I am amazed by how many people, even Catholics, who shield their kids from death and funerals because it would be too upsetting or hard for them. I always take my kids to funerals, as you are there to pray and be a support, even silently, to those who are mourning. Also, I have told my children that the ONLY thing I cannot protect them from his suffering. It happens to everyone. What I can do for them is to help them encounter it and to witness others who are suffering. By going to funerals they they not only support those suffering, but they witness suffering and learn how to handle it (hopefully modeled by me). – Mary Kate, mom of 4, Alexandria, VA
I serve on the Board of Directors for Back in His Arms Again, a ministry that serves families of infant loss from conception until death. – Carrie, mom of 4, Columbus, OH (Read more from Carrie about this ministry here)
Burying the dead seems straightforward enough, yet in our culture, people often do not have a funeral Mass for their beloved dead. We need to teach our children that a funeral Mass is not just a tradition, but is a vital way to ‘send off’ our loved ones on many levels, especially in praying for their soul in their passing from this life to the next. At our parish, we have adult altar servers for funerals, a ministry in which I have the honor to participate. It is necessary for us to help our children who serve on the altar to understand the importance of their ministry in assisting the priest, in praying for soul of the deceased (which may be difficult for the family who is overwhelmed by their grief), and in the comfort that our reverence brings to the family of the deceased. The wayin which we serve assists not only the deceased, but their family as well.
~Rita, Hammond, IN
My teenage daughter has had several friends who’ve lost parents and grandparents during the past few years. On her own, she arranges to bring a dinner to the families. I make sure she has everything she needs (and I’m there for cooking advice) but she does all of it herself. –Barb, mom of 3, Delran, NJ
We would love to hear how you live out the Circle Of Mercy.