Jump to content


OT: catholic funeral memorial question - help!

Recommended Posts

Hi all -

I can't find this info online anywhere quickly, so I thought all of you wise folkk may have an idea...

My catholic FIL passed away last week. Someone planted the idea into my MIL's head of a memorial gift to the church in his memory. She is so confused about this, and getting aggitated! I think at first she thought it was some type of fee or expense (aiy,aiy!). She sees it as another thing she needs to take care of, but can't find info onit. I have tried to explain that it is voluntary but honestly I don't know what is customary for Caholics. She's embarassed/uncomfortable to ask the priest (she's not Catholic), yet wants to do what is tradtional in general, and specifically for Catholics since FIL was.


So my questions: is it pretty much a given that when a caholic dies, some honorary gift to the church should be made - is that customary? And....(the big one)...How much? She mentioned something about $25, but I'm pretty sure these things are usually bigger - $500? More?


Ugh, sometimes I feel like such a little kid, not knowing things I probably should....


Anyway, any help appreciated. And pls forgive my spelling as I only have Internet on my phone presently! ;-)


- stacey in ma

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you'll want to talk to the parish secretary. The secretary will know what is normal for that parish & what the expected donations would be.


There's this thing where you can have a service said for the person's soul or you can have a person remembered as part of a regular mass..... I'm an atheist but most of my extended family is Catholic & we have experienced many deaths over the past few years so it's been cropping up a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry for your loss.:grouphug:


I am speaking from my personal experience when my dad passed away - he and my mom were very active in an RC community. My sister and I gave a 'gift' of $500. to the Church where the funeral Mass was held. This was 20 years ago.


My sister and I knew that a 'gift' or 'offering' would have to be made - my mom had told us and she had tons of experience with that sort of thing in the RC Church.


And, the funeral director had it on his list of responsibilities of the deceased's family.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Found a website of a Catholic church that said their 'customary fee' for a funeral is $100


There is no charge for a funeral at St. Edward the Confessor parish. It is customary to give a donation to the parish, and the suggested amount is $100.00. The fees for the liturgical musicians are $125.00 for the Organist/Pianist and $125.00 for the Cantor/Vocalist. There are no charges or suggested donations for the services of the priest, deacon, or bereavement ministers


I'm not sure that's what your MIL's relative is talking about though - sounds like she could be suggesting that Masses be said in your fathers memory (eta: like hornblower said). That typically has a fee of about $10 per Mass. As a devout Catholic I believe this is a great thing to have done - it is believed that a Mass said for the repose of his soul will reduce any potential suffering of Purgatory time. The church will understand what she is talking about if she says "I want a Mass said for my husband". (eta again: you can have this done at any catholic church, it doesn't need to be "his church". I've even paid the fee online to have it said by a place I can't get to).


Of course she can give more money to the Church, but I believe having the Masses said (minimal fee) and paying a donation fee for the funeral are the general "normal" Catholic expenses, at least around here.


Someone correct me if I'm wrong! I know I don't know everything.

Edited by amyable
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no charge made by a priest or a RC Church if you ask them to say Masses for anyone or anything. You just call up the parish secretary and say you'd like to have a Mass said for so-and-so, could she help you? She'll check her calendar and let you know what date and time the Mass will be said (might be months from now) and she'll record the intention. You are certainly free to make a donation if you choose, and again the parish secretary can tell you what might be customary, but there is NO charge for it. Their intention will be said at a regularly scheduled parish Mass.


If what you're talking about is a funeral Mass (in conjunction with a recent death, there's a body involved, trip to the cemetery, etc) then the parish priest will let the family know if there is a charge/requested donation. Usually there is. It varies according to the local cost of living. But if money is an issue, no family will be turned away for inability to make a donation if the deceased regularly attended that parish. Most parishes have a process in place for that situation. Talk to the priest that is handling the funeral.


If you are asking about a Memorial Mass, one that is attended by the family (but without the deceased's body present, such as in the case of cremation or out-of-town death and now they're doing a memorial in the person's hometown or something) then that's treated a little more like a funeral Mass where the family has input into the liturgy and it's done at a time when there isn't a regularly scheduled Mass. The charge/requested donation would match that of a funeral Mass.


Hope that helps.

Edited by VA6336
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both my parents have passed away (in the last ten years), and in both cases, the funeral home took care of this for me and included it in the final bill. For the life of me, I cannot remember how much it was, however, I do not think it was over $100.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What the person might be talking about is the old custom of donating money for vestments for the priest, in the person's memory. My MIL is really into doing that. That is an old custom and I don't believe that most modern Catholics follow it. Our parish had never heard of it when my MIL said that she wanted to do it for her Mother. It is certainly not necessary.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of your comments were helpful! (I knew the hive would have something for me! ;-))


FYI, we did have a funeral mass for the funeral, and there were no "charges" for that, the Priest, or the musicians. My MIL waswondering if she was supposed to tip everyone or not! Oh, so confusing, and yet another issue. At my lutheran church there is actually a fee schedule for weddings and funerals and such- most of which have to do with the cost of turning on the utilities and also paying the organist (who's salaried for some things but paid per diem for extra events).


Anyway... MIL says she is comfortable enough w/ the church secretary, and will call or go in to chat some more w/ her (she has already, but she doesn't always "get" it the first time around, KWIM?)


Thanks again everyone!

- stacey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...