Funerals

“Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection. Anyone who believes in me, even though he dies, will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.’”
— John 11: 25

General information about funerals at the cathedral

Families of parishioners who have died are encouraged to first make contact with an undertaker of their choice. The undertaker will then liaise with the Cathedral office to arrange dates and times.

The family should then make an appointment to meet with the priest who will celebrate the funeral, who will help them to pick hymns and readings. Please contact the office at 61 York Place, Edinburgh EH1 3JD or phone 0131 556 1798.

The normal form for a Catholic funeral is a Requiem Mass.

Times

Funerals at the Cathedral take place at 12:45pm. Funerals at St Andrew’s, Ravelston take place at 10am.

The body of the deceased may be received into the Church the evening before the funeral at either 5pm or 7pm. This is a short and intimate service, usually attended only by close family.

Music     

There are normally four hymns at a Requiem Mass: an entrance hymn, an offertory hymn, a Communion hymn and a recessional hymn. Some examples of appropriate choices are available here.

No recorded music is permitted.

The Cathedral organist, Simon Leach, will ordinarily play at funerals in the Cathedral. He can be contacted at organist@stmaryscathedral.co.uk.

Readings

Readings at Catholic funerals are taken from the Bible: a first reading (usually taken from the Old Testament), a Responsorial Psalm, an optional second reading (taken from the New Testament) and a Gospel (chosen by the priest). The available options for readings can be found here.

The readings may be read by family and friends of the deceased.

If the family wish, a Eulogy may be read by a member of the family or close friend. The place for the Eulogy is at the end of the Mass, after Holy Communion and before the Final Commendation.

Flowers

Flowers can be arranged with a florist chosen by the family of the deceased. These can be placed on the coffin or arranged on the sanctuary, as desired.

Funerals Outside of Mass

If the family do not want a Requiem Mass, Catholic funeral services can also be conducted at the Crematorium or Funeral Parlour. In these cases, the funeral would normally be conducted by Deacon Peter Traynor.

Costs

Although there is no set fee for Catholic funerals, we would ask you to make a contribution of £100 for the use of the church. It is also customary for an offering to be made to the priest who celebrates the funeral. The amount given varies according to means. 

The Cathedral Organist charges £80 for a funeral.