The Christian funeral liturgy celebrates that life is changed, not ended. Funerals are an act of faith. Catholics celebrate the funeral rites to offer praise and thanksgiving to God for the gift of life, which has now been returned to God, the author of life.

The Church offers three rites or services: the Vigil, the Funeral Mass or service, and the committal (burial). Each one is an integral part of the journey for the deceased, family, friends and the parish community.

At the time of death, please call the parish office at 651-429-7771 to make the necessary arrangements for the day and time of the service. Our funeral planner will schedule a time to meet with the family at the Parish Life Center to plan the services. St. Mary’s provides a hospitality team and beverages for a luncheon or reception after the service.  Food for a luncheon or reception is provided by the family.  A list of suggested caterers is shared at the planning meeting.  Kohler Hall in the Parish Life Center is ordinarily the location for the luncheon.

Church’s Teaching on Cremation

On October 25, 2016, the Vatican released a document entitled Ad resurgendum cum regarding the burial of the dead and the conservation of ashes in case of cremation.  The document emphasizes that the Church prefers the burial of the body.  However, the document also stresses that the practice of cremation is not prohibited, unless it is done for reasons contrary to Christian doctrines, such as a denial of the resurrection.  The document emphasizes the importance of burying the cremated remains in a cemetery or other sacred place like we would a body and that “the dispersion of ashes in the air, on the earth, in the water of another way, or to convert the ashes into commemorative memories is not permitted.”  Burying the cremated remains in a cemetery or other sacred space “ensures that the [faithful departed] are not excluded from the prayers and remembrance of their family or the Christian community.”


It is wise to consider planning for a funeral in advance of the need. Pre-planning can also be a gift to your loved ones. To help you with your planning, St. Mary’s provides the following resources.  You may wish to include your family and friends in the planning process.

Please keep the Mass Planning Form in a safe place known to others.  You may also wish to submit them to St. Mary’s. If you are interested in knowing more about your options or if you would prefer to pre-plan with a St. Mary’s Funeral Planner, please call 651-429-7771 or Contact Us.

Health Care Directives

St. Mary’s also encourages all adult parishioners, no matter their age, to complete a Health Care Directive.  This document allows you to do two things: 1) identify a person to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to decide or speak for yourself; 2) give health care instructions to guide others in making health care decisions for you.  St. Mary’s recommends the directive and guide prepared by the Minnesota Catholic Conference.  Please keep in a safe place known to others.

Ministry of Consolation

St. Mary’s parish community offers prayer, support, comfort and hope to those who are grieving. During the year after a death, St. Mary’s continues to reach out to those experiencing loss through our Ministry of Consolation. See the brochure for more information.

Would you like to serve in the Funeral Ministry or Ministry of Consolation?