[quote=TableServant]The priests and deacons of the diocese I am in just had mandatory meetings to discuss funeral arrangements. We (deacons and priests) are obliged to provide arrangements to our diocese specifying the options that we choose in the liturgy (of the things that are variable). We choose what type of vigil (Liturgy of the Hours, etc.), the readings and songs for the Mass, who presides, who are the readers, the homilist, etc.
One of my fellow deacons and I were commenting that, when someone knows the liturgy, it can be a very beautiful expression of the life of the person and their attachment and devotion to the Lord when they have expressed their wishes in the liturgies of Christian Burial.
For example, I have a deep love of the Liturgy of the Hours, and have chosen to have it prayed in the evening prior to my Funeral Mass. There are readings that I find particularly beautiful and expressive of my love of God, and I have asked for them to be read. I have friends who are marvelous preachers, and have asked for one of them to preach at my funeral.
(all of a sudden, I realize that this could sound very macabre)
Anyway, I would recommend to anyone who is familiar with the liturgy, yes, do explore planning your own funeral liturgies. There are legal documents that are executed at your death, and you could certainly specify that those plans be forwarded to a responsible party, or you could designate a family member or responsible party to make your wishes known.
If you have questions, or are not as familiar with the liturgy, you may want to ask your priest or deacon for assistance with the planning. You might also get assistance from the people at Catholic Cemetaries of your diocese.
As to epitaphs, I find myself wanting my stone to say “A ‘good and faithful servant’”, but I can’t bring myself to be so bold.
This is beautiful! And it is EXACTLY why I have begun to outline careful plans. I have a deep appreciation of the liturgy also and hope to carry that through at my funeral. (Besides, if anybody plays “Eagle’s Wings,” I’m gonna jump up out of the box and come a-runnin’ after 'em. Oh. The “box” will come from the Trappists at New Melleray.
I have specified that my wedding march, Bach’s “Sleepers Wake,” be played as an organ prelude.
Epitaph: The opening verse of Psalm 108: O God, my heart is ready. The next line of that psalm is “I will sing, sing and give praise.”