20 Chestnut Street, Centereach, NY 11720

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Arranging Funerals and Memorials

A Message from Our Pastor

Dear Brother/Sister in the Lord:

Our celebration of a person’s life should reflect our conviction that in Jesus Christ we have life beyond life.
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Liturgical Services We Offer at Assumption Parish

The most common form of Catholic funeral has the following elements:

  1. Vigil service with either the body or cremated remains present.
  2. Funeral Mass or Prayer Service with either the body or cremated remains present.
  3. Memorial Mass or Prayer Service with no remains present. This can take place close to the time of death or at some convenient time for the gathering of friends and family.


Please note that we will do everything we are able to make sure that you and your family are “at ease” throughout this process. For example, whether you wish to forego a funeral mass and have a wake service at the funeral home, or have a funeral mass without the usual wake service, or have both the wake service and the funeral mass, we will make every effort to respond to your need.


Church Donation

Usually the funeral director takes care of this transaction. The stipend for a funeral mass is $500, which includes the fee set by the musicians. If you choose a wake service without a funeral mass, the stipend is $250. No one will be denied the services of the Church for financial reasons; if the fees are burdensome, please have the funeral director speak with the priest.



Individual tributes should be reserved for the vigil (wake) service the afternoon or evening before the day of the funeral mass or at the reception following. Eulogies are not permitted during the funeral mass. When one does offer a eulogy it is best read from a script since the actual giving of the eulogy can be emotional and difficult.


Displays and photographs

We welcome displays of photographs and memorabilia at the entrance to the church .At a memorial mass where the remains are not present, a framed portrait may be displayed on an easel near the altar.



We welcome flowers and wreaths as part of the funeral celebration. During Lent we do not use flowers on the altar, but they can be displayed around the casket and at the lectern.


Memorial Gifts

You may wish to encourage friends and family to make Memorial Gifts to Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary RCC. These gifts are received in the name of the one who has died, and the immediate family is notified of these gifts. Memorial gifts may be used for the general needs of the church, or may be designated for one or more specific purposes, such as church restoration, parish outreach, etc. Contact the rectory for details.


Consolation Ministry

When the parish is informed by the funeral director that a funeral liturgy must be scheduled, Deacon Mike contacts the deceased’s family to discuss the liturgy as well as determine ways the parish might help during this difficult time.



Music is an important part of ritual, and we encourage families to make full use of the Church’s rich tradition and the parish’s musical resources. You will have the opportunity to offer some suggestions for the music that will be played at the Mass of Christian Burial. In making those choices please remember that our parish has a rich repertoire of sacred music, traditional and contemporary. We will try to honor your suggestions. The rule of thumb in making a selection is whether or not you’ve heard it sung at our parish liturgies.


Our parish musicians will be responsible for singing all the parts of the mass. If you have a particular person you wish to sing during the mass, it is important that you contact our organist/singer to make sure that the piece is known by the organist. For the most part we recommend that one of our cantors lead the singing of the Psalm and the Mass Propers (Holy, Holy, Holy, Amen, Alleluia, etc.), and sing one or more of the many appropriate pieces that you may have chosen. Music fees are included in the $500 stipend to the church. The funeral director usually takes care of that transaction.


In terms of recorded music, we recognize the importance of certain recorded songs. Recorded music may be proper at a vigil service or at a reception but not during Mass.



In order to help you choose the readings for the mass, please look at our Planning Guide for possible selections.