The loss of a loved one is a difficult experience. In addition to the emotional, spiritual and physical demands of putting a loved one to rest, many families find themselves overwhelmed, while coping with grief and planning the many components of a funeral. There are three liturgical expressions of the Catholic Church which help us celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus in the lives of our loved ones: The Vigil for the Deceased (where the Rosary may be recited), the Rite of Christian Burial (or in some cases the celebration of a Memorial Mass), and the rite of committal (service at the gravesite). Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church understands how hard it can be to coordinate a funeral. This webpage was created to help you better understand the process and to help you address and generate questions.
What to do when a loved one passes away:
Step 1: Contact the funeral home of your choice. Work with your Funeral Director and setup tentative arrangements including:
- Discuss the date, time, language preference, and location for the Rosary/Viewing.
- Discuss if you prefer a Spanish, English or Bilingual Rosary.
- Discuss the date and time for the Mass and if you prefer a Spanish, English or bilingual Mass.
Step 2: Have your Funeral Director call Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church while you are meeting to make arrangements. The Funeral Director and the parish staff will work together to coordinate the church and funeral home facilities for the vigil and mass.
Please note: The parish coordinates arrangements directly with the Funeral Director. Have the funeral director call the office at 512-478-7955. The office hours are: Monday through Thursday 9:00am to 5:00pm; Friday 9:00am – 12:00pm (noon)
To contact someone after hours call 512-478-7955 and leave a message.
Planning the Vigil for the deceased
The Most Holy Rosary: It is customary to host a viewing and to recite the most holy rosary at vigil. Our Lady of Guadalupe has four ministry teams that recite the Most Holy Rosary for funerals. Once the funeral home and church confirm the time and place for the rosary, the parish will contact a rosary group. There is no cost for this service. Reciting the Rosary is an important ministry and members are called to live out their baptismal promises by sharing God’s love, message and by giving their time in service to others. The family may provide their own Rosary group. Just notify the funeral coordinator in the parish office.
Eulogies & Special Memorials: If a member of your family or friends wishes to give a Eulogy, read a poem, pray or do something special for your loved one, the Vigil or the after-burial gathering are the times for those special moments; eulogies and special memorials are not permitted at the traditional funeral Mass.
Planning a Mass of Christian Burial or a Memorial Mass
Planning a liturgy is no small undertaking. Many families are often overwhelmed and unaware of where to begin with planning a Funeral. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death, the funeral may include a traditional Funeral Mass to celebrate the Rite of Christian Burial or it may include a memorial mass.
Rite of Christian Burial Funeral Mass: A funeral Mass is celebrated by a Priest in the church. During this mass, the body/casket or cremated remains is present. Out of respect for the human body, it is preferred that the funeral Mass takes place in the presence of the body with cremation following and interment at a later time.
Memorial Mass: A Memorial Mass is celebrated by a Priest in the church. During this Mass no Body is present. A memorial Mass often takes place when the funeral and burial will take place at a distant location so that the body is not able to be present locally.
Music: At Our Lady of Guadalupe, we understand the financial hardship a loss can place on a family. In order to keep costs low for our families, OLG does not provide musicians or music for funeral Masses. Although music is a beautiful component of Mass and adds so much to the liturgical experience, it is not required to celebrate Mass. Discuss having music at the funeral Mass with your loved ones. The parish office will be happy to provide names of cantors and musicians. Any arrangements made with them are between the families and the musician.
Honorarium/Stipend: There is a small fee of $250.00 dollars to cover Mass supplies, preparation and honorariums for the funeral Mass. Funeral Masses are typically celebrated Monday through Friday and are not permitted on Sunday. Saturday Funerals can be arranged however, there is less flexibility and availability due to other Sacraments being celebrated such as baptisms and marriages.
Involvement in the liturgy: Each funeral is customized to meet the family’s needs. The family may assist and determine their level of involvement with the liturgy. Here at Our Lady of Guadalupe, families have two options:
Our Lady of Guadalupe has a Funeral Ministry group. This is a group of dedicated and compassionate parishioners who assist the celebrant and family during the Mass. This ministry will open and close the church, prepares for Mass, serve as Commentators, Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers. There is no cost or fee for this ministry.
The family may choose what level of involvement they wish to have in the liturgy. Just notify the parish office to make arrangements with the ministry group. Once your parish staff contact knows of your wish to participate, they will request a ministry leader from the Funeral Ministry group to contact your family. Please know, OLG welcomes participation from family members and friends. This enhances the experience of the Mass and brings comfort to the family.
Here are the ways members of your family can participate in the liturgy:
- Discuss with the pastor the readings for the Mass.
- Lectors: The family may choose someone to read at Mass. It is preferable that this member be a trained lector from OLG or from another parish in the Diocese of Austin.
- Eucharistic Ministers: The family may choose someone to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. This person must be a trained and Commissioned Extraordinary Minister of Holy community within the Diocese of Austin.
Meeting with the Priest
Your parish contact will set up an appointment with the family to discuss the funeral Mass. You may have the option to choose liturgical readings, music, readers and other aspects of the Mass of Christian Burial.
Following the Mass, the Rite of Committal (graveside service) takes place. A Priest or Deacon normally accompanies the family to the cemetery for a blessing. Discuss these options with the priest if the family has a preference.
Outside Priests from other parishes or another Diocese:
The Pastor and Associate Pastor of a parish are responsible for all funerals within their respective church boundaries. Let the parish know if a specific priest would be most comforting to the family or was requested by the deceased. Priest from outside the Diocese of Austin must be approved by the Pastor.
Military Funeral Services:
For Military funeral ceremonies meet with the pastor.
The family will typically have a reception or small gathering in memory/honor of their loved ones after the internment at the cemetery.
Many families choose to have these gatherings at their home or at a hall. The St. Eugene de Mazanod Parish Hall is available for funeral receptions. Usage is based on availability.
At Our Lady of Guadalupe, we understand the financial hardship a funeral can be on a family. For that reason, we have reduced the rental rate for funerals. If you are interested in using the parish hall a deposit of $150 deposit is required at the time of booking. We rent the hall in a 3 hour block for $150 dollars and $35 dollars per each additional hour. If you are interested in renting the hall please contact that parish office at (512) 478-7955.
Generally receptions are catered or the families bring food. Due to the fact that we are a permitted kitchen, food prep is not permitted in the kitchen. Families may use warming and refrigeration facilities only. If a funeral is outside of normal operating hours, there will be an additional Staff/ Monitor fee. The rental rate is for funerals only. This fee is a minimal fee to offset cost incurred by operating the hall.
Ways to remember/honor your Loved Ones
- In lieu of flowers have donations made in your loved ones name to OLG
- Schedule a Mass Intention
- Schedule a weekend with the parish office to sponsor all the Altar/Church Flowers.
- See the parish wish list to donation an item in honor of your loved one. Make a donation in your loved ones name to the parish or church program of your choice.
- Make a donation in your loved ones name to the parish or church program of your choice.
- Schedule a Mass Intention: A Mass intention may be celebrated in honor of your loved one. Typically there is a minimum donation of $5 dollar or an amount of your choice. Mass Intentions are scheduled during regularly scheduled Masses. There is 1 intention per Mass so availability is limited. Intentions are published in the bulletin, placed at the entrance of the church and announced during prayers of the faithful. This Mass is celebrated with the community at large. No Bodies or Cremations remains are present at this Mass
Consider the Spiritual needs of your family as you cope with losing a loved one: If you have someone in your family that is ill please contact the parish office to discuss your loved ones sacramental needs. In addition to requesting a priest for sacraments, if the family needs continued spiritual support, the parish has many ministries including a homebound Eucharistic Ministers ministry, a rosary ministry groups, a grief support referral system, and continued spiritual support from staff, deacons and priests.
Confession and Anointing of the sick:
Anointing of the sick is a sacrament of healing and is used for those that are extremely ill. It was known in the past as Last Rites. Typically it is accompanied by confession. Only a priest is permitted to give the sacrament of Confession and Anointing of the Sick. For that reason, ideally, a priest should be contacted in order to administer the sacraments of Confession and Anointing of the Sick. Contact the parish office at (512) 478-7955 to make arrangements.
Discuss funeral arrangements and preferences with your loved one if possible before he or she dies. Pre plan the funeral service as much as possible to reduce stress when the time comes. Discover your loved one's favorite priest, cantor and liturgical songs. If death is expected, begin the arrangements before the person dies to ensure smooth planning.