Old Testament

New Testament


Funeral Preparation

Welcome to our website for funeral preparation. We have tried to provide you with everything you need to plan a funeral at St. Joseph Church. During this time of sadness and mourning our Lazarus ministry will assist you with any funeral preparations you may have.

Below you will find several choices of readings from the Old Testament and New Testament. You may choose one reading from the Old Testament for the first reading and one from the New Testament for the second reading. The celebrant (priest) usually chooses the Gospel reading.

As we prepare for the funeral Mass there are some things that we will discuss with you including:

  • Music selections

  • Who will do the readings

  • Who will bring up the gifts

  • Who will place the pall (covering) on the casket (we also refer to it as the white garment that is placed on the casket.)

  • Who will place the cross on the casket

  • Do you have a picture that we can keep in church for all the weekend Masses

To help the celebrant prepare for the homily we request a bio on the deceased that includes information  such as:

  • Date & place of birth

  • Date & Place of death

  • Family Information:

    • Mother & Father’s name.

    • Brothers, Sisters

    • Children

    • Grandchildren

  • Schools attended

  • Profession

  • Military

  • Employment

  • Interests

  • Hobbies,

  • Affiliation/Organizations

  • Charities

  • Politics

  • Pet peeves

  • Favorite sports teams

  • Funny stories/anecdotes

  • And anything else that you would like to add


Where will the family sit?

The family will process in behind the casket and will be directed to sit in the front rows of the church to the left of the center aisle

How many pallbearers are needed?

You can supply between two to six pallbearers.

Where do the pallbearers sit?

The pallbearers will sit behind the family and will be directed by the funeral director where to sit. The pallbearers can sit with their families but will be directed after the mass to accompany the casket out of church

Will the priest go to the cemetery after the funeral?

The rite of committal, the conclusion of the funeral rites, is the final act of the community of faith in caring for the body of its deceased member. It may be celebrated by the priest or deacon at the grave, tomb, or crematorium.

Does a Deacon or a Priest come to the wake?

Yes, most of the time a Deacon or Priest will do a prayer service at the funeral home at the wake. In rare circumstances the funeral director will do a prayer service.

Can we have a priest who is a family friend be the celebrant (or concelebrate) the funeral mass?

Yes.  The visiting priest must be approved by St. Joseph Church and the priest must have a suitability card if he is not from the Diocese of Metuchen.