How do I prepare for a funeral?

First Steps

Please call the parish office to notify us that someone has died and you are requesting a funeral. Our coordinator of funerals will call you back as soon as possible.

When making arrangements after a loved one has passed, the best place to begin is to choose and contact a mortuary or funeral home of your choice. They will help to assist making sure all necessary arrangements are coordinated properly between themselves, the Church and the Cemetery.

Heritage Funeral Chapels is our preferred mortuary.

Heritage Funeral Chapel 
6830 W Thunderbird Rd, Peoria AZ 85381
(623) 974-3671

Who May Receive a Funeral at St. Thomas More?

  • Registered and active parishioners (whether in the boundaries or outside)
  • Any long time parishioner who has become inactive because of health or some other good reason
  • Immediate family of parishioners (parents and children)
  • Any Catholic living in our parish boundaries

What Kind of Services are Available?

A vigil service is offered the day before the funeral.

The funeral may be either a Mass or a Liturgy of the Word. We recommend a Liturgy of the Word service for people who are not practicing Catholics.

Following the funeral, a graveside committal service is also available.

Please Note: A funeral Mass is not a tribute service for your loved one, it is first a public act of worship to God. As such it is bound by certain rules of the Church. Given that it is situated within a specific parish community it also will follow the practices of our community. The Mass does not belong to any individual nor is subject to alteration based upon preference. Should you request to have the funeral Mass of your loved one at St. Thomas More these ideals will be followed. Special requests can sometimes be accommodated, but rarely and only if they conform to these principles. Many of the things people request are very fitting for a vigil service or during a reception, but they are not fitting for Mass. Please understand this before making your requests.

What Days of the Week are Funeral Services Available?

Funeral services are available Monday through Friday only, generally at 10:30 AM.

How are the Readings Chosen?

You can select any of the prescribed readings for the Funeral Mass or service.

Tributes and Eulogies

Individual tributes or eulogies are not permitted at the funeral Mass. They are reserved for the Vigil or Rosary service (normally, the afternoon or evening before the day of the Funeral Mass) or for a reception following the funeral liturgy.

Cremation FAQ

As a Catholic, may I be cremated?

Yes, the bishops of the United States and the Holy See have authorized the celebration of a Catholic funeral liturgy with the cremated remains present.

What funeral rites are celebrated when a person is cremated?

The Order of Christian Funerals with a Vigil, Funeral Mass or Liturgy of the Word and Burial is the same whether a body or cremated remains are present.

Can I scatter the ashes? May I keep the ashes on my mantle?

No. The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative or a friend, are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires. Cremated remains, like a body, are to be placed in a final permanent resting place.

May anything be added to cremated remains such as cremated remains of other people, pets, or objects?

No. The principle of respect for the cremated remains of a deceased Christian embraces the deeper belief in the individuality of each baptized person before God. Throughout history, the mingling of remains has never been an accepted practice except in extraordinary circumstances.  It is also unacceptable to have any part of the cremated remains be made into jewelry, dishes, art works, etc.