When the time has come in one's life to consider passing on to the next, one should plan thoughtfully. This page lists several things one should consider when making such plans.

Sometimes members mistakenly believe that the Mt. St. Sepulchre Fraternity makes arrangements for funerals of Fraternity members. This is definitely not the case. Funeral arrangements are the responsibility of the family of the deceased; the Fraternity does not enter into this at all.

burial shroudMembers sometimes want to be buried in a Franciscan burial shroud (right). These must be obtain well ahead of time, and can be purchased through Franciscan Resources.

Members may also wish to be buried from - that is, have their funeral Mass celebrated at - the Franciscan Monastery. This is not automatic; several steps are required, and should be done in advance.

  • Obtain permission from the Franciscan Monastery itself. Usually this is granted, but one must ask.
  • Obtain permission from St. Anthony's Church. The Franciscan Monastery is not a parish, and deaths are recorded in the parish's records. The Franciscan Monastery is located within St. Anthony's Parish. Therefore, all funerals at the Monastery are recorded in St. Anthony's Church parish records. For this reason, one must obtain permission from the pastor of St. Anthony's Church to have the burial take place at the Monastery. Their telephone number is 202-526-8822.
  • Obtain permission from the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. Usually, if the Pastor at St. Anthony's Church agrees, he will contact the Archdiocese and obtain permission on your behalf. It would be a good idea to confirm this with him. The reason is that the Archdiocese has a policy that restricts funeral Masses at the Monastery to those persons who are members of religious orders; the Secular Franciscan Order qualifies under this definition.
  • It is appropriate to give a freewill offering for the use of the Franciscan Monastery's church.
  • If one wishes to use one's own organist, make arrangements to do so, but let the Monastery know. If one wishes to use the Monastery's organist, contact that person directly to make arrangements. Either way, some fee will be involved.
  • One can choose lectors for the Mass from the Fraternity if one wishes. This is not automatic, and one should approach the particular individuals well ahead of time. It is not the place of the Monastery to arrange lectors or other personnel for a funeral Mass.