Preparing for a Funeral

Banagher Parish

Preparing for a Funeral

Parish Pastoral Council

We are very sorry to hear of the death of your loved one, we are praying for them. You and your loved one will be in our thoughts and prayers at this time. A funeral is a time of sorrow and mourning, however for Christians it is also a time to strengthen our faith and hope in Jesus, as we live in hope that we will be reunited with our loved ones again in heaven. In the Catholic Funeral Liturgy, we pray that our deceased brother or sister be admitted into paradise. We assist them with our prayers in commending their soul to the Lord. We pray that you will also get strength from family and friends and our community who gather to support you through what is a very difficult time.

This booklet which includes readings and prayers for you to choose from will help you in arranging the Funeral Mass of your loved one. Please know that you can contact us at anytime.
Parish of Banagher
028 7778 1223

The content on this page can also be downloaded in PDF format below. 

Preparing For a Funeral


Banagher Funeral Booklet

Date added: 24-03-2020

Prayers at the Family Wake

Date added: 24-03-2020


You will have to decide if you would like music at the Funeral Mass. It is also fine not to have music. It is the responsibility of the family to organise the music. We can put you in contact with an experienced Church Musician who will choose or help you in choosing the Sacred Music for the Funeral Mass. This should be done as soon as possible.


There are normally 5 hymns chosen for the Mass – Entrance, Offertory, Communion (x2) and the Recessional. The Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation may also be
sung. The Funeral Mass is a Sacred Ceremony and therefore non-liturgical ‘songs’ are not appropriate, only hymns may be sung. Church music fittingly enhances the Funeral Liturgy providing a quiet, prayerful and calming atmosphere focused on the Christian message.


We encourage one or two people to take part in the Liturgy of the Word by reading the First Reading and the Second Reading. The Psalm, if there is no music or if not sung by the Choir or Cantor, is also read in between the First and Second Readings. You can make your selection of Readings from those provided in this booklet. The reader(s) are encouraged to get familiar with the text to become comfortable with pronunciation and to set a suitable pace.

Readers should announce the Reading e.g. ‘A reading from the…’ then pause, read the Scripture text and pause again before ending with ‘The Word of the Lord.’ We are not able to include other readings, such as poetry, at Mass.

Prayer of the Faithful

One, two, three or up to six people may read the Prayer of the Faithful. The priest will invite them to come forward at the appropriate time and he will introduce the Prayer. The six prayers on page 10 then follow, from each reader in their turn. They remain on the Sanctuary Area until the priest concludes the Prayers of the Faithful and then they return to their seats.

PLEASE NOTE: All texts for the Readings and Prayers you have chosen will be there for you. You don’t need to bring any text up with you on the day of the Funeral.

Offertory Procession

Two, three or four family members or friends bring the gifts of bread and wine for the Mass to the priest. The priest will invite them to come forward at the appropriate time.

Options for the First Reading

Option 1
Job 19:1.23-27
A reading from the book of Job
Ah, would that these words of mine were written down,
Inscribed on some monument
With iron chisel and engraving tool,
Cut into the rock for ever.
This I know: that my Redeemer lives,
And he, the Last, will take his stand on earth.
After my awaking, he will set me close to him, and from my flesh I shall look on God.
He whom I shall see will take my part:
These eyes will gaze on him and find him not aloof.
The Word of the Lord.

Option 2
Lamentations 3:22-26
A reading from the book of Lamentations
The favours of the Lord, are not all past,
His kindnesses are not exhausted;
Every morning they are renewed;
Great is his faithfulness.
‘My portion is the Lord’ says my soul
‘and so I will hope in him.’
The Lord is good to those who trust him,
To the soul that searches for him.
It is good to wait in silence for the Lord to save.
The Word of the Lord.

Option 3
Isaiah 25: 6-9
A reading from the prophet Isaiah.
On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich
food. On this mountain he will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples, and
the shroud enwrapping all nations, he will destroy Death forever.
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.
We exult and we rejoice that he has saved us.
The Word of the Lord.

Option 4
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
A reading from the book of Ecclesiastes.
There is a season for everything,
a time for every occupation under heaven:
A time for giving birth, a time for dying;
a time for planting, a time for uprooting what has been planted.
A time for killing, a time for healing;
a time for knocking down, a time for building.
A time for tears, a time for laughter;
a time for mourning, a time for dancing.
A time for throwing stones away, a time for gathering them;
a time for embracing, a time to refrain from embracing.
A time for searching, a time for losing;
a time for keeping, a time for discarding.
A time for tearing, a time for sewing;
a time for keeping silent, a time for speaking.
A time for loving, a time for hating;
a time for war, a time for peace.
The Word of the Lord. 

Option 5
Proverbs 31:10-13,19-20,30-31
A reading from the book of the Proverbs.
Let kindness and loyalty never leave you;
wear them around your neck, write them on your heart.
Trust in God, put no faith in your own perception;
in every course you take have God in your mind.
Happy the person who discovers such wisdom,
because wisdom is beyond the price of pearls,
nothing you could wish for is her equal.
Her ways are delightful ways, her paths all lead to contentment.
She is a tree of life for those who hold her fast,
those who cling to her live happy lives.
The Word of the Lord.

Option 6
Isaiah 43: 1-3
A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah
But now, thus say the Lord.
who created you, Jacob,
who formed you, Israel:
Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name, you are mine.
Should you pass through the sea, I will be with you;
Or through rivers, they will not swallow you up.
Should you walk through fire, you will not be scorched
And the flames will not burn you.
For I am the Lord, your God, The Holy One of Israel, your saviour.
You are precious in my eyes. You are honoured and I love you.
The Word of the Lord.

Option 7
Wisdom 3: 1-9
A reading from the book of Wisdom
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.
When the time comes for his visitation they will shine out; as sparks run through the
stubble, so will they.
They shall judge nations, rule over peoples, and the Lord will be their king for ever.
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

Option 8
Wisdom 4:7-15
A reading from the book of Wisdom
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; as he was living among sinners, he has
been taken up.
He has been carried off so that evil may not warp his understanding or treachery
seduce his soul; for the fascination of evil throws good things into the shade, and the
whirlwind of desire corrupts a simple heart.
Coming to perfection in so short a while, he achieved long life; his soul being pleasing
to the Lord, he has taken him quickly from the wickedness around him. Yet people
look on, uncomprehending; it does not enter their heads that grace and mercy await
the chosen of the Lord, and protection, his holy ones.
The Word of the Lord

Psalm Option (if not sung)

Psalm 22 (23)
If the Choir/Cantors are not singing the Psalm, then the following Psalm is read between the First and Second Readings:

Reader: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
All: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Reader: 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.
He guides me along the right path; he is true to his name.
All: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Reader: You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing.
Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell forever and ever.
All: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Options for the Second Reading

Option 1
1 Corinthians 15:20-23
A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians.
Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of all who have fallen asleep.
Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has
come through one man.
Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of
them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of
Christ, those who belong to him.
The Word of the Lord.

Option 2
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Thessalonians.
Do not weep for those who have died, or be filled with sadness like those who have
nothing to hope for.
We believe that Jesus died and rose to new life, and that the same thing will happen
to all who believe in him.
Take comfort in knowing that everyone who died in Christ shall rise to new life and
be with him forever.
The Word of the Lord. 

Option 3
2 Timothy 4:6-8
A reading from the second letter of St Paul to Timothy.
As for me, my life is already being poured away as a libation, and the time has come
for me to depart. I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the
I have kept the faith; all there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness
which the Lord, the upright judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me
but to all those who have longed for his appearing.
The Word of the Lord.

Option 4
1 John 3:1-2
A reading from the first letter of St John.
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.

Option 5
Philippians 3:20-21
A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Philippians.
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.

Option 6
Revelation 14:13
A reading from the book of Revelation.
Then I heard a voice from heaven say to me, ‘Write down: Blessed are those who die in
the Lord! Blessed 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.


Prayer of the Faithful

Priest: Let us pray to God in heaven, who through Christ gives us the hope that
our mortal bodies will become like his in glory:

1. In Baptism we are given the promise of eternal life: may ___________ be raised up to share the life of God in heaven. (pause)… Lord hear us…

2. For the family and friends of ___________: that they may find strength and consolation in the hope we have through Christ’s Resurrection from the dead. (pause)… Lord, hear us.

3. For medical and nursing professionals (and in particular those who have cared for ___________): Lord, guide their caring hearts and gentle hands. (pause)… Lord hear us…

4. Lord our God, look on those who live without hope and do not know you; bring them to believe in the Resurrection and the life of the world to come. (pause)… Lord hear us.

5. O God, Creator of life and the gifts you have given each of us, help us to use them to build respect for each other and our world. (pause)… Lord hear us.

6. Eternal Father, bring ___________, all our deceased relatives and friends, and all the faithful departed into the light of your presence. (pause)… Lord hear us.

Priest: O God, you made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. Hear our prayers and grant that our hearts may be set on our eternal home where we will all be reunited through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Family Prayers

Hail Holy Queen
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy,
Hail our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn, then, O most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, our exile,
show unto us the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
Pray for us, O Holy mother of God
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Prayer for Eternal Rest
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
A Prayer for Comfort and Strength
Everyday I need you Lord, but this day especially I need some extra strength to face
whatever is to be. This day, more than any day, I need to feel you near to fortify my
courage and overcome my fear. By myself I cannot meet the challenge of the hour.
And so dear Lord I ask, hold on to my trembling hand and remain with me today.

A Prayer for the Bereaved
Lord, it’s hard to do the everyday things since N… died. Life is going on as normal
for everyone else, but somewhere inside of me there is an ache that just won’t
go away. I can’t even talk about it to people close to me. You wept when your
friend died, so you must know what I’m going through. Help me to cope with my
loneliness, my sadness and my regrets. Amen.

Contact Details

Parish of Banagher
42 Glenedra Road, Feeny, Co Derry
BT47 4TW
Tel: 028 - 7778 1223