Our mission is to minister to grieving parishioners and their families through various means of support and comfort. The death of a loved one is an intense and painful experience for most people, and grief, the normal, natural and necessary respose to a significant loss, happens because we love, and because we care. Having the right support makes all of the difference, and we want to make a difference by reaching out and helping members and families through the grief cycle. We do this by:
Ministering to our grieving parishioners and their families by the gift of our time, hearing their thoughts, and 'sharing' their tears.
Supporting and consoling them in their loss through prayers.
If requested, members of the support group will reach out to grieving families through personal visits.
Sending a card to grieving families if they have left us their contact details and they will be invited to get in touch if they wish.
Offering resources for support through our website or in hard copy if they request it because they do not have Internet access.
"Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted"
MOURNING THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE
Grief is quite a lonely thing because no word from others are adequate when we face the loss of someone we love. However, it is always helpful to at least know that someone cares. The expression of caring will be different from each person, because we all essentially have different personalities - so even in this difficult time, we need to be patient with those who show that they care.
Bereavement can be exhausting and it can leave us feeling confused and disorientated. There is no such thing as 'normal' grieving because each person needs to find his or her own way in their own time.
HOW CAN OUR FAITH HELP US?
God loves each one of us who are left behind and He cares about our pain. Jesus died for our sins and the Resurrection gives hope to us that there is real life after death here on earth, not just existence. God takes care of a broken heart and He will work with us to restore peace of heart and mind.
"Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28)
BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT IN OUR PARISH
We have parishioners who can visit you and support you with prayer or just to be company and a listening ear.
At the back of our church, on the wall, we have pictures of those who have died during the year so that people are aware and can pray for them and for their families - they are not forgotten.
On the table at the back of the church we have a bereavement book where you are free to write your thoughts or prayers. Inside, you will also find a small form which you can use if you would like further support from the parish bereavement team. You can also use the form on this page if you prefer.
We all need to be prepared for our death and to let those who need to, know what your wishes are. There is a form for this at the back of the church, or you can download one here.
Please rest assured that those we know have died are remembered and prayed for in our Masses and by parishioners. We also have an annual Mass in November, which is specifically offered for all the deceased and for the bereaved. If you would like prayers for your loved one and any other bereavement support, please provide details on the form below.
Prayer for the Dying
I commend you, my dear brother/sister, to almighty God, and entrust you to your Creator. May you return to Him who formed you from the dust of the earth. May holy Mary, the angels, and all the saints come to meet you as you go forth from this life. May Christ who was crucified for you bring you freedom and peace. May Christ who died for you admit you into his garden of paradise. May Christ, the true Shepherd, acknowledge you as one of his flock. May He forgive all your sins, and set you among those He has chosen. May you see your Redeemer face to face, and enjoy the vision of God for ever. Amen.
A prayer for someone who has died
We commend into your hands, O Lord, those who have died, and especially (name). We know that you loved him/her throughout her/his life, and so we trust her/him now to your infinite tenderness and unfailing love. Eternal rest grant onto him/her O Lord. Let perpetual light shine upon him/her and may he/she rest in peace. Amen.
Night prayer for the bereaved, the dying and all in trouble
Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ. Rest your weary ones. Bless your dying ones. Soothe your suffering ones. Pity your afflicted ones. Shield your joyous ones. And for all your love's sake. Amen. (St Augustine)
There are number of other prayers which you can find here.
YOU CAN GET IN TOUCH WITH US FOR BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT OR A PRAYER
The Art of Dying Well
The Art of Dying Well (www.artofdyingwell.org) is a website, launched by the Bishops' Conference, which offers a helping hand to those grappling with issues around death and dying. Based in the Catholic tradition but open to people of all faiths and none, it features real-life stories about the highs and lows of dealing with the final journey. To visit the website, please click on the image below.
Catholic Funerals - A Guide
This leaflet was prepared by the Liturgy Office of the
Bishops’ Conference. It is based on Into Your Hands:
Planning a Catholic funeral, readings and prayers, published
by Decani Books and can be downloaded here.
Guidelines for Catholic Funerals
This booklet is a guide to the requirements of the Funeral Rite which began to be used from November 2nd 1990. It is intended to help all those involved who arrange and conduct funerals and committals. It has been produced by the Liturgy Office of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales for circulation to Funeral Directors, Crematoria Directors and Catholic Priests. You can download a copy here.
Music Suggestions for Funerals
Many of us are rarely asked to choose music for a church service and may not know where to start. This list is provided to give some ideas. It is by no means an 'official list' of approved music. It has been produced by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of
England and Wales Liturgy Office. You can download a copy here. There is also a guide for parish musicians, which can be downloaded here.
Burial of Ashes - a Guide
These guidance notes have been produced by the Bishops’ Conference Department for Christian Life and Worship, and can be downloaded here.
Into Your hands: planning a Catholic funeral, readings and prayers (Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales) - Decani Books. Price: About £4.75 per copy.
A Catholic Approach to Dying (Fr Neil McNicholas) - Catholic Truth Society. Price: About £1.95 per copy - limited copies still available.
A Question of Death & Life - A Catholic perspective (Fr Neil McNicholas) - Catholic Truth Society. Price: About £2.50
A Catholic Funeral: a Guide for the Family (Fr Tim Buckley) - Redemptorist. Price: About £4.25 per copy
Living Through Grief (Harold Bauman) - Lion Pocket Books. Suitable to hand out to the bereaved. Available in packs of 10 for £25 and individual copies can be found on Amazon UK.
Information about the legalities connected with death can be found here.
Organisations Offering Advice or Support
Care for the Family - Offers support by bereaved parents for bereaved parents and helps friends, relatives and churches to provide appropriate support. Tel: 029 2081 0800
Cruse Bereavement Care - Offer support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies.
Support after Murder and Manslaughter (SAMM) - Supports those who have been bereaved as a result of murder or manslaughter, through a telephone helpline, on-line forum and local contacts. Helpline: 0845 872 3440
Still Birth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS) - Supports anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby before, during or shortly after birth. Helpline: 0808 164 3332
The Lullaby Trust - Supports families whose babies have died suddenly and unexpectedly and offer publications, activities and support when bereaved families have subsequent babies. Freephone: 0808 802 6868
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) - Supports those who have been bereaved by suicide. Helpline: 0300 111 5065
Child Bereavement UK - Supports families and educates professionals both when a child dies and when a child is bereaved.
Winston's Wish offers practical support and guidance to families, professionals and anyone concerned about a grieving child.
See Saw (based in Oxfordshire) - Has many useful resources on their website, including ideas for schools and families.