Funeral PlanningGuide

FUNERAL PLANNING  GUIDE -  St. Bonaventure, Allegany, NY

(as of May 31, 2019)

Name of the deceased:  _________________________________


                       date of birth:  ______________________________


                       date of death:  ______________________________


Name of Family member making the arrangements ________________________


                                                               phone number: _______________________


“Lord, for your faithful people life is changed not ended.”  This sentence from one of the Prefaces of the Funeral Mass identifies why we gather. We gather in sorrow that a life has passed from our immediate experience.  But, we also gather in hope for we are a people who believe that in Jesus Christ, by his cross and resurrection, we have attained a new life, and because of that new life we live forever.


The Funeral liturgy is an expression of our faith in the everlasting and new life that Jesus has given us, and that now the deceased experiences.  Through ritual actions family and friends in the midst of grief express faith and hope. Through participation in the funeral liturgy we profess a spiritual communion with the person who has died. Below are suggested ways that family and friends can participate in the liturgy. These options are by no means the only ways, but they are principle ways.  Take your time in looking and choosing from the various options for the liturgy.  If you have any questions, etc. please contact Fr. James Vacco, O.F.M.  (373-1330 or 375-2658)


TYPE OF SERVICE……There are two types of services a family can choose:


                                                   Funeral Mass in Church




                                                   Funeral Scripture Liturgy

                                     held either in Church or in the funeral home.


Your choice of which service should take into consideration the needs and situation of the family, as well as the wishes of the deceased.  The primary focus of either service is to praise God for the life of the deceased and to express faith in the resurrection and everlasting life with God. Thus, the funeral Mass or Scripture Service is a form of worship.  Thus while special commemoration of the life and activity of the deceased can be a part of the Mass / Service, many personal sharing of memories or mementos of the deceased are more appropriate for the wake or at any post-funeral gathering.


The primary distinction between these two funeral rituals is that the Funeral Mass has the prayers which lead to reception of Holy Communion, while the Funeral Scripture Liturgy does not.  The Funeral Scripture Liturgy should be considered an appropriate option if the majority of the family do not generally participate at weekend (Sunday) Mass.   If the Funeral Scripture Liturgy is chosen then from the selection of options which follow on this planning guide the family need only choose the Scripture Readings and decide if someone is going to deliver a eulogy.


Please choose your type of Funeral Service: (place a ‘X’ by your choice)


            _________  Funeral Mass in Church   (continue to fill out all selections below)


            _________  Funeral Scripture Service in Funeral Home  (please choose only

                                                                                                               Scripture readings below)


            _________  Funeral Scripture Service in Church  (please choose only  Scripture

                                                                                                      readings & music below)


(For a Funeral Mass) –

 UNFOLDING AND PLACING OF THE BAPTISM GARMENT ON THE CASKET…….   The liturgy begins with the placing of a white cloth on the casket to symbolize that the deceased was baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection and is clothed with the promises of eternal life. It is appropriate for at least two to four family members or friends to unfold and place the cloth on the casket; otherwise the funeral director will perform this act.


________________   ________________   _______________   ________________



(For a Funeral Mass)

SCRIPTURE READINGS....    There is customarily three (3) Scripture readings proclaimed at a funeral Mass.  What follows here are the categories of the Scripture readings: (a)Old Testament, (b) New Testament, & (c) Gospel.  The following Scripture readings listed here are suggestions.  You are free to choose other readings from the Bible which are not listed here.  But all the readings mustbe from the Bible.   Please choose one reading from each category (fill in the box at the end of each category).  You can list your selection at the end of each category. Where indicated please list the person who will proclaim the scripture reading.. 


Please note that Psalm 23 (“The Lord is my shepherd’) in the Roman Catholic Funeral Liturgy is usually sung between the Old Testament and New Testament readings by a cantor / organist.  Thus it is already included in the liturgy.




JOB  19:1, 23-27

Oh, would that my words were written down! Would that they were inscribed in a record: That with an iron chisel and with lead they were cut in the rock forever! As for me, I know that my vindicator lives, and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust. This will happen when my skin has been stripped off, and from my flesh I will see God: I will see for myself, my own eyes, not another’s, will behold him: my inmost being is consumed with longing



       Old Testament Scripture Reading choices continued on next page





 ISAIAH  25: 6-9

 On this mountain the LORD of hostswill provide for all peoples, A feast of rich food and choice wines,juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines. On this mountain he will destroythe veil that veils all peoples, The web that is woven over all nations.He will destroy death forever.  The Lord GOD will wipe awaythe tears from all faces; The reproach of his people he will removefrom the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.

On that day it will be said: “Indeed, this is our God; we looked to him, and he saved us!  This is the LORD to whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”


WISDOM 3:1-9

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an afflictionand their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace.  For if to others, indeed, they seem punished, yet is their hope full of immortality.  Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.  As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings  he took them to himself. In the time of their judgment they shall shine and dart about as sparks through stubble. They shall judge nations and rule over peoples and the LORD shall be their King forever.  Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with the elect.



My life is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is;

My enduring hope, I said, perished before the LORD.

The thought of my wretched homelessness is wormwood and poison;

Remembering it over and over, my soul is downcast.

But this I will call to mind; therefore I will hope:

The LORD’s acts of mercy are not exhausted, his compassion is not spent;

They are renewed each morning—great is your faithfulness!

The LORD is my portion, I tell myself, therefore I will hope in him. The LORD is good to those who trust in him,to the one that seeks him.  It is good to hope in silence

for the LORD’s deliverance.


PROVERBS 31: 10-31  (For a deceased wife / mother)

Who can find a woman of worth?

Far beyond jewels is her value.

Her husband trusts her judgment; he does not lack income.

She brings him profit, not loss, all the days of her life.

She seeks out wool and flax and weaves with skillful hands.

Like a merchant fleet, she secures her provisions from afar.

She rises while it is still night, and distributes food to her household,

a portion to her maidservants.

She picks out a field and acquires it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard.

She girds herself with strength; she exerts her arms with vigor.

She enjoys the profit from her dealings; her lamp is never extinguished at night.

She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle.

She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy.

She is not concerned for her household when it snows—all her charges are doubly clothed.

She makes her own coverlets; fine linen and purple are her clothing.

Her husband is prominent at the city gates as he sits with the elders of the land.

She makes garments and sells them, and stocks the merchants with belts.

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and laughs at the days to come.

She opens her mouth in wisdom; kindly instruction is on her tongue. 

          (this reading iscontinued on next page)

She watches over the affairs of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband, too, praises her:

Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all.”

Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Acclaim her for the work of her hands, and let her deeds praise her at the city gates.


2 Maccabees 12: 43-46

Judas Maccabees  took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice.  In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection in mind; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.  But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought.  Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be absolved from their sin.


Ecclesiastes 3: 1-15

There is an appointed time for everything,

and a time for every affair under the heavens.

      A time to give birth, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to tear down, and a time to build.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;

a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.

A time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away.

A time to rend, and a time to sew;

a time to be silent, and a time to speak.

A time to love, and a time to hate;

a time of war, and a time of peace.

What profit have workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given tomortals to be busied about. God has made everything appropriate to its time, but has put the timeless*into their hearts so they cannot find out, from beginning to end, the work which God has done.  I recognized that there is nothing better than to rejoice and to do well during life.   Moreover, that all can eat and drink and enjoy the good of all their toil—this is a gift of God.  I recognized that whatever God does will endure forever; there is no adding to it, or taking from it. Thus has God done that he may be revered.  What now is has already been; what is to be, already is: God retrieves what has gone by.


         Old Testament choice:

      (please list the Scripture reference: ex: ‘Job 3:1-12’)




      proclaimed by: ______________________________________

                             name of person proclaiming the reading




selection found beginning on next page







2 Corinthians  5:1-10

For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven. 

So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord.   Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appearbefore the judgment seat of Christ,so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.



1 John 3:1-2

See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.   Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed*we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.



ACTS 10: 34-43

Then Peter proceeded to speak and said: “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.  You know the word that he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all; what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power.  He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.  We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.  This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible, not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.  He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.  To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.



ROMANS 6:3-9

Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.


For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.  We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. For a dead person has been absolved from sin.  If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him.





          More New Testament readings on the next page





ROMANS  8: 31-35, 37-39

What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us.  Who will condemn? It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.   What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword ?


No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth,  nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.



1 Corinthians 15: 20-28

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being.  For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the first fruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ;  then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power.   For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death,  for “he subjected everything under his feet.”  But when it says that everything has been subjected, it is clear that it excludes the one who subjected everything to him.  When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.


         New Testament choice:

     (please list the Scripture reference: ex: ‘Titus 3:1-12’)




      proclaimed by: ______________________________________

                             name of person proclaiming the reading






Matthew  5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying:  Blessed are the poor in spirit,*for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are they who mourn,  for they will be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.  Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,  for they will be satisfied.  Blessed are the merciful,for they will be shown mercy.  Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.   Blessed are the peacemakers,for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.   Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.



                              Gospel selections continued on next page



Matthew  25: 31-40

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations*will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous*will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.



MATTHEW 11: 25-30

At that time Jesus said: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.  All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

 “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”



LUKE 7: 11-17

Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.  As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her.  When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, “Do not weep.”  He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!”  The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.  Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming, “A great prophet has arisen in our midst,” and “God has visited his people.” This report about him spread through the whole of Judea and in all the surrounding region.


JOHN 11:17-27 or John 11: 17-43

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two milesaway.  And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother.When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home.   Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”  Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.”Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”   (17-27)


When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying, “The teacher is here and is asking for you.” As soon as she heard this, she rose quickly and went to him.  For Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still where Martha had met him. So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her saw Mary get up

                                                          (reading continued on next page)

quickly and go out, they followed her, presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there.When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed*and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?”   So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.  Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father,*I thank you for hearing me.  I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.”   And when he had said this, he cried out in a loud voice,*“Lazarus, come out!”  The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.   (28-43)



JOHN 14: 1-6

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.  Where I am going you know the way.”  Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”  Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.



         Gospel choice:

     (please list the Scripture reference: ex: ‘John 3:1-12’)




     This reading is reserved for the clergy to proclaim


(For Funeral Mass)

PRESENTATION OF THE GIFTS..... members of the family or friends may bring forward the bread and wine to be consecrated for the Eucharist


  __________________   ___________________  ____________________


(For Funeral Mass)

COMMUNION.....The congregation may receive Holy Communion under the form of the Eucharistic Bread alone or both the Eucharistic Bread & Wine


       Eucharistic Bread alone   ______        Both Eucharistic Bread & Wine  ______


    Family members or friends who are Ministers of Holy Communion in their parish are

    welcome to assist in the distribution of Holy Communion.


         ________________________      _______________________



(For Funeral Mass four songs are needed.  For a Funeral Service in the church two songs are needed)

MUSIC APPROPRIATE FOR FUNERALS…..The music chosen for the Funeral is another way of expressing the grief of this time and the faith which can raise the mourners from grief to the hope offered in the saving death and resurrection of Jesus. Thus, while there may have been a favorite style and selection of secular music or a song that the mourners associate with the deceased, for the Funeral Liturgy the music and songs chosen must be based in scripture because we connect the life of the deceased with the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Secular music connected with the life and tastes of the deceased can be used and played at the funeral home and any services at the funeral home.  What follows is a list of commonly used liturgical songs/music for the Funeral Mass.  Other selections can be chosen from the parish hymnal.  Also, classical selections (e.g.:  Moszart, Handel, etc) and reflective instrumentals can as well be incorporated within the liturgy. (please note for all music:  selections chosen are  subject to the familiarity of the music and capability of the musician/singer being employed for the Funeral Mass.  Thus adjustments and modifications may be necessary).  If you are not familiar with the songs you can find them by searching for them at


Some selections: (found in parish hymnal.  Listed here are commonly selected ones.

                               More can be found in the parish hymnal.)


  Amazing Grace                                         Ave Maria(instrumental)   

  Be Not Afraid  by the St. Louis Jesuits

  Be Thou My Vision                                   O God Our Help in Ages Past     

  How Great Thou Art

  Now We Remainby David Haas               On Eagles Wingsby Michael Joncas        

  Prayer of St. Francis  by Sebastian Temple

  Shelter Me, O Godby David Haas           Shepherd Me, O God  by David Haas         

  You are Mine by David Haas                  For All the Saints        

  Now Thank We All Our God                   All My Days   by the Daemans


FUNERAL  MASS:         


     Entrance Song:  ____________________________


     Responsorial Psalm:  “Shepherd Me, O God”  or other selection based on the Psalms

                                          (This is Psalm 23 set to music)


     Preparation of the Altar:  ______________________________ (needed at Mass Only)


     Communion: ________________________________ (needed at Mass Only)


      Recessional:  __________________________________





         Proceed to next page





WORDS OF ACKNOWLEDGEMENT......  Before the Funeral Mass begins a member of the family or a friend may address the congregation with words of thanks to all gathered and some words of tribute or remembrance of the life of the deceased.  This is to be no longer than 3 minutes, and only one person is to deliver this acknowledgement / eulogy


    Name of person delivering the presentation: _________________________________





      The parish has a hall (called the “Memorial Hall”) which families who are members of the parish are welcome to use for a post-funeral luncheon.    The hall can hold a maximum of 80 people. The Memorial Hall kitchen is not licensed for the preparation of food for private affairs.  Families, as well, are not permitted to bring non-caterer foods into the Memorial Hall. Thus to use the Memorial Hall a family mustcontract with one of the licensed and insured caterers listed below.


     To use the Memorial Hall the family is to ask the Funeral Director to first contact the parish officeto see if the hall is available for use after the Funeral Mass/Service.  If it is available then the family can call one of the caterers listed below. The caterers listed below are the only ones who are permitted to cater in the Memorial Hall.  The family is responsible to arrange the luncheon with the caterer and to absorb the cost.  The cost of the luncheon is not part of the payment to the Funeral Director. Cost of the luncheon is exclusively an arrangement and contract between the caterer and the family.


     The following caterers and local restaurants are available for post-funeral luncheons:


  • EB’s Restaurant  -  372-3499.   Located at the corner of Main & 5thStreets in Allegany. They can provide a meal of assorted wraps, macaroni / potato salads, beverage & dessert. They can cater the luncheon in the Memorial Hall or at the restaurant.  At the restaurant they can offer a more expanded menu. Maximum number that can be accommodated at the restaurant varies depending on the day of the week. Cost begins at $12.95 per person plus tax & gratuity.
  • Sheilia Darrow & Company Caterer -  498-6117 or  373-0089.  Sheila can provide a meal ranging from wraps to an assortment of hot foods. She will prepare and deliver the food to the Memorial Hall or to another location / hall that the family has made arrangements to use.  Cost ranges from $12.95 per person to $15.95 per person depending on the menu chosen.  Tax and gratuity are added onto the total cost.
  • The Bird Cage Restaurant – 372-8927.  Located on West Main Street in Allegany.  The Bird Cage can accommodate 35-40 at the restaurant. They are not able to cater at the Memorial Hall.  Cost per person is dependent on the menu selected.


Please note that any of the above caterers / restaurants are subject to availability.  The parish makes no claim regarding the status of their availability nor quality of service. For other options and facilities please consult with your funeral director.