Funeral Mass

 “At the death of a Christian, whose life of faith was begun in the waters of Baptism and strengthened at the Eucharistic table, the Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end, nor does it break the bonds forged in life. The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting Word of God and the Sacrament of the Eucharist.”

The Catholic funeral rite is divided into several stations, or parts, each with its own purpose.

In order to help you make proper arrangements please contact one of the local funeral homes and allow them to plan the celebration with you. We are usually contacted directly by the funeral home, and then there is time for an appointment for the family to come to the parish office or for one of the pastoral staff members to visit with the family.


 Vigil Service (Wake)

"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 Service usually takes place during the period of visitation and viewing at the funeral home. It is a time to remember the life of the deceased and to commend him/her to God. In prayer we ask God to console us in our grief and give us strength to support one another.

 Funeral Mass

The funeral Mass is the central liturgical celebration of the Christian community for the deceased. When one of its members dies, the Church encourages the celebration of the funeral liturgy at a Mass. When Mass cannot be celebrated, a funeral liturgy outside Mass can be celebrated at the church or in the funeral home.

 At the funeral Mass, 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. The funeral liturgy, therefore, is an act of worship, and not merely an expression of grief.

 In our parish the pastor meets with relatives of the deceased prior to the wake to plan the Funeral liturgy. Usually the family participates in the first and second readings, bringing gifts during the offertory procession, leading the prayers of the faithful and giving a eulogy.

 Eulogy is given before the beginning of the Mass. One eulogy for less than 5 minutes is permitted. The eulogy should be more about the faith life of the deceased. A Eulogy is optional. 

 Family members can choose the readings. Choice can be made from the following:

 Click the following:

First Reading

Responsorial psalm

Second Reading


First Reading during
Easter Season


Prayers of the Faithful

Mass Booklet Template


Rite of Committal (Burial or Interment)

 The Rite of Committal, the conclusion of the funeral rite, is the final act of the community of faith in caring for the body of its deceased member. It should normally be celebrated at the place of committal, that is, beside the open grave or place of interment. In committing the body to its resting place, the community expresses the hope that, with all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, the deceased awaits the glory of the resurrection. The Rite of Committal is an expression of the communion that exists between the Church on earth and the Church in heaven: the deceased passes with the farewell prayers of the community of believers into the welcoming company of those who need faith no longer, but see God face-to-face.


Funeral Mass (with casket or urn)  $ 350
Memorial Mass  (without casket or urn) $ 150


Make arrangements for music with our Music Director. Music Director for Our Lady of Sorrows Church is Irene Listorti: (860) 388-9884 or musicessex@stocpct.org. Music Director for St. Joseph’s church is Wendy Hummel: (860) 559-9807 or musicchester@stocpct.org. Should alternative musicians/music be used, a fee of $ 50.00 is still payable to our Music Director. Fees for Music Director and other musicians are determined by them and paid directly to them. 

Use of Parish Hall:

Parishioners of St. Teresa of Calcutta may use the Essex church hall for social and fellowship after the funeral Mass. Please contact the parish office. Any donation from you will be much appreciated.