The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference has published a new booklet on liturgical policy for Christian funerals and guidelines for tangihana.

ocf-2The 36-page booklet is entitled For Those Who Believe: Life is Changed not Ended, a quote from Preface 1 for Mass for the Dead.

The policy recognises the challenges and sensitivity required of those involved in pastoral care for the one who has died and those who mourn within the Catholic community, in a manner that also respects cultural and family traditions.

Recognition and value is given to the variety of ministers and ministries involved in funerals. The development of bereavement ministry in parishes is encouraged.

Attention is paid to the different stages and rites that surround the death of a Christian and precede the three-fold rite of Christian Burial — the Vigil, the Funeral Liturgy and the Rite of Committal.

Consideration of Catholic practice around cremation is provided. The purpose of Catholic funeral rites in relation to the use of symbols, words of remembrance, music and other forms
of tribute is clearly and simply stated.

In addition, the New Zealand Catholic bishops recommend Tangihanga — A Catechesis, prepared by Rev. Danny Karatea-Goddard, which is an integral part of the new publication.

This catechesis gives clarity to the timing, process and various customs that may be engaged on the tangihanga journey.

This publication is particularly useful for priests, deacons, chaplains and members of the Catholic community who share in any form of bereavement ministry, as well as funeral directors.

Priests, deacons and catechists who may be asked to assist at a tangihanga or laity who may be participating as friends will also welcome the accessible and informative catechesis.

The Catholic funeral liturgy is a celebration of the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, into whom the one who has died was baptised, and a powerful prayer that this person be welcomed into the communion of the saints in heaven.

The price is $6.00 per book, inclusive of GST + postage. Copies are available from the National Liturgy Office, 09 3603058 or email