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    A Look at Catholic Funeral Customs

    Last updated 1 month ago

    In the Catholic faith, funeral rituals allow loved ones the time to accept their loss while coming to terms through several events revolving around prayer and blessing of the deceased. Some of the traditions may vary, as there are differing degrees of Catholic orthodoxy that may guide a family’s choices for the funeral services. However, most Catholic funerals still include the following features, which are all conventional in the faith. 

    Vigil prayer service

    Instead of a funeral or wake, those in the Catholic faith will hold a Vigil, which does historically involve a viewing of the body. This service may take place in the home of the deceased or in a funeral home or church. During the Vigil, eulogies will be delivered as a priest or deacon presides over the service.

    Funeral Mass

    During Funeral Mass, which is led by a priest, there is no eulogy, but rather a priest will deliver a sermon and guide friends and loved ones through a set of prayers, hymns, and readings. These selections may be coordinated with the priest if any psalms or hymns have a special meaning for the deceased. While this service is primarily led by members of the Church, loved ones may participate as ushers, pallbearers, readers, or musicians. The music selected for Catholic Funeral Mass should consist only of church music.

    Burial traditions

    Interment, or the Rite of Committal in the case of the Catholic faith, is the final service performed to send off loved ones in the Church. Close family and friends gather at the burial site, mausoleum, or columbarium, which will be blessed before the body is laid to rest. The ritual is completed with the Lord’s Prayer. Traditionally, cremation was not condoned by the Catholic Church, but more progressive members of the faith are now accepting of this practice. If cremation does take place, it should be following the Vigil and Mass.

    Regardless of your family’s requests and faith in funeral planning, Chapel of the Chimes can accommodate your needs. Our peaceful and beautiful grounds feature the Circle of Peace Mausoleum along with several manicured gardens, so your loved one can have peaceful surroundings in his or her final resting place. To begin planning services with our Hayward funeral directors, visit our website or call us at (510) 471-3363. 

    Dia de los Muertos Celebration - Nov. 1, 2014

    Last updated 1 month ago

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    Moving through the Stages of Grief

    Last updated 1 month ago

    When considering the stages of grief, it is important to recognize that some people move through each and every stage of the process while others may skip certain phases or dwell on them. As this video explains, every stage of grief is considered a normal reaction to loss, but moving on from these feelings is critical to the healing process. Getting stuck on anger or depression may lead to the need for grief support or therapy so that physical reactions to death are not a persistent issue following loss.

    At Chapel of the Chimes, we have a staff of counselors and grief specialists led by our executive counseling director who can point you to the resources you need. You can reach out to us for support during the grieving process by calling (510) 471-3363 or visiting our website. 

    Answers to Your Questions About Green Burials

    Last updated 2 months ago

    There are many different options for laying a loved one to rest—including burial and cremation, which both may have a number of details that need to be arranged during funeral planning. With more people aware of the environmental concerns that surround burial and cremation services, green burial is a growing option suitable for many families, as it reduces the environmental impact of common burial rituals. Let’s take a closer look at some questions about green burial to help you understand its use and benefits.

    What exactly is green burial?

    There is no single strategy for green burial, as this term describes any burial or cremation service that minimizes environmental impact, and, where possible, facilitates ecological restoration. This may mean that cemeteries maintain gardens and lush landscapes to revitalize the earth’s natural beauty and plant life following a burial, or it could mean selecting more eco-friendly materials for the casket or urn that serves as a final resting place. As you work with a funeral director, it is important to ask which green measures the funeral home and cemetery has in place, and whether or not these facilities are GBC certified.

    Is embalming an acceptable green practice?

    With green burial, the idea is not to exclude any particular practice or ritual that may be a part of an individual’s faith. For many people, preservation of the body through embalming is an important funeral custom. However, use of the chemical formaldehyde in this process is not considered a green measure. Fortunately, there are more eco-friendly chemicals that may be used instead of formaldehyde and minimize environmental impact.

    Can cremation be a green option?

    Cremation is often associated with pollution, but there are ways to reduce fossil fuel use and filter harmful pollutants like mercury out of cremation emissions. Even with some of the older practices used for cremation, this choice does tend to use the fewest resources of any disposition option. If you choose to spread a loved one’s ashes following cremation, you should be sure to only do so following regional and state laws so that the ashes do not have any adverse impact on the area.

    For a complete look at green burial options in the East Bay, connect with Chapel of the Chimes on our website or at (510) 471-3363. We provide a number of burial choices and cemetery cremation to meet the needs of the diverse population of the surrounding community. 

    The Role of Anger in Grief

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Anger is a well-recognized emotion involved with the grieving process, but it may still be difficult for you and those around you to cope with. You may feel that your anger is misplaced, as it is a much more fiery and uncomfortable emotion than sadness or denial. However, it may be a challenge not to feel angry when you feel so out of control at the loss of a loved one. Anger does have a valuable role in grieving individuals. It can let you sort through the fact that the world keeps spinning after a loved one is lost and bridge the gap between feelings of hopelessness and a sense of acceptance. You should not dwell in the anger that comes with loss, but know that it is a normal part of grief and that it can give you energy to channel into more positive feelings.

    If you have lost a loved one, Chapel of the Chimes can make the process easier with all-inclusive end of life services and grief support for friends and families. We offer an array of funeral options to cater to the many cultural traditions of California’s East Bay. Get to know us and tour our grounds online or call us at (510) 471-3363 to request a pre-planning guide. 

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