Christian Funeral Planning

Vigil for the Deceased


May the God of hope give you the fullness of peace and may the Lord of life be always with you.

All: And with your Spirit

Invitation to Prayer

My brothers and sisters, we believe that all of the ties of friendship and affection witch knit us as one throughout our lives do not unravel with death. Confident that God will always remember the good we have done and forgive our sins, let us pray, asking God to gather N. to himself.

Opening Prayer

Lord our God, the death of our brother/sister N.
recalls our human condition and
the brevity of our lives on earth.
But for those who believe in your love,
death is not the end, nor does it destroy the bonds
that your forge in our lives.  We share the faith of your son’s disciples
and the hope of the children of God.
Bring the light of Christ’s resurrection
to this time of testing and pain as we pray for N. and for those who love
him/her through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen

O God, Glory of believers and life of the just
by the death and resurrection of your Son,
we are redeemed; have mercy on your servant, N. and make him/her worthy
to share the joys of paradise for he/she believed in the resurrection of the dead.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen


A Reading from the Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

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 appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each

one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

The Word of the Lord.

Prayer of Intercession

Let us turn to Christ Jesus with confidence and faith in the power of His cross and resurrection.

Risen Lord, pattern of our life forever:
Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy

Promise and image of what we shall be:
Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord have mercy

Son of god who came to destroy sin and death:
Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Word of God who delivered us from the fear of death: Lord, have mercy

All: Lord, have mercy.

Crucified Lord, forsaken in dearth, raised in glory: Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, gentle Shepherd who brings rest to our souls, give peace to N. forever.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you bless those who mourn and are in pain. Bless N’s family and friends who gather around him/her today: Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy.

The Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray for the coming of the kingdom as Jesus taught us:

Our Father…

Concluding Prayer

ˉ Lord Jesus, our Redeemer, your willingly gave yourself up to death,
so that all might be saved and pass from
death to life. We humbly ask you to
comfort your servants in their grief and
to receive N. into the arms of your mercy.
You alone are the Holy One,
you are mercy itself;
by dying your unlocked the gates of life
for those who believe in you.
Forgive N. his/her sins,
and grant him/her a place of happiness,
light and peace in the kingdom of your
glory forever and ever.

All: Amen.

ˉ Lord God,

You are attentive to the voice of our pleading. Let us find in your Son, comfort in our
sadness, certainly in our doubt, and courage
to live through this hour. Make our faith
strong through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen


Blessed are those who have died in the Lord; let them rest from their labors for their good
deeds go with them.
Eternal rest grant unto him/her, O Lord.

All: And let perpetual light shine upon him/her.

May he/she rest in peace.

All: Amen

May his/her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

All: Amen

May the peace of God, which is beyond all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

All: Amen

May almighty God bless you,

the Father, and the son, and the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen

May the love of God and the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ bless and console us and gently wipe every tear from our eyes in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen

Part II - Scripture Readings
Old Testament Readings

A Reading from the Book of Wisdom
First Reading Wis.3:1-9

The souls of the just 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 affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
but they are in peace.
For if before all men, indeed, they be 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.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine
and shall 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 His elect.

The Word of the Lord.

A Reading from the Book of Wisdom Wis. 4:7-14

The just man, though he die early, shall be at rest.  For the age that is honorable
comes not with the passing
of time, nor can it be measured in terms of years.
Rather, understanding is the hoary crown for men,
and an unsullied life, the attainment of old age.
He who pleased God was loved;
He who lived among sinners was transported- snatched away lest wickedness
pervert His mind or deceit beguile His soul;
For the witchery of paltry things obscures what is right
and the whirl of desire transforms the innocent mind.
Having become perfect in a short while, He
reached the fullness of a long career;
for His soul was pleasing to the Lord.
Therefore, He sped Him out of the midst of wickedness,
but the people saw and did not understand, nor did they take this into account.

The Word of the Lord.

A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Daniel
Dan. 12:1-3

I, Daniel mourned and I heard this word of the Lord.  At that time there shall arise
Michael, the great prince,
guardian of your people.
It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress
since nations began until that time.
At that time your people shall escape,
everyone who is found written in the book.
Many of those who sleep
in the dust of the earth shall wake;
Some shall live forever,
others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace,
But the wise shall shine brightly
like the splendor of the firmament,
And those who lead the many to justice shall be like stars forever.

The Word of the Lord.

A Reading from the Second book of Maccabees
2 Mac. 12:43-46

Judas the ruler of Israel then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which je 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 of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view 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 freed from this sin.

The Word of the Lord.

New Testament Readings

A Reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans
Romans 5:5-11

Hope will not leave us disappointed because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. At the appointed time, when we were still powerless, God died for us. It is rare that anyone should lay down His life for a just man, though it is barely possible that for a good person someone may have the courage to die. It is precisely in this that God proves His love for us, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Now that we have been justified by His blood, it is all the more certain that we shall be saved by Him from God’s wrath. For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him by the death of His Son, it is all the more certain that we who have reconciled will be saved by His life. Not only that, we go so far as to make God our boast through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

The Word of the Lord.

A Reading from the Letter of Paul to The Romans

If death began its reign through one man because of his offense, much more shall those who received the overflowing grace and Gift of justice live and reign through the one man, Jesus Christ. To sum up, then, just as a single offense brought all acquittal and life. Just as through one man’s disobedience all became sinners, so Through one man’s obedience all shall become just. The law came in order to increase offenses, but despite the increase of sin, Grace has far surpassed it, so that, as sin reigned through death, Grace may reign by way of justice leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans
Romans 14:7-9, 10-12

None of us lives as his own master and none of us dies as his own master. While we live we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die we die as His servants. Both in life and in death we are Lord’s. That is why Christ died and came to life again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. We shall all have to appear before the judgment seat of God. It is written, "As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me and every tongue shall give praise to God." Everyone of us will have to give an account of himself to God.

The Word of the Lord.

A Reading from the first Letter of Paul to the Corinthians
1 Cor., 15:20-24, 25-28

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. Death came through a man; hence the resurrection of the dead comes through a man also. Just as in Adam, all die, so in Christ all will come to life again, but each one in proper order, Christ the first fruits and then, at His coming all those who belong to Him. After that will come the end, when having destroyed every sovereignty, authority and power, he will hand over the kingdom to God the Father. Christ must reign until God has put all enemies under His feet, and the last enemy to destroyed is death. Scripture reads that God "has placed all things under His feet." But when it says that everything has been made subject, it is clear that He who has made everything subject to Christ is excluded. When finally all has been subjected to the Son, He will then subject Himself to the One who made all things subject to Him, so that God may be all in all.

The Word of the Lord.

A Reading from the Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians
2 Cor. 5:1, 6-10

We know that when the earthy tent in which we dwell is destroyed we have a dwelling provided for us by God, a dwelling in the heavens, not made by hands but to last forever. Therefore, we continue to be confident. We know that while we dwell in the body we are away from the Lord. We walk by faith, not by sight. I repeat, we are full of confidence and would much rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. This being so, we make it our aim to please Him whether we are with Him or away from Him. The lives of all of us are to be revealed before the tribunal of Christ so that each one may receive His recompense, good or bad, according to his life in the body.

The Word of the Lord.

A Reading from the First Letter of John                                                
1 John 3:1-2

See what love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God! Yet that is what we are.
the reason the world does not recognize us
is that it never recognized the Son. Dearly beloved,
We are God’s children now; what we shall
later be has not yet come to light.
We know that when it comes to light, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him asHe is.

The Word of the Lord.

A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans
Second Reading Rom. 6:3-9

Are you not aware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Through baptism into His death we were buried with Him, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life. If we have been united with Him through likeness to His death, so shall we be through a like resurrection. This we know: our old self was crucified with Him so that the sinful body might be destroyed and we might be slaves to sin. If we have died with Christ we believe that we are also to live with Him. We know that Christ once raised from the dead, will never die again; death has not more power over Him.

The Word of the Lord.

A Reading from the Book of Revelation
Rev. 21:1-5, 7-7

I, John, saw new heavens and a new earth. The former heavens and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no longer. I also saw a new Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down our of heaven from God, beautiful as a bride prepared to meet her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne cry out; "This is god’s dwelling among men. He shall dwell with them and they shall be His people and He shall be their God who is always with them. He shall wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, crying or pain, for the former world has passed away."

The one who sat on the throne said to me, "See I make all things new! I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To anyone who thirsts I will give to drink without cost from the spring of life-giving water. He who wins the victory shall inherit these gifts; I will be his God and he shall be my son.

The Word of the Lord.

Prayer of the Faithful

Priest: God, the almighty Father, raised Christ His Son from the dead, with confidence we ask Him to save His people, living and dead.

Our brother/sister N. was given the promise of eternal life in baptism. Lord, give him/her communion with your saints forever. We pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

N. ate the bread of eternal life, the body of Christ, raise him/her up. Lord, at this last day. We pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for our brothers and sisters, our relatives, for all who were close to us and good to us. Lord give them the reward for their goodness. We pray to the Lord

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who have died in the hope of rising again; welcome them, Lord, into the light of your presence. We pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who have gathered here to worship in faith; Lord, make us one in your kingdom: We pray to the Lord.All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Priest: Lord, hear our prayers for our dead brother and sisters; forgive their sins, and bring them to the fullness of your salvation. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen


The Archdiocese of New York has established norms to be observed concerning the use of a eulogy. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church will permit a eulogy at a funeral Mass only with the understanding the following conditions are observed:

1) The family should actively involve themselves in the parts of the funeral that are appropriate to the Church, the readings and offertory procession. The priest will be able to assist you with these options and they too should be planned at the time of the wake. If you have any questions concerning these procedures, please call the Church office at 914-738-1449 and we will be glad to work with you.

2) A eulogy is a reflection on the life of the deceased in the context of his/her faith. How did this person live as a follower of Jesus, a member of the Catholic Church? The funeral Mass is a celebration of the faith that was lived by the deceased. Anecdotes about the deceased are more appropriate at the wake, at the cemetery or at the gathering after the funeral.

3) Only one person is to speak. The choice of whom would be up to the family.The person who is chosen to speak should be able to maintain self-control during an emotional time. The useof very young children is not appropriate for the eulogy and they should be included elsewhere in the Mass.

4) The eulogy is to be given at the beginning of Mass. The priest will invite the person to speak at that time.

5) The speaker must write out his/her remarks. They are to be reviewed by the priest prior to the day of the funeral.The ideal time to do this is at the wake on the afternoon of the last day. Requests made on the morning of the funeral are inappropriate…

6) Considering the time balance of the Mass, three minutes is the maximum time for the eulogy.

Please Note: It is also appropriate to have someone do a eulogy at the funeral home or at the cemetery. In these circumstances the above guidelines do not apply.

Funeral Hymns

Music is an important part of the Funeral Mass. Songs are used at the Entrance, at the Offertory, at Communion and at the Recessional. Options are listed below.

You may also choose to have only instrumental music at a particular time instead of a song.

Amazing Grace
Ave Maria
Here I am Lord
Help Me Lord
Alleluia Sing to Jesus
Be Not Afraid
Eagles Wings
I Will Raise Him Up
Prayer of St. Francis
How Great Thou Art
Sing with all the Saints in Glory
For all the Saints
Seek Ye First
The Day of Resurrection
The King of Love my Shepherd Is
The Strife is O'er
You are Mine
You are Near
You are the Light I Seek