St. Peter’s Parish Community wishes to express our condolences to you and your family on the death of your loved one.  Please be assured of our prayers for the comfort of Jesus in this time of sorrow.

We have prepared this guide to help you in planning for the funeral.  When you have an opportunity, please take a few moments to read this.

The wake service is a time to turn to God, our loving Father and source of all comfort and mercy.  We pray that Jesus may strengthen you in faith and receive your loved one into His kingdom of light and peace.  One of our parish priests or deacons will come to the funeral home to lead the prayers. The Wake Service is normally held in the afternoon at 3:00 pm the day before the funeral.  Since the priest comes in the afternoon, a family member or friend may wish to share a eulogy or some words of remembrance recalling memories of your loved one, a favorite story, or read a special poem in the evening.  You might also consider sharing some special thoughts at the cemetery.  While stories are so important in the life of your family, they can sometimes distract from the reverence and hope that the Liturgy should bring to your family.  The wake is the appropriate time to speak at length about the deceased’s life and legacy.

Our Ministry of Consolation will be assisting you during the next few days. The Ministers of Consolation are a group of parishioners who have been trained to help you in preparing for the Funeral Mass.  Ministers of Consolation will be present at the Funeral Mass to pray with you and support you in your time of grief.

We invite you to be involved in the preparation of the Mass. A Consolation Minister from the parish will call you to set up a time to meet with you at your convenience.

The Consolation Minister will help you and guide you in choosing readings for the Mass.  Two or three family members may place the white cloth, a reminder of our white baptismal garment, on the coffin at the beginning of Mass.  A member of the immediate family may wish to place a Christian symbol, such as a crucifix or a Bible, on the coffin.  Two others may wish to bring the bread and wine to the altar at the Presentation of the Gifts.

For families who do request to speak at the Funeral Liturgy, it is the practice at St. Peter’s for this to be done at the beginning of the Liturgy as Words of Welcome.  This reflection should focus on your loved one’s faith in Jesus Christ and how he/she lived that out.  We ask that there be only one presentation, 2-3 minutes in length.  It is essential that the written text be brought to the church office, or faxed the evening before the funeral to 516-944-7461.  These guidelines are not intended to add any additional pain or stress during your time of sorrow, but rather have been established to ensure the reverent celebration of the Funeral Liturgy.

Music gives you and those who attend the Mass an opportunity to express our Christian faith in a way words alone may fail to do.  The Music Ministry at St. Peter’s wishes to provide your loved one’s funeral liturgy with the appropriate music.  You are welcome to request up to two (2) hymns or solos to be part of the funeral Mass.  Almost any music included in “Today’s Missalette & Music Issue” or other Catholic Hymnals and many hymns from other Christian traditions can be incorporated.   If you would like to make more than two (2) requests, or if you have any other questions about the music, please call our Director of Music, Robert Bobek immediately at 516-967-4710 so that your requests may be discussed.  Please do not hesitate to call our Rectory Office at 883-6675 if you have any questions regarding the Funeral Mass.

A priest, deacon, or Pastoral Associate from St. Peter’s will accompany you and your family to Nassau Knolls Cemetery in Port Washington to lead the graveside prayers.  You may wish to share a special prayer, poem, or memory at the graveside service.

If you will be traveling to another cemetery, please speak with your funeral director regarding arrangements for graveside prayers at the cemetery.

As you move through this time of grief, we hope that your faith in Jesus will be a source of comfort, and that our prayer together, especially the Funeral Mass, will support you and your family and friends.