Arrange a Funeral

The priests and pastoral staff at St. Stanislaus offer our condolences and prayers to you and your family at this difficult time.  The funeral rites of the Church are meant to comfort and console the sorrowing and commend the deceased to the mercy of God as we offer worship, praise, and thanksgiving to God for the gift of life and proclaim our faith in the Resurrection from the dead.  The information below is provided to assist you and your family in preparing the funeral rites that we will celebrate for your loved one who has returned to God.  One of the priests from St. Stanislaus will be in touch to review the funeral liturgy with you and to give you the opportunity to share with him about the life of the deceased.

Readings  Integral to the liturgical celebration is the reading of the word of God.  In the proclamation of the word, God speaks to us in our needs, sorrows, fears, and hopes.  You may select readings from the Funeral Packet link below.   Family members are encouraged to read, but should not feel in any way obligated to assume any role that their grief or sense of loss may make too burdensome.  All lectors at Mass should be practicing Catholics able to receive the Sacraments.  Parish lectors are available to read at the Mass if this would best serve the family.  Please advise the priest if you would like a parish lector to be arranged.

Music  Music is also integral to the funeral rites.  An organist, cantor, and, if requested, even a choir at St. Stanislaus assist the assembly’s full participation in singing the songs, responses, and acclamations of the funeral liturgy.  Suggestions for music for the Mass are provided on the enclosed sheet.  Please contact Mary Gaus who coordinates the music ministry for funerals with your selections as soon as possible.  Mary can be reached at 215-813-7448 or by email at  If you are not familiar with the music for funerals, Mary can assist you in making appropriate selections or you may leave the music to her discretion.  Other hymns not listed on the sheet may be used as long as they are from our Catholic tradition and known by our musicians.  Please consult with Mary regarding any questions about music or if there is a request for a guest soloist, cantor, or instrumentalist.  All fees for the musicians, cantors, and choir are handled through the funeral director.  If you would like the funeral choir to sing at the Mass, please let Mary Gaus and the funeral director know.

“Words of Remembrance”  The funeral liturgy provides the possibility of a member or a friend of the family to speak in remembrance of the deceased before the final commendation begins.  Please review and share the Liturgical Guidelines with anyone wishing to speak in remembrance of the deceased within the context of the funeral rites.

Cremation  Cremation is permissible with the expectation that the cremated remains of the deceased are accorded the same dignity and respect with which the Church treats the body of any baptized person.  If your family has chosen cremation, please visit Guidelines and Rules for Cremation and the Catholic Church on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia website.

The faith of our St. Stanislaus parish community brings support and strength to those who suffer the loss of those whom they love.  “Blessed are they who mourn; they shall be consoled” (Matthew 5:3).  The celebration of the funeral rites is a great gift to the deceased and an expression of our belief in the spiritual bond that still exists between the living and the dead.  Our community of faith is here to accompany you and the deceased along the Christian journey to our heavenly home.  May we assist each other with our prayer and presence, and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace!

Sincerely in Christ,

Rev Sean P. English                                

How to plan a funeral liturgy at St. Stanislaus Church:

  1. Request that the funeral home contact Trish Cunningham at the Parish Center at 215-855-3133, x108, to schedule the funeral. Once the funeral is scheduled, the funeral director will confirm the details to you.  It is very important that the family, Church, and funeral home communicate together; usually the funeral home takes the lead in this.
  2. Please print and complete the FUNERAL MASS SELECTION OF READINGS sheet.  All necessary information to fill this sheet out is in the FUNERAL PACKET.
  3. You will be contacted by a priest shortly after your meeting with the  funeral director to review the details of the service.
  4. To select music for the liturgy, click on this Music for the Order of Christian Funerals document. Music for the Order of Christian Funerals.

If you do not have electronic access to this information, please call Trish Cunningham at the Parish Center, 215-855-3133,  for a printed copy of the funeral packet.