Ministry to the Bereaved

Archbishop Dermot Farrell has issued a Pastoral Letter celebrating Funeral Ministry and the consolation and hope we offer as Church to the bereaved.

The following is an extract from the letter, which is entitled Servants of Consolation and Witnesses of Hope: Ministry to the Bereaved in a Time of Change. The full letter is available to download.

One of the deepest and most authentic expressions of our Christian faith is the celebration of the funeral rites of our departed loved ones. ...Support for the bereaved is a very important pastoral outreach. It is much more than a competent service provided for the bereaved to help them negotiate their loss in a dignified way. It is a genuine ministry to our sisters and brothers, in their hour of pain and loss, and, at times, their hour of numbness, confusion or fear, recognising “the spiritual bond that still exists between the living and the dead.”

...I am now asking that all parishes and parish partnerships give priority to the development of ministry to the bereaved so that what has already begun in some parishes may be better established across the Archdiocese as a whole. In part, this will involve inviting volunteers for funeral ministry, discerning with them and supporting them through appropriate training and development. Even more importantly, it will involve helping our communities to imagine, understand and experience new ways of ministering to the bereaved. In short, it is nothing less than rediscovery – or in some cases a discovery – of what the Church is, of discovering anew what the Christian community is there for.

Funeral Ministry


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Today’s Mass Readings .
Building Hope
Pilgrim God, we give you thanks and praise.
You constantly journey with us even in our darkness and doubts.
We seek your way of loving kindness to walk together as one family.
Open our eyes to recognise you in the faces of one another,
in the breaking of bread and in the splendour of creation.
May the risen Christ sow seeds of hope and new life deep within us.
May our hearts and minds be filled with your Word, bringing forth truth, justice and peace.
May the Holy Spirit working in and through us do much more
than we can dare to imagine as we live out our baptismal calling in humble and loving service.
We make this our prayer through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.
St Laurence O’Toole, pray for us.
St Kevin, pray for us.
St Brigid, pray for us.

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