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Preparing for the Passing of my Dad

  • 29-05-2023 6:06pm
    Registered Users Posts: 12 Tix19

    so my Dad is getting very old and i have to think about is passing eventually , i have a question , do you have to have a Mass when a person passes away or can you go straight to a burial ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 786 ✭✭✭cnoc

    Is your Dad religious? If he is get a Mass said in the church, prior to the burial on the day of the funeral.

  • Registered Users Posts: 123 ✭✭Tavrin Callas

    You may be required to have a mass if the burial is in a Catholic graveyard. Otherwise, you don't need a mass. The funeral director will advise the options, you could have a different type of service (a different religion or a secular service), or abstain from a service entirely and do the burial / cremation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,747 ✭✭✭✭banie01

    Hopefully your Dad has plenty of time left in him yet. There is no need for a mass, nor even a church service if it's something you or your Dad don't want.

    When the time comes, undertakers are very adept at dealing with non-religious funerals if that's what you prefer. Even going so far as having the removal direct from their mortuary to the grave site or crematorium.

    Spend less time worrying about the "what to do" and more enjoying your Dad (or if not him, then something else) while you can.

  • Registered Users Posts: 86,475 ✭✭✭✭JP Liz V1

    I think it is up to you, I have heard of deceaseds going from funeral home or their own home depending on where laid out to graveyard directly or for cremation, is it a Catholic funeral you want for him?

    Speak with undertakers when arranging

    I would say take each day you have with him as precious and enjoy

    I lost my dad last year after a quick short cancer balance, it still hurts

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,071 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34

    Firstly, don't waste a moment of the life he does have left worrying about what happens when he goes.

    Funeral Directors are brilliant, they will do whatever you want and organise it in no time flat.

    No, religious elements are not required, I've been to a good many funerals lately where the send off is done in the funeral home or whatever mortuary and the remains are brought straight for burial or cremation.

    I've also seen a neighbour who donated her body to medical science be removed from her home by the University and a few tributes paid in her garden before she was brought away.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,707 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    Mass is not required for burial in a Catholic graveyard. A Rite of Committal is all that's needed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,707 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    OP talk to your Dad about it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,232 ✭✭✭TooTired123

    This is nonsense. Why would the man be buried in the grounds of a Catholic Church if he’s not a catholic?!?

  • Registered Users Posts: 123 ✭✭Tavrin Callas

    Ah, okay, of course, a full mass wouldn't be required, but yes, the Catholic rite would need to be performed if he was to have a Catholic burial.

    Er, what??? I never said anything about him being buried in on the grounds of a Catholic Church if he's not Catholic.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,232 ✭✭✭TooTired123

    The only catholic graveyards in Ireland are attached to and in the grounds of Catholic Churches.

    No a requiem mass is not a condition of being buried in a catholic graveyard. Funerals are not Catholic sacraments.

    Most graveyards in Ireland are under the control of the Local authority.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,707 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    Just for clarity, the larger graveyards are under the control of Local Authorities but the majority are certainly not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,341 ✭✭✭Jequ0n

    Personally I’d be getting a bottle of champagne, but I guess that’s not what you are after here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,699 ✭✭✭standardg60


    What anyone else wants is irrelevant, respecting your dad's wishes is what matters, and establishing them makes the whole thing so much more comforting when the time comes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,863 ✭✭✭✭crosstownk

    You should probably already have a good idea of your Dad's religious beliefs or inclinations so you'll know what to do when the time comes.

    But as already stated, don't dwell on it now while you're still lucky enough to have him with you.

    Funeral homes/undertakers are fantastic, sensitive and very understanding and will help and advise you respectfully when needed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 509 ✭✭✭HazeDoll

    When my Dad was sick I spent a lot of time worrying about practicalities that just sorted themselves out when the day came. The undertaker was very helpful with suggestions (and probably solved a million little problems we never knew had arisen.)

    We had a humanist service and the humanists were brilliant in lots of ways too.

    I would echo what others have said. Ideally have a chat with your Dad, but I understand that that might be an impossibly difficult conversation. Put your worries aside for now and enjoy this time with him. When the time comes tell the undertaker your intentions and let them take over.

    One bit of preparation I did was that I had my funeral outfit picked out months in advance. I had a pair of tights, underwear etc. all packed up and ready to go. I even had a little make-up kit, deodorant and a toothbrush in the bag. It's silly but I was so unsure of what lay ahead that it felt comforting to have one aspect completely sorted in every detail.

  • Registered Users Posts: 350 ✭✭iniscealtra

    Generally you buy the Grace off the council. If that is the case there is no requirement for anything, In rural parishes all graveyards are generally council run as far as I know.

  • Registered Users Posts: 350 ✭✭iniscealtra

    If you want a religious funeral talk to an undertaker and a priest/minister/other religious figure. If you want a secular funeral just talk to an undertaker. They’ll know what to do.

    I was more worried about seeing my Dad once a week before he died. Juggling work / other commitments and I’m glad I did that.

    Having an outfit you know you can wear is good advice. @HazeDoll It doesn’t have to be new either. I had something I could wear and I didn’t have to think about it when the time came.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,219 ✭✭✭✭Grayson

    I'd talk to the undertaker about it all. Might be worth talking to a couple. When my dad died we'd known it was coming for a few weeks but we didn't do any preparation. So when it happened we were rand an undertaker we had a number for. They gave us a quote and that was that. they did try to upsell us a bit. I would have personally liked to have it better prepared and we did have some warning but when someone is in hospital dying, it's not something you think of.

  • Are you able to speak to him about his wishes? My own Dad raised a smile when I told him he was going to be cremated, like my Mum & myself so the three of us could squeeze into the same bought family grave in our urns. He said “well I don’t have much choice, do I?” Though a generally very serious man, he treated this with humour! Both my parents had that ability to take away the burden of worrying what would happen when they died.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,024 ✭✭✭Gregor Samsa

    I'll reiterate what other people have said about undertakers. They are absolutely brilliant at organising anything you need. You ask, they do. I had to sort out both my parents' funerals, and it was less hassle than a kids birthday party. My mother's was a full, traditional Catholic mass. My father's was during the height of the first Covid lockdown, and was a short and very small service in the chapel in Glasnevin, with a Deacon officiating. Both my wife and I will have non-religious funerals.

    In terms of burial, the ownership of graveyards varies throughout the country. In Clare, for instance, the Council runs 40 different cemeteries as a public service. Donegal Co. Co. doesn't run any - they're all run by the various Churches, who have their own rules. In Dublin, the likes of Glasnevin, Dardistown and Newlands Cross are run by the private Dublin Cemeteries Trust, and are open to anyone. Mount Jerome in Harold's' Cross is privately owned. All of these have a "chapel" that can be used for any kind of service - secular or religious, before burial or cremation. Then each of the local authorities have their own graveyards too.

    As I mentioned, some of the big cemeteries in Dublin have their own chapel that you can have any kind of service in. The other crematoria around the country would be the same. Any funeral home would host a non-religious service too. Some hotels will also host them. You could have the service at the graveside and a gathering afterwards. The Unitarian Church in Stephen's Green in Dublin will host a funeral for anyone ( - you don't have to be a member of the church, and while their tradition is rooted in Christianity, they will take anyone's beliefs into account.

    A few other interesting, non standard options:

    Resomation, also known as water cremation:

    A natural burial ground in Wexford:

    The Humanist Association Of Ireland ( can provide a celebrant for a non-religious funeral. They'll have suggestions for the format of the ceremony, but you can customise it any way you want too - there's no set dogma or beliefs, there's really no such thing as "a humanist funeral", it could even include religious elements. Any undertaker will organise a HAI celebrant for you. There's also private individuals that offer similar services like:

    But no matter what you want to, all you really need to do is call an undertaker, and the'll take care of everything.

    Post edited by Gregor Samsa on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 535 ✭✭✭Scipri0

    Hi, Sorry to hear. It's not nice dealing with these issues but you don't have to have a mass if you don't want. What you do is the funeral home and undertakers will sort everything out for you and are adaptable to what you want. I've had a few family members pass away. If you have any more questions than work away and i'll answer them. Take care.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,139 ✭✭✭witchgirl26

    Firstly, unless you know your dad is sick & the end is imminent, don't get caught up worrying & spending a lot of time on this side of things. Spend time with him because whenever it does happen, you won't be glad you sorted every detail out, you'll be sad you didn't spend more time.

    Anyway. As others have said, talk to your dad about it all. Maybe ask him to write down his wishes if he doesn't want to talk about it (some older people don't like to do that). For example, does he want a wake? In the funeral home or at his home? Does he want the full removal to the church, funeral service next day & burial or does he want something simpler. Is there any music that he'd like at it specifically? Or any readings (if he's a religious man). We did all that with my dad. Took about an afternoon. Wrote it all down so it was there for us all to be able to tick off when the time came & that was it.