Parish Ministries » Bereavement


For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on them in their sorrow. (Isahiah 49:13)

At one time or another, every family, every individual, must deal with the loss of a loved one - a parent, spouse, child, close friend. Sometimes death is preceded by a long, exhausting illness; sometimes it is sudden and shocking. In the midst of their grief, those closest to the deceased person find themselves faced with making many immediate decisions, including plans for a funeral and final interment.

At such a time, a member of the Bereavement Team at Our Lady of Refuge meets with family members and assists them in planning their loved one’s funeral or memorial liturgy, called the Mass of Resurrection. Our Team members are trained and experienced in responding sensitively to the needs of those experiencing loss and sorrow. Their guidance is subtle, caring and practical, and they are there to help from the first meeting to the final blessing.

As soon as the Parish Office is notified of the death of a parishioner, the Bereavement Team is contacted and a member is assigned to assist the family in preparing the Mass of Resurrection. The Team member then calls and arranges an appointment to meet, either at the church or at the family’s home. A booklet of ideas for Scripture readings is provided, along with some suggestions for music. To help the presiding priest in preparing his homily, our Team member makes note of important information about the deceased person’s life and family, and special remembrances about him/her, such as personal achievements and cherished family stories. The Team member then takes care of notifying all necessary parish ministers  -  the priest, servers, and musician(s) - and is available to respond to the family*s needs or questions.

On the day of the funeral, our Bereavement Team member arrives early at church to make sure everything is ready and is there to greet family members and mourners. Following the Mass, the Team member ensures that personal items, such as displayed photographs and cards are given to the family. 

If you or your family experience the death of a loved one, please contact our Parish Office for assistance in planning a Mass of Resurrection:

(562) 498-6641

If you would like to be trained to become part of this essential, spiritually rewarding parish ministry, please contact:

Lynda Luna at (562) 498-6641