The death of a loved one is always difficult, so be assured of the prayers of the parish community for the repose of the soul of the person who has died, and for you and your family.

Funerals are always arranged through a funeral director. They will do the difficult job of coordinating the families wishes, the availability of the church, priest, cemetery or crematorium and their own staff. It sometimes takes a few days to finalise all the arrangements, but a funeral director is best placed to do that.

If someone is seriously ill, they may want the priest to visit to give them the Sacrament of the Sick. This prayer of Anointing and Holy Communion can be a great comfort to someone in their last days or hours of life. It is always better celebrated when the person is still able to participate themselves, or at least able to know what is going on. If the person is in hospital, this can be arranged through the Department of Spiritual and Pastoral Care. Catholic Chaplains are on-call at all hours and can be contacted through the hospital. If the person is at home or in a care home, it is important to let a priest know that they require a visit in plenty of time.

When someone has died, one of the first calls should be to the funeral director of your choice. They will then guide you through what must be done and will liaise with the parish.

It is helpful if the loved one who has died has left instructions for the family to follow in the event of their death. A simple sheet has been prepared so that people can, well in advance, leave some simple details of their wishes. If you want, the priest can visit and help complete this and answer any questions. You can download the planning sheet below.

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