We are here for you in times of grief and loss


The time of death is a difficult time, all the more so if the death was unexpected or tragic.  But it can also be a holy time; a time when we are more aware of our need for God and more aware of God's presence.  When a Christian dies is is also a time of prayer.  The Church gathers for prayer to express our faith in a good and loving God, to entrust to God's lovign embrace our deceased loved one, and to ask God to be a source of strength and comfort to those who mourn.

Step 1: Pray

It may not be possible for a priest, deacon or lay minister to be present at the time of death, but it is very appropriate for family and friends to gather at the bedside or in the family home and prayer together.   Here is a link to the Church's Prayer at the Time of Death that you could use.  Praying the Rossary is also very approrpiate


Step 2:  Contact the Parish

There are many things that need to be done to prepare for the funeral liturgies.  One of the first is to decide where the funeral should be held.  Normally it is  at the church where the deceased worshiped or where the family attends.  The funeral liturgies are not help at the funeral home.  The initial call to the parish can let you know what dates might be available and when you can meet with the pastor or his delegate to begin planning the funeral liturgies.   (253) 839-2320


Step 3:  Decide on a Funeral Home

Not all funeral homes are alike.  Rely upon the experience and recomendations of family and friends.  The funeral director provides for the coordination of the three liturgical elements (Vigil, Funeral Mass, Committal) with the parish ministers and the Catholic cemetery staff.  The director also provides tangible goods and services such as: casket, embalming (if requested), cremation arrangements, filing of legal documents, obituary notices in newspapers, cortege escorts, other professional services 


If you are not satisfied with the service you recieve, you can change funeral homes at any time.   Some may suggest a "package deal" which includes using their chapel or their cemetery.  Please note that the funeral Mass takes place only at the church.   The Vigil can take place at the church, the funeral home chaple, or the family home.   The date and time of the services should not be set without first confirming with the parish. 


Cremation normally takes place after the funeral Mass.  Please do not make any final plans regarding creamation until you have met with the priest.


Step 4 : Choosing a Cemetery

Catholic cemeteries are set apart from other cemeteries in that they are part of the ministry of the Church. They minister to the deceased, the bereaved, the poor and the alienated as well as to local parish communities. Non-Catholic family members can also benefit as they are welcome to use the Catholic Cemetery.  The Catholic Cemeter that serves South King County and Pierce Count is Gethsemane Cemetery located at 37600 Pacific Highway South.   (253) 927-3350


Step 5:  Meeting with the Priest or his Delegate

The priest would like to meet with you and as many family members as possible to hear more about the life story of the deceased.  He will also explain the way the Catholic CHurch gathers for prayer and  how the Funeral Liturgues flow.  The family is invited to take an active role in planning the liturgies.  (253) 839-2320


O God, almighty Father,
our faith professes that your Son died

and rose again;
mercifully grant, that through this mystery
your servant,who has fallen asleep in Christ,
may rejoice to rise again through him


When Death Occurs

Funeral Liturgies

Gathering of Family & Friends

Catholic Cemetery

Life Beyond Loss


Obituary in the Northwest Catholic