The Catholic Funeral Planning Guide was developed by the Maine Catholic Cemetery Committee to help you plan in advance of the inevitable, making it easier for your loved ones left behind. While funeral planning guides can be found in several places, including at some funeral homes, online, or even from some insurance companies, this one is specifically designed to help the faithful plan for their funeral in a “Catholic way." All too often topics regarding death and dying are the elephant in the room, everyone is aware things need to be discussed, but no one wants to upset the other so it is not discussed until it’s too late. We hope that this planning guide will stimulate conversation on death and dying.
The guide, which begins with Bishop Richard Malone's pastoral letter, “That We May Have Hope,” is comprehensive, covering everything from the funeral home desired, which church is preferred, favorite readings and music, even the clothes one wishes to wear. You can stipulate traditional burial or cremation and the type of casket or urn you might prefer. There is even a section where individuals can write their own obituary or provide information for it. The guide also includes important information for the Veterans Administration, Social Security Office and more. And it includes a section on where important documents of the deceased will be found, and who and what organizations should be notified of their death.
Anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one will tell you how difficult and stressful it can be to make decisions not knowing what your loved one would have wanted. Once filled out, the guide takes all the guess work out of the equation. It can be taken to the funeral home and parish office with you when making arrangements. If you have ever tried to find out where someone kept their important papers, what insurance policies they have, or where their bank accounts are, you will find this guide a tremendous help.
The guide can be found to the left. Fill it out on line, store it electronically or print it out and put it where the person in charge of your final arrangements will know where to find it, better yet, give them a copy. If you store it electronically be sure someone knows your password. If you or your family has not been to church for a while, not to worry, this guide is still for you, the Catholic Church welcomes you and your family regardless.
Go ahead take a look, it’s free, it’s helpful and it’s painless. Involve your family or friends in the process. You’ll be surprised how many of them have been trying to find a tactful way of talking to you about end of life issues. It won’t make the end come any sooner but it will give you and your loved ones peace of mind.