family members of the family chooses to do so. Otherwise, they will be placed by one of the ministers.


After the opening prayer, the Liturgy of the Word begins. The readings include an Old Testament reading (during the Easter season the first reading is taken from the Acts of the Apostles or the Book of Revelation), a Responsorial Psalm (sung), a New Testament reading and a Gospel reading. The Order of Christian Funerals provides a complete listing of the Scripture readings that can be used in the funeral rites, and the family is encouraged to assist in making the selections of readings for the funeral. In addition, members of the family or friends of the deceased are invited to assist by serving as readers. During the funeral Mass, those who read, since they are exercising a ministry of the Church, are to be practicing members of the Catholic Church.


At the funeral Mass, the community having

been nourished by the Word of God, turns for spiritual nourishment to the Eucharistic sacrifice in which the community with the priest offers to the Father the sacrifice of the New Covenant. The Liturgy of the Eucharist takes place in the usual manner. Members of the family or friends of the deceased should bring the gifts to the altar.


The final commendation is a final farewell by the members of the community, an act of respect

This crucifix is the focus of a Catholic cemetery dedicated at St. Frances of Rome Mission in Sparta in 2016. FILE | CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD

for one of their members, whom they entrust to the tender and merciful embrace of God. During the rite, the body is again sprinkled with holy water and incensed. The sprinkling is a reminder that through baptism the person was marked for eternal life and incensation signifies respect for the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit.


At the conclusion of the funeral liturgy, the procession is formed and the body is accompanied to the place of committal. This final procession of the funeral rite mirrors the journey of human life as a pilgrimage to God’s kingdom of peace and light, the new and eternal Jerusalem.

Rite of Committal The rite of committal, the conclusion of the funeral rites, is the final act of the community of faith in caring for the body of its deceased member. In committing the body to its resting place, the community expresses its hope that, with all who have gone before marked with the sign of faith, the deceased awaits the glory of the resurrection. It normally takes place beside the grave or mausoleum where the remains of the deceased are to be placed. — “Funeral Planning Guide for the Mass of Christian Burial,” St. Mark Church in Huntersville

March 16, 2018 |  CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD

The right to a funeral liturgy

The funeral Mass, also known as a Mass of Christian Burial, is as much about the living as the deceased. The “Order of Christian Funerals” states: “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” (no. 7). At left, Bishop Peter Jugis celebrates the funeral Mass of Monsignor Joseph Kerin, second chancellor of the Diocese of Charlotte, on April 22, 2014, at St. Mark Church in Huntersville.

Church law stipulates that funeral services are a right, not a privilege, of all members of the Church, both the faithful and the catechumens (Canons 1176; 1183, §1). The Order of Christian Funerals also provides for the celebration of funeral rites for children whose parents intended them to be baptized (Canon 1183, §2). “Christians celebrate the funeral rites to offer worship, praise, and thanksgiving to God for the gift of a life which has now been returned to God, the author of life and the hope of the just. The Mass, the memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection, is the principal celebration of the Christian funeral.” (“Order of Christian Funerals,” no. 5) “At the funeral liturgy the community gathers with the family and friends of the deceased … – to give praise and thanks to God for Christ’s victory over sin and death, – to commend the deceased to God’s tender mercy and compassion, – and to seek strength in the proclamation of the paschal mystery. Through the Holy Spirit the community is joined together in faith as one Body in Christ to reaffirm in sign and symbol, word and gesture that each believer through baptism shares in Christ’s death and resurrection and can look to the day when all the elect will be raised up and united in the kingdom of light and peace.” (“Order of Christian Funerals,” no. 129)


Below left, St. Matthew Church is one of 26 parishes in the diocese with a columbarium. Other parishes have traditional cemeteries, or a combination of both options.

Non-practicing Catholics may receive Catholic funerals It is an unfortunate reality that many baptized Catholics no longer practice their faith and may consider themselves to have been away from the Church for too long to be ever welcomed again by the Church. Such individuals or their families may feel uncomfortable in a church and ultimately decide against having a Catholic funeral. By our baptism, however, we have been made equal in dignity before the Lord, and the Church, our Mother, bears the suffering of all those who became her sons and daughters through baptism. Thus, the Church offers funeral rites (including a funeral Mass) even for non-practicing Catholics and, under certain circumstances, for non-Catholic Christians. Although the deceased may not have participated fully in the life of the Church on earth, the Church longs for her separated children to share in Christ’s blessings. She desires to pray for them and with their loved ones so that their sins may be forgiven and they may dwell forever in the presence of God in heaven. — “Catholic Funeral Planning Guide,” Diocese of Portland, Maine; Canon 1183, §3

What about miscarried or stillborn babies? Depending on the possibility of your collecting the remains, the baby should be named and buried. If you are in a hospital, the remains of the baby will be sent to the pathologist. You should request that you receive the remains. Most hospitals have little caskets which they offer you. If the baby is more developed you may need to obtain a larger casket from a funeral director. You should ask your pastor for a Mass of Christian Burial and bury the baby appropriately and in a marked grave. — “Catholic Funeral Guide,” St. Michael the Archangel Church in Gastonia

In general in the U.S., burial options include: in-ground burial with monument graves, flush marker graves, lawn crypts or family estate lots; above-ground burial in mausoleums; and cremation with interment in mausoleum niches, columbaria, or in-ground in cremation graves or lawn crypts. PHOTO COURTESY OF ST. MATTHEW CHURCH’S BEREAVEMENT GUIDE

‘The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.’ Canon 1176, §3

Cemeteries vs. columbaria in the Diocese of Charlotte? Church law (Canon 1240) stipulates, “Where possible, the Church is to have its own cemeteries or at least areas in civil cemeteries that are designated for the deceased members of the faithful and properly blessed.” Because of limited space at many parishes across the diocese, a cemetery on parish grounds is not always practicable. Identifiably Catholic sections in public cemeteries have become an alternative option, as well as columbaria on parish grounds. But columbaria for cremated remains cannot be the only option provided. Diocesan policy states: “If a parish wishes to make a columbarium available to the faithful, it will also make available at the same location as the columbarium, spaces for burial of the bodies of the deceased. The number of spaces available for placing cremated remains in a columbarium shall not be more than the number of spaces available for burial of bodies of the deceased. The expectation is that more spaces will be available for burial of the bodies of the deceased than spaces in a columbarium for the placing of cremated remains, since burial of the body is the norm of Christian burial.” At Read the Diocese of Charlotte’s full policy on cemeteries and columbaria



Catholic cemeteries are important in the life of the Church. Cemeteries St. James the Greater Church, Concord St. Frances of Rome Mission, Sparta St. Helen Mission, Spencer Mountain (parishioners only) St. Francis of Assisi Church, Jefferson (future)

Cemeteries with columbaria Immaculate Conception Mission, Canton Holy Family Church, Clemmons (parishioners only) Holy Cross Church, Kernersville Sacred Heart Church, Salisbury St. John the Evangelist Church, Waynesville

Columbaria only St. Elizabeth Church, Boone Sacred Heart Church, Brevard (full) St. Joan of Arc Church, Candler (full) St. Gabriel Church, Charlotte (full) St. Matthew Church, Charlotte St. Peter Church, Charlotte St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Charlotte St. Vincent de Paul Church, Charlotte (full) Immaculate Heart of Mary Mission, Hayesville St. Aloysius Church, Hickory Christ the King Church, High Point Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, High Point (full) Our Lady of the Mountains Mission, Highlands St. Paul the Apostle Church, Greensboro St. Pius X Church, Greensboro (full, with waiting list) St. Margaret of Scotland Church, Maggie Valley (full) St. Luke Church, Mint Hill (full) St. William Church, Murphy St. Margaret Mary Church, Swannanoa St. Leo the Great Church, Winston-Salem (full)

Public cemeteries with Catholic sections Stanly Gardens, Albemarle Sharon Memorial Park, Charlotte Westlawn Cemetery, Clemmons Northlake Memorial Gardens, Huntersville Forest Lawn East Cemetery, Matthews


If cremation is desired for legitimate reasons, the Church prefers that the funeral liturgy occur before cremation. Cremated remains are always to be buried or interred.

‘Although cremation is now permitted by the Church, 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 which the Church affirms in those rites.

How should a Catholic plan for cremation? First , discuss your questions with a knowledgeable pastor or parish staff person. Second, if your decision is to be cremated, make your wishes known in your will or in documents designed to help plan your funeral and burial. Provide copies of these documents to family members, your pastor, funeral home, or Catholic cemetery. Lastly, as you plan, keep in mind the therapeutic value to your family of celebrating the full funeral liturgy with the body present.

When should cremation take place? The Church prefers that cremation take place after the full funeral liturgy with the body. Sometimes, however, it is not possible for the body to be present for the funeral liturgy. When extraordinary circumstances make the cremation of the body the only feasible choice, pastoral sensitivity must be exercised by all who minister to the family of the deceased. Think of cremation of the body and committal of the remains as the conclusion of a funeral with the body.

What does a Catholic do with the cremated remains after the funeral liturgy is completed? The Church requires that the cremated remains be either buried in the ground in a cemetery or placed in a mausoleum or columbarium, preferably in a Catholic cemetery. The Church recommends that the place of burial or entombment be permanently memorialized with a traditional memorial stone, crypt/niche front, or bronze plaque, minimally marking the name and dates of birth and death of the deceased person. Since the human body was the temple of the Holy Spirit during life, was fed at the Eucharistic table, and will share in the bodily resurrection, contemporary cultural practices like scattering the cremated remains over water or from the air or keeping the cremated remains at home are not considered reverent forms of disposition that the Church requires. Other practices such as commingling cremated remains or dividing up cremated remains among family members or friends are not acceptable for Catholics. —

More online At Download a general obituary form that can be used with any funeral home or a funeral pre-planning guide


An urn containing cremated remains is seen in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery mausoleum in Coram, N.Y., Nov. 2.

CREMATION: Q&A on the proper handling of ashes CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In 1963, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued an instruction permitting cremation as long as it was not done as a sign of denial of the basic Christian belief in the resurrection of the dead. The permission was incorporated into the Code of Canon Law in 1983 and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches in 1990. Church law, however, had not specified exactly what should be done with “cremains,” so several bishops’ conferences asked the congregation to provide guidance. That request led to “Ad resurgendum cum Christo” (“To Rise With Christ”), an instruction “regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation,” issued Oct. 25, 2016. The document was approved by Pope Francis after consultation with other Vatican offices and with bishops’ conferences and the Eastern Churches’ synods of bishops. The document has prompted many Catholics to ask whether it changes any regulations about cremation. Catholic News Service provided some of those questions to the staff of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship to be answered: Q: The 2016 document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith spells out regulations regarding cremation. Does it change anything in how the Church in this country has regulated this issue? A: No, the document from the CDF doesn’t change anything for us in this country. For example, we already have permission to have a funeral Mass in the presence of cremated remains. What the instruction does do, however, is reiterate the Church’s preference for the burial of the body in normal circumstances, and, when cremation is necessary, its insistence that the remains be properly interred. Q: If the document says that traditional burial is preferred, does that mean cremation is wrong? A: If the Church saw cremation as “wrong,” it wouldn’t permit it. Sometimes cremation can truly be necessary. However, the ancient custom and the preference of the Church is to bury the body, whenever possible. Q: What should I do if I’ve already scattered the ashes? A: We can’t change the past, of course, and if you truly didn’t realize at that time that it shouldn’t be done, then you shouldn’t burden yourself with guilt. Remember that what happens to a

person’s body after death has no bearing on what happens when that person’s soul meets the Lord on judgment day. However, you might wish to offer extra prayers for the person’s happy repose. Q: If I plan to donate my body to science, after which it will be cremated, is that OK? What if the laboratory disposes of these ashes? A: This would seem to be a valid reason for cremation. However, it would be important to make sure that arrangements are made for a funeral Mass, and that a trusted relative or friend is able to receive the remains and see to their proper burial. Q: How do I convince my dad to let me bury my mother’s ashes, which he now has at home? A: Only you would know the best way to approach a situation like that, and it would depend a lot on his reasons for keeping the remains and on his own personal faith. Perhaps making him aware of the Church’s preference would be enough to convince him? Or the assurance that his own earthly remains will one day be buried alongside those of his wife? Also, the Vatican’s instruction itself articulates some compelling reasons: “The reservation of the ashes of the departed in a sacred place ensures that they are not excluded from the prayers and remembrance of the Christian community. It prevents the faithful departed from being forgotten, or their remains from being shown a lack of respect…” (5). Q: Many people die and are never buried properly. Perhaps they die at sea or in an explosion or whatever. Why is the Vatican worried about something like this when there are so many other problems in the world? A: This instruction isn’t concerned with those kinds of situations. Burial at sea is necessary at times, as is cremation. The main purpose for this instruction is to help foster a healthy respect for the human body, even after death, especially in light of the move in recent years away from traditional burial in favor of more expedient and economical means. Where contemporary culture today may well question what difference it makes, the Church is reminding us to recall that the human body is an integral part of the human person deserving of respect even after death. The earliest Christians buried the bodies of their dead, and this set them apart from many of their contemporaries. We bury our dead out of reverence for God our Creator, and as a sign that we look forward to the resurrection on the last day.

Order of Christian Funerals’ Appendix on Cremation, no. 413

‘The cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they come. This includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the ashes, the manner in which they are carried, and the care and attention to appropriate placement and transport, and the final disposition. The cremated remains should be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium. The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains at the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires.’ Order of Christian Funerals’ Appendix on Cremation, no. 417

March 16, 2018 |  CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD


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Catholic burial, funeral practices explained MONROE — Father Benjamin Roberts pauses between questions during a videotaping at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Monroe, where he serves as pastor. Father Roberts was interviewed by the Catholic News Herald about questions Catholics often raise when planning a funeral.


At the Diocese of Charlotte’s YouTube channel: Watch a video explanation of Catholic funeral and burial customs

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March 16, 2018 |

Funeral pre-planning guide

Also online At Learn more about preneed funeral trusts, funeral insurance, cremation vs. burial costs, and how to calculate funeral costs

Use this worksheet to plan your funeral service or as a guide to discuss your wishes with your family

What is pre-planning? Pre-planning is making your cemetery and funeral arrangements before your death. This allows your wishes to be known, thus eliminating an incredible burden on your loved ones during the very stressful and painful hours after your death. Pre-planning is a concrete sign of your love for surviving family members.

What are the benefits of pre-planning?


Preparing and planning now can assure the type of funeral service appropriate for your loved one. Often times pre-planning and even pre-funding your funeral

arrangements can not only provide peace-of-mind to you, but also to those who suffer emotionally at the time of their loss.

Full name: _____________________________________________________________________________ Social Security Number: ___________________________________ Date of birth: ________________________________________________________ Place of birth: ______________________________________________________________ Father’s name: _________________________________________________________________________ Mother’s maiden name: ____________________________________

The most obvious benefit is that you will relieve your loved ones of the burden of making your cemetery and funeral arrangements at a time of tremendous grief. Your advance planning will give your family the guidance they need to feel comfortable that they are carrying out the decisions you made. Pre-planning may prevent disagreement among survivors at an emotionally charged time and can assure that emotional over-spending does not occur. By pre-planning and pre-funding cemetery and funeral arrangements, you might be creating exempt assets should you ever have to go on public assistance. The costs of cemetery property have been escalating at the rate of 100 percent every 10 years. By purchasing in advance, you are locking in today’s pricing.

Education: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

At what age should I consider pre-planning cemetery and funeral arrangements?

Veteran of which war? _________________________________________________

Place of Enlistment: _______________________ Date of Enlistment: __________

Service Number: _____________________ VA Claim Number: ______________

Place of Discharge: ________________________________

Branch of Service: ____________________ Rank: __________________________

Date of Discharge/Retirement: __________________________________________

Adults of any age who make their own decisions should have a plan. Like your will, it can be revised throughout your life as needs change. In general, the earlier you preplan the more options you have. Your cemetery and funeral options will probably never cost less than they do today. Statistics show that 43 percent of all deaths are unexpected; we are not guaranteed any tomorrows. In our culture, few families are comfortable discussing death and loss. This is just one of those things that does not get easier as time goes by. Now is the best time for you to get your plan in order.


Why should I choose to be buried in a Catholic cemetery? First and foremost, Catholic cemeteries are a vital part of our Church’s heritage of caring for and burying the bodies of the dead in blessed ground — one of the corporal works of mercy. —

Can I donate my body to a university? Yes. But you must be sure that the body will be buried properly when the experimentations are completed. In this case a Mass should be offered for the deceased.

Marital Status: ____ Married

____ Never Married

____ Widowed

Married to: ______________________________________________

____ Divorced

Date: ______________________________

Place: ______________________________________

Children: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Places lived: ___________________________________________________________

Employment: __________________________________________________________





Civil, fraternal and other involvement: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ If a veteran, complete this information or attach copy of discharge:

County in which my discharge is on file with Clerk/Registrar of Deeds: ______ People to be notified immediately: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Obituary announcement to be sent to: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS Collect the following important papers and documents, and tell your family where they are kept: * Safe deposit box * Mortgage(s) and deeds * Military discharge * Cemetery deed * Birth certificate * Will * Living will or advance directive * Bank account information * Attorney * Durable Power of Attorney * Stocks/bonds * Insurance policies

* Health Care Power of Attorney * Computer/website passwords

FUNERAL PRE-PLANNING DETAILS I have a pre-need funeral trust established with: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ I have a funeral insurance policy with: __ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I have looked at caskets/urns/burial vaults and would prefer: ___________________________________________________ _______________________________________ I have considered a marker or monument and would prefer: ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________ Memorials may be made to: ___________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

CEMETERY INFORMATION Cemetery preferred: _________________________________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________

Phone: __________________________________________ I ____ own ____ prefer Type of burial rights: ____ Ground burial

____ Columbarium

____ Mausoleum

____ Lawn crypt

If owned, name of burial right holder is/are: _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Legal description of burial rights: ____ Lot # ____ Section ____ Row ____ Block

Grave number: _______________________________________

CREMATION I would prefer to be cremated.

____ Yes

If cremation, what type of disposition? ____ Burial

____ No ____ Niche

Cremation vault: ____ Yes

____ No

Donation of organs or body? Describe: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ALD SPECIAL EDITION | March 16, 2018

Funeral rites planning form FUNERAL HOME: _____________________________________________ Address: ___________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________ Phone: _____________________________________________________________________


More online At Download a general obituary form that can be used with any funeral home or a funeral pre-planning guide Also at See a list of local parishes’ funeral planning guides

PLACE OF SERVICE: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(Church name) (Address)

____ Funeral Mass


____ Open during Wake

Type of casket: ____ Wood

____ Memorial Mass

____ Cemetery/Chapel

____ Graveside

____ Closed during Wake

____ Metal

Cremation – Type of urn: ____ Wood

____ Church Service

____ Cremation coffin

____ Bronze

____ Other: _________________________

____ Marble ____ Other: _________________________

Clergy (if preferred): ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Musical selections (in keeping with the liturgy; please consult priest or music minister): _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Liturgy of the Word desired readings (please consult priest or parish office): Old Testament: ________________________________________ Responsorial Psalm: ___________________________________ New Testament: _______________________________________ Gospel: _______________________________________________ Will family place a pall on casket? ____ Yes ____ No Use incense? ____ Yes ____ No

Lector 1: _________________________________________ Lector 2: ________________________________________ Prayers of the Faithful: ____________________________ Offertory Gifts: ___________________________________

____ Cross or Bible placed on casket?

WAKE/COMMITTAL SERVICE Wake/Rosary Service: ____ Yes Viewing: ____ Public

____ No

____ Private

Location: _______________________________________ Officiant: __________________________________

____ None

Participating organizations at Wake or Committal Service (military, fraternal, lodge, etc.): _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Flag (Committal Service only): ____ Draped

____ Folded

Clothing preference: ____ From current wardrobe

____ New

Presented to: _______________________________________________________________ ____ Other: _________________________

Description/color: ______________________________________________________________________________

Personal accessories:

____ Wedding band ____ Eyeglasses ____ Other

____ Stays on ____ Stays on ____ Stays on

____ or Returned to: ___________________________________________ ____ or Returned to: ___________________________________________ ____ or Returned to: ___________________________________________

Pallbearers: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Name) (Relationship) (Phone #) ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Name) (Relationship) (Phone #) ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Name) (Relationship) (Phone #) ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Name) (Relationship) (Phone #) ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Name) (Relationship) (Phone #) ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Name) (Relationship) (Phone #) ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Name) (Relationship) (Phone #)

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS (include floral preferences, notes, awards, life achievements, pictures, obituary requests, items to be placed with the remains, etc.) _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ NOTE: Share a copy of this funeral Mass plan with your family, your funeral home (if you have a pre-plan), and your parish office.

‘As you consider the funeral, try to remember that planning a funeral is not a burden, but a privilege. Think of the funeral as a gift to the person who died as well as his friends and family. It is a chance for all to think about and express the value of the life that was lived. It is also a chance to say goodbye.’ “Preparing for Funeral Liturgies,” St. Matthew Church in Charlotte

What is the ordinary manner of preparing for death and burial? n Save and/or purchase insurance to properly provide for a casket, funeral services and burial. n Remember that the Church desires the full body to be present for the Mass of Christian Burial and for the body to be buried in a cemetery. n Leave instructions that someone will call the priest when death seems close. n Ensure that someone will call the priest for the last rites (confession, anointing and Communion) before death. n Ensure that someone will call the priest when death occurs. n The Prayers for the Dead are to be prayed. (See page 8 for more info.) n The body is prepared for burial by family or the funeral directors. n Arrange for someone to meet with the funeral director to begin preparing for the funeral rites.

How should I prepare for a good death? n Live a Catholic sacramental life. n Develop a Catholic understanding of life and death. n Pray to St. Joseph, patron of a happy death. n Develop an understanding of the Catholic funeral rites. n Prepare with a good confession, the anointing of the sick, and Communion as “Viaticum.” Make sure someone calls the priest. If you are going to have surgery which requires general anesthetic, ask the priest to hear your confession and administer the sacrament of the sick before you go to the hospital. n If you are going to be in the hospital or any nursing care facility, be sure to list the parish priest, deacon and others from the parish whom you wish to visit; otherwise, they will not be able. n Make advanced plans with your parish priest for the funeral rites; read the policies of your parish for funerals. n Save for the expenses of a proper Catholic funeral; most people have insurance policies for this. n Talk with family members and your attorney. Be sure your legal documents give a Catholic understanding of caring for the sick and dying. Be sure your Will provides for food and water to be given until you cannot assimilate it as a part of ordinary care when appropriate. Appropriate ordinary means of life support should also be given where there is hope of cure. Think of appointing a Health Care Power of Attorney with your instructions to be followed. n Make provisions for your funeral in your will; remember that your requests must be in agreement with your parish priest and the Church. n Contact a funeral home to make prearrangements. n Purchase a burial site. — “Catholic Funeral Guide,” St. Michael the Archangel Church in Gastonia


Many parishes have bereavement ministries or grief support groups. Check your parish’s website or bulletin, or call the parish office for details.

Prayers for the dead The Mass is the highest form of prayer in the Church, and the most effective prayer that could be said on behalf of those who have gone before us. In Masses for the dead, and especially funeral Masses, “the Church offers the Eucharistic sacrifice of Christ’s Pasch for the dead so that, since all the members of Christ’s Body are in communion with one another, what implores spiritual help for some, may bring comforting hope to others.” (“General Instruction of the Roman Missal,” 379)

Offering Masses for the dead The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic Sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God” (1032). It is normal to have a Mass offered as soon as possible for the deceased. Most people leave provision for this in their wills. When possible the “month’s mind,” a Mass on the one-month anniversary and then on other anniversaries, is a good practice. If Masses are not available on those days in your parish, your parish priest may be able to send them to be offered in the missions. Arranging a Mass for a deceased loved one is easy. Simply contact a Catholic church in the community where you would like to have the Mass celebrated, or at your own parish if you would like to attend the Mass. A stipend of usually $5-$20 per Mass is offered for the priest who will offer the Mass. Every parish has a Mass offering book, usually kept at the parish secretary’s desk, so that when you call or stop by the parish it is easy to ask for a Mass intention. Sometimes you may be able to pick a specific day to have the Mass celebrated in memory of the deceased, but at times you may have to accept whatever date is available. You will receive a Mass card from the parish with the time, date and church name where the Mass will be offered. You can give the Mass card to the family of the deceased so they know when the Mass will be offered in their loved one’s honor. Don’t forget to mark down the details on your own calendar so that you can attend the Mass or remember to offer your prayers on that day.

Why is it important to have a grave? Our cemeteries are places of great sign value as were the catacombs of old. The grave and the marker are visible signs that a person did live and that it mattered that he or she lived. Years from now someone will walk by our graves and remember us and that it was important that we lived and died. Cemeteries are places of catechesis about death and they are places of prayer in the context of the communion of saints and our waiting for the final coming of the Lord. We visit the grave often to pray for the deceased and we decorate the graves regularly, especially on Nov. 2, All Souls Day. — “Catholic Funeral Guide,” St. Michael the Archangel Church in Gastonia



Memorial candles are seen next to a statue of St. Paul in a mausoleum alcove at Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury, N.Y.


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Praying for the dead might not make sense to nonbelievers but for Catholics it is part and parcel of the faith tradition, rooted in Old Testament readings and supported by the Catechism and the Church’s funeral liturgy. “Our faith teaches us to pray for the dead,” said Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Ill., in a 2015 All Saints’ Day reflection, stressing that although people hope that those who die are with God and the angels and saints, it is not necessarily a guarantee. “Scripture teaches that all of the dead shall be raised. However, only the just are destined for the kingdom of God,” the bishop wrote. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the clearest Bible reference about prayers for the dead is from the Second Book of Maccabees. When soldiers were preparing the bodies of their slain comrades for burial they discovered they were wearing amulets taken from a pagan temple which violated the law of Deuteronomy so they prayed that God would forgive the sin these men had committed. The New Testament echoes this notion in the second letter of Timothy when Paul prays for someone who died named Onesiphorus, saying: “May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church also has something to say about prayers for the dead, stating: “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven” (1030). The Roman catacombs where early Christians were buried also were places of prayer. Today, prayers for the dead begin at the moment of death, often when family members are gathered around the bedside of the person who has died. Prayers for death and grieving are among the “Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers,” published in 2007 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, that includes prayers immediately after death, prayers for mourners, prayers at the graveside and a more general prayer for the dead. Of course these prayers continue in the funeral liturgy, which is the “central liturgical celebration of the Christian community for the deceased,” according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ overview of Catholic funeral rites, online at bereavement-and-funerals/overview-of-catholic-

Pray regularly for the faithful departed, especially on Nov. 2 (All Souls Day). funeral-rites.cfm. The funeral liturgy, the website points out, is “an act of worship, and not merely an expression of grief.” It is a time when the Church gathers with the family and friends of the deceased “to give praise and thanks to God for Christ’s victory over sin and death, to commend the deceased to God’s tender mercy and compassion, and to seek strength in the proclamation of the Paschal Mystery,” it adds. The prayers in the funeral liturgy express hope that God will free the person who has died from any burden of sin and prepare a place for him or her in heaven. “The funeral rite is The acronym “RIP” or a prayer for the dead, R.I.P. is an abbreviation designated by the Church of the Latin phrase as the liturgy of Christian “requiescat in pace” burial,” wrote Bishop or the English “Rest in Braxton in his reflection. peace.” He noted that many parishes “regularly disregard” the emphasis of this liturgy by printing funeral programs which say: “the Mass of the Resurrection: A Celebration of Life,’ even though the person has obviously not yet been raised from the dead.” According to the Catechism, most Catholics who don’t merit hell still need purification before entering heaven and pass through a state when they die that the Church describes as purgatory. In a question-and-answer page on www., a Paulist-run website, Paulist Father Joe Scott said praying for the dead has “further origins in our belief in the communion of saints.” The priest, an associate pastor at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Community in Los Angeles, added that living members of this communion can “assist each other in faith by prayers and other forms of spiritual support.” “Christians who have died continue to be members of the communion of saints,” he wrote. “We believe that we can assist them by our prayers, and they can assist us by theirs.”

Did you know?

As death approaches, the Church stays close to the one who is dying, to give comfort and support. The family should ask that Communion be brought to the dying (this is called “Viaticum, Latin for “food for the journey”). Members of the local church may wish to join the family in a vigil of prayer. After the person’s death, the family is encouraged to continue praying, and to participate in the preparation of the vigil (wake) and funeral liturgies. The following prayer may be recited with a dying person, alternating with times of silence. The Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be are also appropriate. The dying person may also be signed on the forehead with the cross, as was done at baptism. Holy Mary, pray for me. St. Joseph, pray for me. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER DEATH The following prayer may be recited immediately after death and may be repeated in the hours that follow: V. Eternal rest grant unto him (her), O Lord. R. And let perpetual light shine upon him (her). V. May he (she) rest in peace. R. Amen. V. May his (her) soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. R. Amen.

AT THE GRAVESIDE O God, by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest, send your holy Angel to watch over this grave. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen. At prayer-and-worship/ bereavement-andfunerals/prayers-fordeath-and-dying.cfm: See more prayers and Scripture readings for the dying and for the dead At www. resources/prayers: Find more prayers, including a prayer to St. Joseph for a holy death

March 16, 2018 |  CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD


A Gift for the Ages Many consider their parish or mission family like a “loved one” to be remembered, once family has been taken care of in their will. Please, consider remembering your parish in your will, or making a tax-deductible contribution to an endowment that already exists for your parish. Establish a legacy that responds to the gifts God has given to you. Support the future Catholic presence of your parish in ways that provide benefits to you, and that are probably easier to accomplish than you think. CNS | KAREN CALLAWAY, CATHOLIC NEW WORLD

A woman prays after placing flowers and statues of saints on her son’s grave at Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in Hillside, Ill.

For information on how to leave a legacy at your parish, please contact Ray-Eric Correia, Director of Planned Giving at 704-370-3364 or

With death anniversaries many find comfort in rituals CAROL ZIMMERMANN CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A tricky thing about grief is that it is not a one-shot deal. Although it is often strongest when it’s first experienced, it can sneak up at any time. It especially reappears on the anniversary of the death of a loved one. Some have labeled these days as “deathversaries” and even though they are days that can bring up painful memories, they should not be ignored nor do they need to be completely depressing. The Internet, which is not always a place of solace, actually has plenty of advice for coping with anniversaries of a loved one’s death. Websites including www. or www.whatsyourgrief. com offer the following suggestions: n Take flowers to the grave site or other place where you remember your loved one. n Look at old photos and home videos or put digital photos into photo album. n Volunteer with a charity or cause your loved one liked, or make a donation to the charity in his or her name. n Host a dinner party and invite those who knew this person best and cook foods they liked or gather at the person’s favorite restaurant. n Do something your loved one would

have enjoyed. n Write about your loved one; write them a letter or plant a tree in their name. n Take the day off work. n Ask friends or family members for help. The Mayo Clinic, based in Rochester, Minn., notes on its website, www., that reawakened grief can occur years after a loss, particularly when people are confronted with reminders of their loved one’s death. The site advises people to be prepared, especially for anniversary reactions and to plan a distraction for the day or reminisce about the relationship. It reiterates some of the suggestions previously mentioned and also urges people to allow themselves to “feel a range of emotions. It’s OK to be sad and feel a sense of loss, but also allow yourself to experience joy and happiness. As you celebrate special times, you might find yourself both laughing and crying.” “There’s no time limit for grief, and anniversary reactions can leave you reeling. Still, the intensity of grief tends to lessen with time,” it adds. Many cultures celebrate the death anniversary of loved ones by gathering together as families and sharing special foods. Catholics often mark the anniversary of a loved one’s death by attending Mass or having a Mass offered for the deceased.

Three Convenient Locations Indian Trail: 704-821-2960 4431 Old Monroe Road, Indian Trail, NC 28079 Matthews / Weddington: 704-846-3771 3700 Forst Lawn Drive, Matthews, NC 28014 Ballantyne / Charlotte: 704-714-1540 166151 Lancaster Hwy., Charlotte, NC 28277

Forest Lawn East Cemetery – Matthews Exclusive Catholic Section


Ground Burial – Mausoleum Entombments Columbarium Niches



Life itself is always a good, and is a quality that can never be lost.


Ordinary/ proportionate versus extraordinary/ disproportionate means of preserving life Ordinary or proportionate means are those that (in the judgment of the patient assisted by health care professionals) offer a reasonable hope of benefit and do not entail an excessive burden or impose excessive expense on the family or the community. A person has a moral obligation to use ordinary means. Extraordinary or disproportionate means are those that (in the judgment of the patient assisted by health care professionals) do not offer a reasonable hope of benefit, do entail an excessive burden, or do impose excessive expense on the family or the community. A person may forgo extraordinary means.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide Euthanasia is an act or omission that of itself or by intention causes death to alleviate suffering. Catholics may never condone or participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide in any way. Dying patients who request euthanasia should receive loving care, psychological and spiritual support, and appropriate remedies for pain and other symptoms so that they can live with dignity until the time of natural death.

Nutrition and hydration In  principle, there is an obligation to provide patients with food and water, including medically assisted nutrition and hydration for those who cannot take food orally. Medically assisted nutrition and hydration become morally optional when they cannot reasonably be expected to prolong life or when they would be excessively burdensome for the patient or would cause significant physical discomfort. — National Catholic Bioethics Center. Learn more online at

What kind of legal documents or arrangements about your end-of-life medical care should you have? An “Advance Medical Directive” and “Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care” (or “Health Care Proxy”) are legal documents that take effect if the patient becomes incompetent. Even though these documents can be written without the assistance of an attorney, some states give them considerable legal weight. An Advance Medical Directive specifies what medical procedures the patient wishes to receive or to avoid. (An Advance Medical Directive sometimes is called “A Living Will,” but because of its association with the advocacy of euthanasia, we have chosen to avoid this phrase.) Durable Power of Attorney specifies a particular individual (variously called a “proxy,” “agent,” or “surrogate”) to make medical decisions on behalf of the patient (or the “principal”) when the patient is no longer able to do so. When neither of these instruments is drawn up, the task of making important medical decisions usually falls to the family. Most states have laws governing the use and implementation of the Advance Medical Directive and Durable Power of Attorney. All hospitals and health care facilities are required by law to provide written information to the patient about the right to accept or refuse medical treatment and the right to formulate an Advance Directive and/or designate Durable Power of Attorney. The health care facility must also provide written policies stating how the patient’s Advance Directive or Durable Power of Attorney will be implemented. People should remember that they do not have to sign any Advance Directive given to them by the hospital.


Make certain that your Advance Directive forbids any action that the Catholic faith considers to be immoral, such as euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide. (A Catholic hospital, in any case, will not follow a directive that conflicts with Church teaching.) Once a directive is made, copies should

More online At What are the Church’s teachings on end-of-life decisions and how difficult will it be to follow them? Must we endure a great deal of pain? What if I am no longer able to make medical decisions for myself? Order or download a copy of “A Catholic Guide to End-of-Life Decisions,” which describes how you might approach end-of-life decisions in light of the teachings of the Church.

be distributed to the agent and anyone else the patient deems appropriate. One should periodically review the provisions of an Advance Directive and, when there is a revision, all previous copies should be destroyed. The usefulness of an Advance Directive, which gives specific instructions for care, is limited because of its inflexibility. If circumstances change significantly between writing the Advance Directive and its implementation, the instructions may be of little value to those acting on a patient’s behalf, or may even hinder their freedom to make good decisions. There may also be a problem of interpreting the document when it is not clearly written. An Advance Directive oftentimes does not allow for adequate informed consent because one must make a decision about a future medical condition which cannot be known in advance. When drawing up an Advance Directive, therefore, one should focus on general goals rather than on specific medical procedures. Assigning Durable Power of Attorney is preferable to an Advance Directive because it leaves decisions in the hands of someone whom the patient has personally chosen. A proxy agent also can be more sensitive and responsive to the decision-making that is necessary for a given case. When assigning Durable Power of Attorney one should choose an agent of good moral character – someone who is known to be capable of making sound decisions under stressful circumstances. The agent should know the teachings of the Church and possess the practical wisdom to apply them

to changing circumstances. An agent, of course, must also survive the patient. One may designate alternate agents in case one’s first choice, for some reason, is unable to act. A good agent makes decisions for the patient in light of what the patient would choose if able to do so. The proxy, therefore, should be very familiar with your moral convictions and wishes. When there is an Advance Directive from you, this should be the guide. When there is not, the agent must act on the oral instruction that has been given. Sometimes, however, acting in your best interests means ignoring instructions that are obviously unwarranted or clearly immoral. No agent is bound to carry out actions that conflict with morality and the faith.


When formulating any Advance Directive and discussing end-of-life issues, avoid using the expression “quality of life” because it is used by advocates of euthanasia to suggest that some lives are not worth living. While illness and other circumstances can make life very difficult, they cannot diminish the inestimable worth of each human life created by God. Life itself is always a good, and is a quality that can never be lost. Still, we need not cling to this life at all costs (what’s called “therapeutic obstinacy”), since the life to which we have been called in Christ is incomparably better. Euthanasia has been defined by St. John Paul II in “The Gospel of Life” as “an action or omission which of itself and by intention causes death, with the purpose of eliminating all suffering.” Supporters of euthanasia often justify it or physician-assisted suicide on the grounds that the pain of terminal illness is too great for the average person to bear. They hold that it is more merciful to kill the suffering patient. However, the Church holds that “euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person.” — National Catholic Bioethics Center

March 16, 2018 |  CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD


END-OF-LIFE CARE What is the difference between foreseeing death and intending death? The difference ultimately lies in the intentionality of the patient or health care professional. A person should never intend in any way the death of a patient or the hastening of a patient’s death. Sometimes it is difficult to determine whether a medical decision made during end-of-life care includes such an intention. Certain means can be used to alleviate a patient’s pain, for example, by a physician who foresees that the patient’s life may be shortened as a result (as an indirect, non-intended but tolerated effect of the therapy), but similar means could be used to intentionally shorten a patient’s life.

Are proportionate or ordinary means the same for everyone? Basic care (such as nutrition and hydration, pain relief, antibiotic treatment, and postural change) is generally the same for all patients and should always be provided. The evaluation of proportionate or disproportionate means, however, is based on objective and subjective factors for an individual patient. For example, total parenteral nutrition may be a proportionate means in an industrialized country but a disproportionate means in a developing country, where it is not affordable or is technically too difficult to administer. A treatment may also be disproportionate because it is futile or because it causes complications that are too hard for the patient or the patient’s family to bear.

What ethical problems are there with advance directives? The right of patients to self-determination can lead them to include morally illicit requests in advance directives, such as requests to have ordinary care withdrawn. An effective therapeutic alliance between a physician, a patient and the patient’s proxy is the best way to address end-of-life issues. Requests made by a patient in an advance directive may preclude therapeutic dialogue, preventing such an alliance. A patient may react to an illness or a specific therapy differently than expected, or medical advances occurring after a directive was written may change the patient’s treatment options in unexpected ways. In such situations, an advance directive may prevent objective moral analysis. Advance directives are often difficult to interpret and apply in the actual circumstances encountered by health care professionals, relatives and proxies. Advance directives that do not differentiate between proportionate and disproportionate treatments may be promoted by pro-euthanasia associations as a first step toward acceptance of euthanasia.

What is a Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)? A Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is a medical order specifying whether life-sustaining treatment is to be used or withheld for a specific patient in various circumstances. It carries the signatures of the health care provider and sometimes the patient. It differs from a do-not-resuscitate order and a traditional advance directive in that it is actionable from the moment it is signed by the health care provider, even if the patient is still competent and is not terminally ill. One reason given for use of a POLST and

similar instruments is the avoidance of futile or unwanted treatment. Even without a POLST, however, patients are never obligated to submit to health care procedures whose burdens outweigh therapeutic benefits. Decisions about forgoing life-sustaining treatment should be made at the time and in the circumstances in which the decisions are needed (not years ahead), and they should be made by the patient or the patient’s surrogate in consultation with the patient’s attending physician, in line with the patient’s known wishes and best interest (not by health care workers who are strangers to the patient but have access to his POLST). The details of a patient’s medical condition at a specific time need to be considered when such decisions are made, including the imminence of anticipated death, the likely risks and side effects of treatment, the suffering treatment is likely to cause, and the expense to the patient’s family and community. An optimal advance directive is written in very general terms. Instead of specifying treatment, it designates a health care proxy or surrogate who will make decisions if the patient is incompetent, someone who knows the will of the patient and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

What is the difference between an advance directive and a POLST? An advance directive is a legal document that allows a person to identify a proxy or surrogate decision maker and express his wishes about receiving or forgoing health care, including life-sustaining treatment, in the event that he is no longer able to communicate such wishes. An optimal advance directive is written in general terms that identify principles on which a surrogate is to base decisions, made with the assistance of a physician, in the specific health care situation encountered by the patient. A POLST is a medical order about receiving or forgoing life-sustaining treatment that takes effect from the moment the health care provider signs it, even if the patient is competent and not terminally ill.

Why is the designation of a health care proxy or surrogate morally preferable to use of a POLST? Unless death is imminent, it is virtually impossible to compare the benefits and burdens of treatment before a patient has encountered a specific health care situation. Thus, pre-signed checklists of treatments to be received or withheld are not helpful for making decisions based on the best interest of the patient and consistent with the patient’s wishes. A well-informed proxy who knows the patient, understands the values held by the patient, and respects the natural moral law can provide a far better understanding of how the patient’s wishes are to be respected than can a general checklist that is not tied to any specific patient care situation.

Is there a clinical situation in which a POLST could be helpful in directing health care decisions? When a person is terminally ill and death is anticipated from the underlying disease, and not from the withholding of life-sustaining treatment, it could be helpful to have actionable orders to prevent the initiation of futile or disproportionately burdensome treatment. — National Catholic Bioethics Center. Learn more online at

The details of a patient’s medical condition at a specific time need to be considered.


Grieving Loved Ones Are Not Alone Last year, Catholic Charities provided 79 individuals with a dignified burial. Catholic Charities has the only such service in the diocese designed to help families who do not have the means to provide a compassionate and dignified burial for their loved ones. Without this service families would have no option but to leave the body of their loved ones unclaimed at the morgue. Burial Assistance helps families who have no insurance or finances to pay the costs associated with death expenses.

If you need assistance, call the Catholic Charities office nearest to you: Charlotte – 704-370-3262, Winston-Salem – 336-727-0705, Asheville – 828-255-0146 This program relies on the generosity of individual donors and community supporters. To donate, visit the website



Opportunities for giving Everything we have, everything we are, and everything we will become is a gift from Almighty God. As stewards of those gifts, we are called to return a portion of our time, talent and treasure in gratitude for God’s great bounty. The Diocese of Charlotte – with its parishes, offices, agencies, schools and outreach ministries – has many ways for you to give back in gratitude for what God has blessed you with:

Donate online Secure donations can be made online via credit card or direct debit at www. for: Campus Ministry Diocesan Support Appeal (DSA) Eucharistic Congress Forward in Faith, Hope & Love (FFHL) MACS Education Foundation Seminarian Education Triad Area Catholic Schools Education Foundation

Donate by mail Donations in any amount may be made via mail directly to the Diocese of Charlotte, or to any of the ministries mentioned at left. Checks should be made payable to the particular program (as mentioned at left), except for Campus Ministry and Seminarian Education, both of which should be made payable to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte. Please designate in the memo section of your check where your gift should be directed. Please send donations to: Diocese of Charlotte Attn: Finance Office 1123 South Church St. Charlotte, NC 28203-4003

Securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds) Gifts of stock may be made via electronic transfer or by physical certificate. The

Diocese of Charlotte maintains a brokerage account with Wells Fargo Advisors for the purpose of processing electronic transfers to the diocese for the benefit of the diocese or any of its parishes, schools or agencies. Refer to the Stock Donations section at www. for detailed guidance on initiating a transfer of stock.

Planned giving and endowments Many people choose to contribute to the future of the Church in western North Carolina through planned gifts, including real estate, retirement account plans, life insurance policies, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and gifts made through a will or living trust. The Foundation of the Diocese of Charlotte aims to provide long-term financial stability for the diocese and its parishes, schools, ministries and agencies. Through endowments and other planned gifts, it provides a means to generate income to help sustain the long-term strength and viability of Catholic institutions in western North Carolina.

Making a gift in your will To leave a bequest to the Church in your will, use the following language: n For a parish, Catholic school or Catholic agency, the listing should be: “Peter J. Jugis, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, or his Successors in Office for the (name and city of parish, school or agency).” n For the diocese, the listing should be: “Peter J. Jugis, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, or his Successors in Office.” n For the Diocese of Charlotte Foundation, the listing should be: “Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte to be added to or establish the (name) endowment fund.” For details about any of these planned giving opportunities, contact Ray Correia at or 704370-3364; or Judy Smith at jmsmith@ or 704-370-3320.

Help a neighbor in need: Help Catholic Charities Make a donation today to Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte that will transform lives by strengthening families, building communities, and reducing poverty in your local neighborhoods. It’s easy to help a neighbor in need:

Donate online

Donate by mail

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Food donations

Donate securely online at www.ccdoc. org/donate using a credit or debit card or EFT/ACH.

Donations may be mailed to: Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte Attn: Central Processing Office 1123 South Church St. Charlotte, NC 28203-4003

Catholic Charities also has opportunities for you to donate your car, truck, RV, boat, motorcycle or other vehicle. For details, go online to donate-cars-vehicles, or call (toll-free) 855-930-GIVE or 855-930-4483 to speak with Catholic Charities’ partner, Charitable Auto Resources.

Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte’s food pantries in Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Asheville rely heavily on donated food and nonfood items for weekly distribution to clients. Items regularly requested by clients are: canned fruit, juice, tea and coffee, rice, spaghetti sauce, spaghetti noodles, and tuna. Non-food items such as toiletries, diapers, laundry detergent and paper products are also needed. For food pantry locations and drop-off times, go to www.

Checks should be made payable to Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte. (Please include your address, daytime phone number and parish.) You can also donate using your Donor Advised Fund. You can also double the impact of your donation with your employer’s matching gift and mail your matching gift form to the address above.





Continuing education credits for healthcare professionals will be offered. Converging Roads™ is an initiative of the St. John Paul II Foundation


Funeral Planning and Grief Guide 2018  
Funeral Planning and Grief Guide 2018  

Catholic funeral Mass planning and other helpful resources