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Funeral Planning

Planning a Funeral Mass and/or a Committal Service for a loved one is a powerful experience as there is so much to process. That is why we are here to accompany you. If your loved one will have a funeral and/or committal service under the direction of the parish, please call the Director of Parish Life, Beth Gaudette 919-847-8205 x241 during office hours Monday-Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm.

If possible, when a loved one is approaching death, please contact the parish to let us know so we may provide spiritual and pastoral ministry to your loved one through a variety of ministries we offer. When a loved one passes, the first call you should make is to the funeral home. This is a list of local Funeral Homes St. Francis most frequently coordinates with – Click here

After you have made this call, please call the Funeral Ministry at 919-847-8205 x241 leave a message with information about your loved one and your contact information. A member of our team will be in touch within the next business day.

Funeral Planning Resources


Contact the Funeral Ministry at 919-847-8205 x241 and someone will assist in the coordination with the priest, Church, and funeral home to set a date and a time for the Mass/Service.

Funeral Masses/Services

  • Tuesday – Friday (11am | 1pm | 3:30pm) or on Saturday (11 am | 1pm) based on space and priest availability.


  • Once the time is set, an Emmaus Minister will contact the family. Emmaus Minsters are volunteers who are trained to work with those who are grieving and help them in the time between a loved one’s death and the Funeral Mass/Service. The family and Emmaus Minister will plan the liturgy together.

Planning Documents

Please fill out the Funeral Planning form as much as the family is able to so while utilizing the following resource documents:

Funeral Readings
There are normally three scripture readings proclaimed at a Funeral Mass/Service.

  • If the Funeral Mass/Service is NOT during Easter Season (Easter Sunday through Pentecost), the first reading is from the Old Testament – (Options)
  • If the funeral Mass is during Easter Season, the first reading is from the New testament –(Options )
  • The second reading is chosen from the New Testament–
    (Options )
  • The Gospel is chosen from Matthew, Mark, Luke or John-
    (Options )

Funeral Music – Music is a powerful expression of faith and our Christian beliefs and an indispensable part of a Funeral Mass/Service. To see a sampling of music options, click here.

We ask the family to compensate our musicians for their ministry in light of their professional training, competence, and experience. The fee for the pianist/organist is $250 and the fee for the cantor is $125. Checks should be made payable to the musicians directly and not to St. Francis of Assisi.

Words of Remembrance:

Often a member of the family would like to offer a few words of remembrance, a short eulogy, as part of the Funeral Mass/Service. If a family member would like to do this, please note the parish policy:

  • One person is invited to share the word.
  • Length: no more than 500 words
  • Time: no more than 5 minutes
  • A copy of the text must be submitted to the Director of Parish Life, Beth Gaudette at no less than 24 hours before the Mass/Service.

Presider Sheet:

The Emmaus Minister will gather important information you would like the celebrant to know about your loved one and provide it to him so he may become more familiar with the deceased and the family. This should be completed no less than 24 hours before the Funeral Mass/Service.

Honorariums (Stipends)

We are often asked about honorariums (stipends) for a funeral Mass. The recommended amounts are:

  • Music – $250
  • Cantor – $125
  • Priest – $100-200

Checks should be made out directly to the person/musician presiding. The funeral ministry will provide the names.

Please do not let costs stand in the way of having a funeral for your loved one. These are recommended amounts only.

Planning The Funeral Mass

Worship Aid

To assist in the dignity of the Mass/Service, we provide a worship aid designed by a staff member. If you would like a picture of your loved one on the front of the worship aid, please send it to

Liturgical Ministers

Family members can participate during the Mass as readers, bringing up the gifts during the offertory hymn, and as Eucharistic Ministers if they are trained. St. Francis can also provide assistance with these roles if needed.


We provide an option for visitation in the parlor of the church one hour before the service for family and friends to gather.

Rite of Committal in the Parish Columbarium

St. Francis of Assisi Columbarium is a place of faith, tender rest, and visitation. If you seek to lay your family member to rest in one of our niches, please inform us when you initially contact the parish at the time of death. If your loved one has previously purchased a niche, please make us aware of this.

Rite of Committal Elsewhere

If your loved one will be laid to rest in a cemetery, please inform us when you initially contact the parish at the time of death sothe officiant is prepared to bring what he needs to provide a dignified service in the Catholic tradition.

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