Funerals at St. John the Baptist
We at St. John the Baptist want to help you celebrate the life of your loved one. Our faith teaches us that every life has dignity because each person is made in the image and likeness of God. The death of any person calls for a celebration that honors the person’s life and Catholic Christian faith.
Please contact Fr. Jim or the parish office prior to scheduling the funeral with the funeral home to ensure we can accommodate your preferred date.
The Funeral Liturgy
A funeral or memorial service is a celebration of your loved one’s entry into full life with God. There are four different ways to celebrate this liturgy. We will help you choose which is most appropriate for your situation.
- The Funeral Mass is celebrated at church, with communion, and with the deceased’s body or ashes
- The Memorial Mass is celebrated at church, with communion, and without the deceased’s body or ashes present.
- Funeral Liturgy Outside of the Mass is celebrated at church, with scripture readings, homily, and prayers for the deceased with the deceased body or ashes either present or not present. This is not a Mass and is without communion.
- The Funeral Chapel Service is celebrated at a funeral home chapel, with scripture readings, homily, and prayers for the deceased. This often takes the form of a vigil the evening prior to the funeral, sometimes with a Rosary.
Family members and friends take an active role in planning and celebrating the liturgy by choosing the readings, gospel and the music. Usually family or friends read the first and second readings, act as liturgical ministers, bring up the gifts at Mass, and read a reflection on the deceased’s life. We will give you a book with readings appropriate for funerals, and we can help you choose them if desired.
You may also choose the hymns to be sung at the funeral. We generally have a pianist and a vocalist to sing the Mass parts and hymns, and there is typically a fee for the musicians. If you have a family member or friend that wants to sing, let us know. Visit the funeral music page to hear songs appropriate for funerals.
Receptions follow funerals or memorial services and are prepared and hosted by our Funeral Ministry team. The reception is a luncheon reception. Note that funeral receptions are available for morning services, on weekdays, only. Receptions are free, but we accept free-will offerings to the church.
The committal is held at the cemetery. This is the blessing of the site of interment with rituals to help those who remain say their goodbyes in a spirit of prayer and reflection. The pastor, another priest,
deacon, or a lay person appointed by the pastor may perform the Committal Rite.
Note: At Tahoma National Cemetery, the Committal Rite takes place in a shelter immediately after the military honors.