If you wish to arrange a funeral in the parish, please make contact with the parish priest as soon as possible after the person has died. The Parish offers pastoral support, assistance with preparation of the funeral Mass or liturgy and access to longer-term bereavement support.
In the past, funeral liturgies were held at various different times throughout the day, which resulted in parish community Masses being cancelled at short notice. This had a detrimental impact on the parishioners who attend Mass regularly. In future, the daily Mass will only be cancelled in extenuating circumstances.
A new policy for funerals has been introduced in an attempt to ensure that all parishioners access the same level of pastoral care, in a planned and manageable way. Please do not finalize or publish any funeral arrangements without the approval/agreement of the priest. There will no longer be the option to have late afternoon funerals. The new arrangements may mean that families may have to wait an extra day to avail of the time they prefer, as is the case in many other parishes. A vigil reception to the Church one or two days before the funeral will continue to be an option for families in these circumstances.
Available Times for Requiem Masses in St Patrick’s Church, Aghagallon
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 10a.m.
- Tuesday and Thursday: 10a.m. or 12 noon
- Sunday: 9a.m. (As the 11am Sunday Mass includes a Children’s Liturgy, Sunday funerals will only be celebrated at 9am.)
Some families may prefer a short funeral service at home, at the graveside or at the Crematorium in place of a Requiem Mass. This may be the case when a family feels uncomfortable coming to Church, or when they feel restricted by the liturgical readings, poems and music available to them within a Church setting. Please ask the priest for more information about what we can provide if you feel that this is a better option for you.
Families can still request a priest who is a family member or friend to preside at funerals, but only during the above times/days – i.e. 10:00am on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday or 10am/12 noon on Tuesday and Thursday. It is important to remember that the Diocese of Down and Connor has a safeguarding/vetting policy in place which insists on visiting clergy completing paperwork prior to exercising ministry in the parish. Therefore, all visiting priests must contact the parish prior to attending to ensure they bring the necessary documents with them. If this protocol is not followed, the priest will be unable to preside or concelebrate during the funeral.
Leasing Arrangements for Graves
After seeking advice, the graveyard committee has agreed the following arrangements for burials within the parish of Aghagallon and Ballinderry.
Parishioners resident in the parish at the time of death.
Parishioners resident within the parish at the time of death may be buried in a standard grave, leased for £1800. At the discretion of the parish priest and graveyard committee, resident parishioners with larger families may also lease a double grave, at a cost of £3000.
Ex-Parishioners and those non-resident in the parish.
Non-resident to the parish at the time of death may be buried in a standard grave only, leased for, up to £3000. Each non-resident to the parish application will be considered by the graveyard committee and parish priest on a case-by-case basis. Agreed criteria will be applied when concluding on the appropriate leasing amount.
A standard grave can accommodate up to three interments.
A double grave can accommodate up to six interments.
No graves may be purchased in advance.
A fee of £100 for opening graves has been reinstated to ensure that all burials, including the committal of ashes, follow correct burial procedures and parish records are properly maintained. This is payable through the undertaker.
All arrangements/costs will be reviewed regularly and are subject to change.
Please be aware that headstones only will be allowed to be erected as Memorials and no other commemorative items shall be permitted. Headstones must be erected on the solid foundation only and be in keeping with the historical style/practice within parish graveyards. Moveable memorials, grave decorations and floral arrangements cannot be placed on turfed areas. Please incorporate space for these on the headstone base. Monumental sculptors must furnish the parish with scaled drawings prior to installation. If you have any questions/queries re the suitability of headstones, please discuss your wishes with the parish priest prior to installation, as the parish cannot bear the costs of removal/redesign.