St. Bede's Bereavement Ministry provides comfort and support to those experiencing the loss of a loved one. This ministry serves the church family in four very specific ways:
- By helping families during their initial bereavement and with the Catholic services.
- By assisting at the funeral or memorial mass.
- By presiding at other scheduled services and activities.
- With prayer throughout the year.
Working in teams, ministry members serve for two months each year. Most activity occurs during those difficult first days immediately following a loss when the ministry offers the bereaved family condolences from their church community and occasionally may be called upon to conduct Rosary or Vigil Services. Prior to the funeral or memorial mass, the Bereavement Ministry sets-up the church and altar, greets guests, handles the sign-in book, and is especially attentive to the needs of the family. Our Bereavement Ministers provide direction to the lectors and those delivering the gifts, support to the funeral director and presider, and serve as Eucharistic Ministers. In addition, the Bereavement Ministry may arrange for dessert type refreshments or help set-up at receptions, and frequently arranges for someone to stay at the home of the bereaved during the services.
The Bereavement Ministry is involved in other aspects of bereavement as well. In prayers, members remember those who have died and those left behind, and may pray with family members, send notes of care, or just offer a compassionate ear. Sometimes the Bereavement Ministry refers those who have lost someone to an appropriate grief support group. Each November the ministry insures that all who have lost a loved one during the past year are invited to the Memorial Mass, and at the conclusion of this mass the ministry hosts a reception. Other ministry supported activities include the Mass of Remembrance, Novena of Masses and the parish's two grief support activities - Good Grief and Beyond Good Grief. Click here for more information on Good Grief.
As a member of this ministry, an individual may participate in a variety of activities:
- Prepare cookies for the funeral reception or family at home.
- Sit at a home during a Rosary or Vigil Service or mass.
- Help with telephone calls.
- Facilitating grief support activities.
- Serve as a greeter at a Rosary or Vigil Service or mass.
- Serve as a lector.
- Serve as a Eucharistic Minister.
- Guide family members who are lecturing, giving eulogies, or presenting gifts.
- Assist the family and guests at the service.
- Assist the family in preparing the services and the liturgy.
- Conduct the Vigil or Rosary Service.
Participation is neither time consuming nor does it require much training - just great compassion! Parishioners are invited to join; to reach out to those in need and to perform the spiritual works of mercy to "bury the dead" and "comfort those in mourning". Please consider this ministry and spread the word to others.
Those interested in the Bereavement Ministry should contact: the Parish Center and leave a message for Carole Forys.