Divine Worship
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184-3839


Thomas Lyman
Coordinator of Divine Worship
Office: 617-746-5880
Fr. Jonathan M. Gaspar
Archdiocesan Master of Ceremonies and Chaplain
Diane Campbell
Executive Assistant, Secretariat for Evangelization and Discipleship
Office: 617-746-5761
Fax: 617-779-4570

Divine Worship


Ministries in the Rites of the Order for Christian Funerals

Funeral Policy

In keeping with the norms found in the Order of Christian Funerals, priests and deacons are to share the responsibility for planning and implementation of the Order with qualified lay ministers.

  1. The rite, Gathering in the Presence of the Body (OCF #109-118), may be used if a priest, deacon, or parish minister is present at the time of death, or when the family first visits the body.
  2. A pastoral outreach to the family by the priest of the parish is an expected part of the Church's ministry of consolation. The ministry of a bereavement group or ministry of consolation is an additional support to the pastoral outreach of the parish priest. The family and friends of the deceased should find hope and comfort in the Church’s ministers, who grieve together with them.
  3. Part of the priest's ministry to the grieving family may include the offer to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation. This may be appropriate when the family has not participated in worship for some time. However, this does not warrant general absolution in the Archdiocese of Boston.
  4. A full complement of liturgical ministers is recommended in the celebration of the various liturgies of the Order of Christian Funerals. "In liturgical celebration each person, minister or layman, who has an office to perform, should do all of, but only, those parts which pertain to his office by the nature of the rite and the norms of the liturgy" (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, #28).
  5. The preparation of the liturgy may provide consolation for the mourners. However, the preparation of the liturgy should never become a burden for the family. In many cases it is pastorally prudent to simplify the number of choices that a family must make in planning the funeral of a loved one.
  6. The Order of Christian Funerals recommends that family members be involved in some of the liturgical roles, unless they prefer not to be involved (OCF #15). Nevertheless, they might designate the persons to place the pall or appropriate symbols on the casket at the reception at the doors of the church, as well as the persons to bring gifts of bread and wine to the altar (OCF #152).
  7. Music selected for the Order of Christian Funerals should be appropriate for Christian prayer and conform to liturgical directives. The texts of the music should express the Paschal Mystery of Christ's passion, death, and resurrection. This is especially important for the Song of Farewell. Secular, non-liturgical songs are not to be used in the liturgy.