The priests and pastoral staff at St. Stanislaus offer our condolences and prayers to you and your family at this difficult time.  The funeral rites of the Church are meant to comfort and console the sorrowing and commend the deceased to the mercy of God as we offer worship, praise, and thanksgiving to God for the gift of life and proclaim our faith in the Resurrection from the dead.  The attached materials are provided to assist you and your family in preparing the funeral rites that we will celebrate for your loved one who has returned to God.  One of the priests from St. Stanislaus will be in touch to arrange a meeting to review the funeral liturgy with you and to give you the opportunity to share with him about the life of the deceased.

Readings  Integral to the liturgical celebration is the reading of the word of God.  In the proclamation of the word, God speaks to us in our needs, sorrows, fears, and hopes.  You may select readings from sacred scripture for the Mass.  The booklet, Through Death to Life, contains the recommended options for readings for the funeral liturgy.  Other scriptural passages may be used in consultation with the priest, but no non-biblical readings may be used.  You may leave all or some of the selections to the discretion of the priest.  A “Funeral Liturgy Preparation Sheet” is included on which you can mark your selections.  Depending on the number of readings chosen, there may be up to three different readers for the Mass.  Family members are encouraged to read, but should not feel in any way obligated to assume any role that their grief or sense of loss may make too burdensome.  All lectors at Mass should be practicing Catholics able to receive the Sacraments.  Parish lectors are available to read at the Mass if this would best serve the family.  Please advise the priest if you would like a parish lector to be arranged.

Music  Music is also integral to the funeral rites.  An organist, cantor, and, if requested, even a choir at St. Stanislaus assist the assembly’s full participation in singing the songs, responses, and acclamations of the funeral liturgy.  Suggestions for music for the Mass are provided on the enclosed sheet.  Please contact Mary Gaus who coordinates the music ministry for funerals with your selections as soon as possible.  Mary can be reached at 215-813-7448 or by email at  If you are not familiar with the music for funerals, Mary can assist you in making appropriate selections or you may leave the music to her discretion.  Other hymns not listed on the sheet may be used as long as they are from our Catholic tradition and known by our musicians.  Please consult with Mary regarding any questions about music or if there is a request for a guest soloist, cantor, or instrumentalist.  All fees for the musicians, cantors, and choir are handled through the funeral director.  If you would like the funeral choir to sing at the Mass, please let Mary Gaus and the funeral director know.

“Words of Remembrance”  The funeral liturgy provides the possibility of a member or a friend of the family to speak in remembrance of the deceased before the final commendation begins.  We have included in your packet a copy of the Archdiocesan guidelines regarding the words of remembrance.  Please review and share these guidelines with anyone wishing to speak in remembrance of the deceased within the context of the funeral rites.

Cremation  Cremation is permissible with the expectation that the cremated remains of the deceased are accorded the same dignity and respect with which the Church treats the body of any baptized person.  If your family has chosen cremation, please review the attached norms of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia regarding cremation that have been included in your packet.

The faith of our St. Stanislaus parish community brings support and strength to those who suffer the loss of those whom they love.  “Blessed are they who mourn; they shall be consoled” (Matthew 5:3).  The celebration of the funeral rites is a great gift to the deceased and an expression of our belief in the spiritual bond that still exists between the living and the dead.  Our community of faith is here to accompany you and the deceased along the Christian journey to our heavenly home.  May we assist each other with our prayer and presence, and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace!

Sincerely in Christ,

Rev. Msgr. Joseph A. Tracy                                      Rev. Charles Ravert                                   

How to plan a funeral liturgy at St. Stanislaus Church:

1) Request that the funeral home contacts the Parish Center at 215-855-3133 to schedule the funeral with the Office Manager.  Once the funeral is scheduled, the funeral director will confirm the details to you and provide a packet to assist in planning the Liturgy.  It is very important that the family, Church, and Funeral Home communicate together; usually the funeral home takes the lead in this. If the local funeral director has not provided the packet, our office will prepare one for you for pick-up. The packet contains the information below in addition to other materials.  You will be contacted by a priest shortly after this initial conversation to set up a time to review the details of the service.  Whenever possible, the priest will meet with the family or loved ones in person.

2) For those who live at a distance, you may download the Funeral Liturgy Preparation Sheet to your desktop.  You may fill in this document on your computer, save it, and send it directly to the priest prior to your face-to-face meeting.  Please note that even loved ones planning a funeral from a distance must request that the funeral home contact the Office Manager to discuss important details prior to any planning. Funeral Liturgy Preparation Form pdf

3) Click on this link to review New and Old Testament readings and Gospel readings appropriate for funerals. (The first reading should be selected from the Old Testament outside of the Easter Season.  During the Easter Season, both readings are from the New Testament).

4) To select the Responsorial Psalm and General Intercessions, click on the following documents. Responsorial Psalm for a Funeral Liturgy.docx   General Intercessions for a Funeral Liturgy

5) To select music for the liturgy, click on this Music for the Order of Christian Funerals documentMusic for the Order of Christian Funerals

6) Review the additional information and guidelines.  Complete the Funeral Liturgy Preparation Sheet and attend the appointment with a St. Stanislaus priest. Liturgical Guidelines   Norms Regarding Cremation