Guidelines for Christian Funerals
“Lord, for your faithful people life is changed; not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven.”
Praying for the dead is an expression of communion with them, our love for them, and our desire for their final glory. Comforting those who mourn is a truly Christian response to the unique suffering of those affected by death.
WHAT TO DO WHEN A CATHOLIC DIES
1. Family members of a deceased catholic should, as soon as possible, inform the Parish Clergy of the Parish of the domicile of the deceased in order to make the necessary arrangements of date and time for Christian burial.
2. The family should present a copy of the “Death Certificate” issued by the Macau Civil Registry (Conservatória do Registo Civil) and copy of the deceased’s BIR and Baptism Certificate.
3. Catholics from an Elderly Home or Hospital, belong to the Parish where these facilities are located, and the Parish Priest has the responsibility of arranging the Funeral service.
4. The Order of Christian Funerals speaks of Funeral Mass and burial or cremation prayer. If a Vigil Mass is requested by the family no extra stipend should be asked for.
5. Family members can ask a priest known by the family to preside at the Funeral mass but first should seek the agreement of the Parish Priest.
6. In case the Parish Priest or the Assistant Parish Priest cannot preside at the Funeral Mass, is the Parish Priest’s responsibility to find another priest to help with the funeral liturgy.
7. The Parish Priest of the deceased should notify the parish where the deceased was baptized. The death of the deceased is to be entered in the baptismal register.
About Cremation: According to the present discipline of the Church, Catholics may choose to have their bodies cremated. It is not necessary to seek any special ecclesiastical permission from the Diocese for cremation.