My grandmother died this week at 89 years of age. She is being cremated and interred with her husband at a Catholic cemetery. No funeral is planned, but my family (who is spread across the world) are gathering this summer and plan to have a memorial mass. My mother is planning the arrangements, but I am trying to find out as much information as I can to help her out. My question is should we have my grandmother memorialized at a mass before this summer? It seems a long time to wait. When we do have the mass this summer, would it be a separate mass or would it be part of a normally scheduled weekday or Sunday mass? We are a small family of under 10 people. I have been trying to find this information online, but everything just refers to funeral masses. I am hoping to figure this out this weekend, but the church offices are closed. I appreciate anyone’s help/advice!
You can certainly have a funeral Mass for your grandmother, even if you and your mom are the only family there. You can also have Masses said for her throughout the time from now till the family can assemble, and even beyond then too. These would take the form of regular weekday Masses said for the intention of her repose.
I have already played for a Memorial Mass. It was held in our church because the man who died was a parishioner there. It was a separate Mass, like a funeral. Family also invited friends and fellow parishioners to attend. It, of course, must be arranged in advance with the priest, who will probably give you several dates and times when he and the church are available, especially if you want the church to provide a luncheon afterwards. You could choose hymns, scripture readings, and a Responsorial Psalm. The priest can help with your choices. The parish secretary may also be able to give you some guidelines that may be helpful. Call the parish office and explain - just what you wrote here.
Prayers for your grandmother, and for you and your family and her friends.
I would suggest having a separate, family-only memorial Mass for your grandma this summer.
It’s not unusual at all to have some time pass when the family is scattered around the country as yours is.
By having a separate Mass, you can treat it like a funeral liturgy – selecting the readings and songs that your family would like in tribute of your grandmother.
Have your mom call the office of the Church where the family reunion will be held, and ask to speak to one of the priests. Tell him you’d like to arrange a memorial Mass for her (during the week or on a Saturday morning) and he will help you.
You could then visit the cemetery afterward as a family and get together for a meal. Pretty much exactly what you would have done during an actual funeral.
I’ll say a prayer for your grandmother, and, as you wait for the summer you (and any other relatives) can always have a Mass offered for her in your local parishes.
Thank you all so much for your responses.