Trusting in the Paschal Mystery, the Church of the Madonna offers those who grieve the assistance of the Bethany Ministry (also known as a bereavement ministry). The ministry’s goal is to guide the family of the deceased through the planning and execution of the three parts of the Catholic funeral rite: the wake or vigil service, the funeral liturgy and the rite of committal or burial.
Members of the ministry offer both consolation and practical guidance to families who have experienced the death of a loved one. Bethany ministers use as their guide the Order of Christian Funerals, the Church document detailing the rubrics prescribed by the Church for these rites.
Bethany ministers encourage family members to take an active role in selecting options for the Vigil (wake) and Funeral Mass. They assist with the selection of Scripture, reflection and prayers for the rites from the Order of Christian Funerals or the Liturgy of the Hours, as well as music which reflects Christian belief in the Resurrection. Prayers for the Rite of Committal, the conclusion of the funeral rite, are also chosen.
During the rites themselves, Bethany ministers often serve as lectors, altar servers or Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. This is a ministry of presence. Bethany ministers seek to walk with grieving families throughout the final journey of their loved one.
It is a ministry of healing, reaching out to those who may be overwhelmed by suffering. It is a ministry of true service to all who suffer loss.
If you are interested in serving in one or more of these functions of the Bethany ministry, please contact Donna Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org. Formation is ongoing throughout the year.