Regulations to be followed at all funerals in the Diocese of Meath

1. Appreciations or eulogies by family members or friends of the deceased should not take place in the Church but may take place after the Rite of Committal in the cemetery or when family and friends gather after the Funeral Mass.
2. The ambo is for the proclamation of the Word of God.
3. Readings at the Funeral Mass should be taken from the Lectionary only. No secular readings.
4. Secular songs, poems and texts devoid of a Christian content are out of place in the Funeral Mass.
5. If a visiting priest is officiating at the Funeral Mass he should be informed of these regulations and asked to abide by them. He should provide his celebret to the Parish Priest.
6. It is important that funeral undertakers are aware of these regulations. It is also important that clear arrangements are in place on the signing of books of condolence.
7. Clear arrangements, concerning the appropriate opportunity to offer sympathy to the family of the deceased, should be put in place. The traditional shaking of hands and book of condolence are not allowed at the present time.
Please ask the Parish Priest for further details.

First Readings (option1)
A reading from the Book of Wisdom (Wis. 3: 1- 6, 9)
The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God, no torment shall ever touch them. In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die, their going looked like a disaster, their leaving us, like annihilation; but they are in peace. If they experienced punishment as men see it, their hope was rich with immortality; slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be. God has put them to the test and proved them worthy to be with him; he has tested them like gold in a furnace, and accepted them as a holocaust. They who trust in him will understand the truth, those who are faithful will live with him in love; for grace and mercy await those he has chosen. The Word of the Lord.
First Reading (option2)

A reading from the Prophet Isaiah (Is. 12: 2-6)
Truly, God is my salvation, I trust, I shall not fear, for the Lord is my strength, my song, he became my Saviour. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name! Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples! Declare the greatness of his name! Sing a psalm to the Lord, for he has done glorious deeds, make them known to all the earth! People of Zion, sing and shout for joy for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. The Word of the Lord

First Reading (option 3)
A reading from the Prophet Isaiah (Is. 25: 6-9)
On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines, of food rich and juicy, of fine strained wines. On this mountain he will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples, and the shroud enwrapping all nations, he will destroy Death for ever. The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek; he will take away his people’s shame everywhere on earth, for the Lord has said so. That day, it will be said: See, this is our God in whom we hoped for salvation; the Lord is the one in whom we hoped. We exult and we rejoice that he has saved us. The Word of the Lord.

First Readings (option 4)
A reading from the book of Ecclesiastes (Ecc. 3: 1-7,11)
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to root up what is planted; A time to break down and a time to build up; A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance; A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to seek, and a time to lose; A time to keep and a time to discard; A time to tear, and a time to sew; A time to keep silence, and a time to speak; God has made everything suitable for its time.
The Word of the Lord.

First Reading (option 5)
A reading from the Book of Wisdom (Wis. 4: 7-15)
The virtuous man, though he die before his time, will find rest. Length of days is not what makes age honourable, nor number of years the true measure of life; understanding, this is man’s grey hairs, untarnished life, this is ripe old age. He has sought to please God, so God has loved him and he has been taken up. Coming to perfection in so short a while he has achieved long life; his soul being pleasing to the Lord, he has taken him quickly. Yet people look on uncomprehending; it does not enter their heads that grace and mercy await the chosen of the Lord, and protection his chosen ones.
The Word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalms (Option 1)

Response: The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit.
Response: (Congregation) The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.

He guides me along the right path; he is true to his name. If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear. You are there with your crook and your staf; with these you give me comfort.
Response: The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.

You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes. My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing.
Response: The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever. Response: The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.

Responsorial Psalm (option 2):

Response: The Lord is my light and my help.
The Lord is my light and my help; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; before whom shall I shrink?
Response (Congregation) : The Lord is my light and my help.
There is one thing I ask of the Lord, for this I long, to live in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, to savour the sweetness of the Lord, to behold his temple.
Response: The Lord is my light and my help.
O Lord, hear my voice when I call; have mercy and answer. It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face.
Response: The Lord is my light and my help.
I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Hope in him, hold firm and take heart. Hope in the Lord!

Second Readings (option 1)
A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans
(Rm. 5: 5-11) Hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us. We were still helpless when at his appointed moment Christ died for sinful men. It is not easy to die even for a good man – though of course for someone really worthy, a man might be prepared to die – but what proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Having died to make us righteous, is it likely that he would now fail to save us from God’s anger? When we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, we were still enemies; now that we have been reconciled, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son? Not merely because we have been reconciled but because we are filled with joyful trust in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation.
The Word of the Lord.

Second reading (Option 2)
A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians

We want you to be quite certain, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, to make sure that you do not grieve about them like people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be the same for all who have died in Jesus; God will bring them with him. We can tell you this from the Lord’s own teaching, that any of us who are left alive until the Lord’s coming will not have any advantage over those who have died. At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord will come from heaven. So we shall stay with the Lord forever. With such thoughts as these you should comfort one another. The Word of the Lord.

Second readings (option 3) A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans (Rm. 5: 17-21) If it is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one man’s fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause everyone to reign in life who receives the free gif that he does not deserve, of being made righteous. Again, as one man’s fall brought condemnation on everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them justifed. As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. When law came, it was to multiply the opportunities of failing, but however great the number of sins committed, grace was even greater; and so, just as sin reigned wherever there was death, so grace will reign to bring eternal life thanks to the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ our Lord. The Word of the Lord.

Second readings (option 4)
A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans
(Rm. 8: 31-35, 37-39)
With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us. Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us. For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Word of the Lord

Second readings (option 5)
A reading from the frst letter of St Paul to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 15: 51-57)
I will tell you something that has been secret: that we are not all going to die, but that we shall all be changed. This will be instantaneous, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet sounds. It will sound, and the dead will be raised, imperishably, and we shall be changed as well, because our present perishable nature must put on imperishability and this mortal nature must put on immortality. When this perishable nature has put on imperishability, and when this mortal nature has put on immortality, then the words of scripture will come true: Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. So let us thank God for giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Word of the Lord.

Second readings (option 6)
A reading from the second letter of St Paul to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 5: 1, 6-10)
He who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by his side and you with us. You see, all this is for your benefit, so that the more grace is multiplied among people, the more thanksgiving there will be, to the glory of God. That is why there is no weakening on our part, and instead, though this outer body of ours may be falling into decay, the inner person is renewed day by day. Yes, the troubles which are soon over, though they weigh little, train us for the carrying of a weight of eternal glory which is out of all proportion to them. And so we have no eyes for things that are visible, but only for things that are invisible; for visible things last only for a time, and the invisible things are eternal. For we know that when the tent that we live in on earth is folded up, there is a house built by God for us, an everlasting home not made by human hands, in the heavens.
The Word of the Lord.

Second reading (option7)
A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Philippians
(Phil. 3: 20-21)
For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body. He will do that by the same power with which he can subdue the whole universe.
The Word of the Lord.

Second readings (option 8)
A reading from the second letter of St Paul to Timothy
(2Tim. 2: 8-13)
Remember the Good News that I carry, ‘Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David’; it is on account of this that I have my own hardships to bear, even to being chained like a criminal – but they cannot chain up God’s news. So I bear it all for the sake of those who are chosen, so that in the end they may have the salvation that is in Christ Jesus and the eternal glory that comes with it. Here is a saying that you can rely on: If we have died with him, then we shall live with him. If we hold firm, then we shall reign with him. If we disown him, then he will disown us. We may be unfaithful, but he is always faithful, for he cannot disown his own self.
The Word of the Lord.

Second readings (Option 9)
A reading the second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy
(2Tim. 4: 6-8)
As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing. The Word of the Lord.

Second reading (option 10)
A reading from the Book of Revelation
(Rev. 14: 3)
I, John, heard a voice from heaven say to me, “Write down: happy are those who die in the Lord! Happy indeed, the Spirit says; now they can rest for ever after their work, since their good deeds go with them”.
The Word of the Lord

Second readings (option 11)
A reading from the ifrst letter of St John (1Jn. 3: 12) Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are. Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us. My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is. The Word of the Lord

Prayers of the Faithful

Some prayer wordings that could be used as Prayers of the Faithful. Please adjust where appropriate.
Note: Given here are sample Prayers of the Faithful. Feel free to use as many or as few as you wish (Readers and Prayers). The priest will introduce and conclude the prayers of intercession.
Prayers for the Deceased
1. We pray for N who has died:–may God now welcome him/her into his heavenly home of eternal happiness and peace. Lord, hear us
2. We pray for the relatives and friends of N, especially his/her wife/ husband N, his/her sons and daughters ….., his/her brothers and sisters ….., the members of his/her extended family, his/her neighbours and friends:–may God fill their hearts with his comfort and consolation. Lord, hear us
3. We pray for all those who care for the sick. Today we pray for the doctors, nurses, chaplain and staff of ……. Hospital/Nursing Home who cared for N during his/ her illness–may God bless them for the good they do. Lord, hear us
4. We pray in thanksgiving for the wonderful neighbours and friends who have been so generous and kind to us:–may God reward them and bless their homes with peace. Lord, hear us
5. As we pray that N will find eternal peace, we pray for that same peace in our own hearts and homes. Lord, hear us

6. We pray for all who are ill at this time:–may God lay his healing hand on them and give them courage and hope. Lord, hear us
7. We pray for young people:–may they always value goodness, kindness and friendship. May they be courageous witnesses for God in the world. May they come to know God’s love for each and every one of them. Lord, hear us
8. We pray for all elderly people:–may they receive love and care from their families, friends and community. May they always feel cherished, valued and loved. Lord, hear us
9. We pray for all who have died, especially N and his/her relatives and friends who have gone before him/her:–may God now unite them all in the happiness and peace of his eternal home. Lord, hear us
Usually around six Prayers are chosen and can be said by one person or up to six people. Please do not feel under any obligation to do readings or prayers if you are uncomfortable, or if there isn’t a sufficient number of family/people available to help. Please discuss with the priest.