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KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS

MEMORIAL SERVICE

FOR MEMBERS OF THE

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS

 

“I am the Resurrection and the Life:

whoever believes in Me, though he should die,

will come to life…”

 

(JN 11:25-26)

 

 

IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER

 

One of the most important ways the Knights of Columbus support each other is through prayer, especially at the time of death. Brother Knights demonstrate their fraternity in exemplary measure when they pray for the soul of a departed Knight and console the members of his family. In this regard, the Knights have continued the venerable tradition of praying the Rosary during the wake of a departed brother. In order to facilitate this important prayer, a Knights of Columbus Memorial Service has been developed for use throughout the Order. All assemblies are urged to use this service as they pray at the wakes of the faithful departed.

 

DEVOTION TO OUR LADY

 

In keeping with the spirit of our founder, Father Michael J. McGivney, and our namesake, Christopher Columbus, the Knights of Columbus encourages devotion to Our Lady as a way of becoming closer to Christ. It is most fitting, therefore, that the Rosary of Our Lady should be prayed at the wake of a departed brother Knight. Prayer of the Rosary assures family members that Mary, the Mother of the Church, will guide the soul of the departed brother to her Son, and help strengthen the fraternal bonds of charity that exist between living brother Knights and their families.

 

THIRD AND FOURTH DEGREE

 

The Knights of Columbus Memorial Service has been designed for use at the wakes of members of both the Third and Fourth Degrees. It is understood, however, that the traditions of assemblies may differ from those of councils, specifically in the presence of an honour guard and the presentation of a chalice. Nevertheless, the Rosary should be prayed at the wake of every brother Knight (family and pastor permitting). For a member of the Fourth Degree, it is desirable that councils and assemblies work together so that one jointly sponsored prayer service is offered instead of two separate ones.


 

Procedure For Memorial Service

 

Following the death of a Sir Knight, the members of his local assembly should proceed in the following manner for his wake:

 

1)      Notification of Death

When any member of an assembly becomes aware of a Sir Knight’s death, he should immediately inform the Faithful Navigator or officer deputized to arrange assembly participation at wakes. If possible, information concerning the Sir Knight’s death, surviving family, wake hours, place and time of the funeral and burial should be provided.

2) Contact the Family of the Deceased

The Faithful Navigator or deputized officer should contact the family of the deceased, either by phone or in person. Knights in contact with family members should express not only profound sympathy, but also demonstrate a willingness to assist the family in its temporal and emotional needs. Certain families may need transportation to the wake or funeral, babysitting or house-sitting services, help with shopping, cooking or cleaning, or simply a receptive ear to the cries of grief. Members of the family should be asked if they would like the Knights of Columbus to lead the Rosary during the wake of the departed Sir Knight. While tentative plans may be made, the time of the Sir Knight’s service should not be firmly established until discussed with the pastor of the church where the Mass of Christian Burial will take place.

3)      Contact the Pastor

The Faithful Navigator or deputized officer should contact the pastor of the church where the Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated. He should inform him of the assembly’s desire and the family’s willingness to hold a Knights of Columbus Memorial Service for the deceased. So that assembly activities will not inconvenience the pastor’s plans for the Church’s formal Vigil for the Deceased, a time for the Knights’ service should be established at the pastor’s convenience. The pastor may desire to participate in the Knights of Columbus service, incorporate the Knights’ ceremony into the Church’s formal Vigil for the Deceased, or allow the assembly to hold its service independently. Over time, a regular agreement may be established with the pastor as to the time and format of memorial services under his jurisdiction. The assembly should be aware that while most wakes occur within funeral homes, some are held within a parish church (particularly those of priests and deacons).

Important note: The universal Church prescribes a wake service that is usually conducted by a priest or deacon. Prayers offered by Knights of Columbus members during wake services are in no way intended to interfere with or replace the normative Vigil for the Deceased prescribed by the Church, nor local diocesan customs. If a pastor objects to a wake service sponsored by the Knights, then members of the assembly should attend the wake and pray privately.

4) Contact the Funeral Director

Many funeral directors do not allow services to be held on their premises unless they are informed of the time and length of the ceremony. The Faithful Navigator or deputized officer should coordinate with the funeral director as to the starting time of the Knights’ service and the estimated length of 15-20 minutes. Funeral directors are often helpful in assembling the guests for the commencement of the memorial service.

5) Assembling the Brothers

Once a time for the Knights’ service has been established, the Faithful Navigator or deputized officer should contact as many Sir Knights as possible, asking for attendance as a Knights of Columbus memorial service. A substantial group should try to gather at a set time. If contacted members of the council cannot attend the wake at the prescribed time, they should be encouraged to attend the wake, funeral or burial individually. The departed Sir Knight should have an honour guard present at the wake according to local customs.

6) Selecting Roles

If the pastor of the local parish plans to participate in the Knights of Columbus Memorial Service, he should act as presider. If the assembly chaplain plans to be present, he should act as presider unless the pastor is present and wishes to preside. If neither the local pastor nor the assembly chaplain plans to participate, one assembly member needs to be selected as the presider. However, if any priest or deacon is present during the memorial service, the role of presider should be given to him. In addition, five Sir Knights need to be selected as leaders who will announce and lead each decade of the Rosary. If less than five Sir Knights are in attendance, then one Sir Knight will have to lead two or more decades (see Appendices I & II for the Mysteries and proper days of the Rosary).

7) Memorial Service Materials

Rosaries and Rosary cards are available to the assembly for use at memorial services. Members of the assembly should keep in mind that some family members may wish to keep these as a remembrance of the Knights’ participation during the wake. The Knights of Columbus Memorial Service booklet should remain with the assembly for use by Sir Knights involved in the planning and implementation of the memorial service.

8) Presentations

a)      Resolutions: It remains a laudable custom that the assembly read and presents an official Resolution of Condolence at the conclusion of the memorial service. Certificates of these resolutions for the Fourth Degree are available from the Supreme Council Supply Department. If certificates are not available at the time of the wake, the text of the resolutions should be read to the family (see Appendix III for the texts of the resolutions).

b)      Chalice: If a departed Sir Knight belonged to an assembly participating in a chalice program, the presentation of the chalice should be made at the conclusion of the memorial service, or if the chalice is not available at that time then a special presentation should be arranged.

9) November Memorial Service

In addition to its use at wakes, assemblies are encouraged to use the Knights of Columbus Memorial Service during their annual memorial service held each November for all departed Sir Knights and their families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEMORIAL SERVICE

AT THE WAKE OF A

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS

 

After the guests are assembled, the Faithful Navigator begins the memorial service. If he is not present, another officer or the selected presider begins:

FAITHFUL NAVIGATOR OR PRESIDER: Dear friends, shortly before his own Passion, Our Lord Jesus wept tears with Mary and Martha upon the death of Lazarus. In the midst of this sorrow, he told Martha: “I am the Resurrection and the Life: whoever believes in Me, though he should die, will come to life” (Jn 11:25-26). Jesus raised Lazarus from the tomb to teach us that death is not the end for those who believe, but rather a glorious beginning. Upon leaving this world, the faithfully departed begin their journey toward a heavenly dwelling place, prepared for them by Christ who rose from the dead (cf., Jn 14:4-3). The passing away of our earthly life, therefore, is a transition to a new life in which “every tear is wiped from our faces” (cf., Is 25:8) and sickness, pain and suffering are no more.

 Every Knight of Columbus is entrusted to the care of Mary, the Mother of God. We carry the Rosary as the sign of our dedication to her and to her Son. Confident in her motherly love for us all, we entrust the soul of our brother  (Name)  to her, that she may present him to her Son. As an expression of our fraternal concern, let us pray together the rosary of Our Lady.

 

The introduction having been made,

the presider begins:

 

PRESIDER: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

ALL: Amen

 

The presider leads the people

in the recitation of the Creed:

 

ALL: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His Only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.

 

The presider leads the people

in praying the Our Father:

 

PRESIDER: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

 

 

The people respond:

 

ALL: Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

The presider leads the people in praying

 the Hail Mary three times:

 

PRESIDER: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

 

ALL: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen (Repeat three times.)

 

The presider leads the people in

 praying the Glory be:

 

PRESIDER: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

 

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

The presider continues:

 

PRESIDER: The Five (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious or Luminous) Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary, offered for the repose of the soul of our brother (Name).

 

FIRST LEADER: The First (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious or Luminous) Mystery, the (Announce Mystery).

 

The first leader and people pray

the Our Father once:

 

FIRST LEADER: Our Father…

 

ALL: Gives us this day…

 

The first leader and people pray

the Hail Mary 10 times:

 

FIRST LEADER: Hail Mary…

 

ALL: Holy Mary…

 

The first leader and people pray

the Glory be once:

FIRST LEADER: Glory be…

 

ALL: As it was in the beginning…

 

The Fatima Prayer (optional) may be prayed

by all after the Glory be:

 

ALL: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.

 

SECOND LEADER: The Second (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious or Luminous) Mystery, the (Announce Mystery).

 

The second leader and people pray

the Our Father once:

 

SECOND LEADER: Our Father…

 

ALL: Gives us this day…

 

The second leader and people pray

the Hail Mary 10 times:

 

SECOND LEADER: Hail Mary…

 

ALL: Holy Mary…

 

The second leader and people pray

the Glory be once:

SECOND LEADER: Glory be…

 

ALL: As it was in the beginning…

 

The Fatima Prayer (optional) may be prayed

by all after the Glory be:

 

ALL: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.

 

THIRD LEADER: The Third (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious or Luminous) Mystery, the (Announce Mystery).

 

The third leader and people pray

the Our Father once:

 

THIRD LEADER: Our Father…

 

ALL: Gives us this day…

 

The third leader and people pray

the Hail Mary 10 times:

 

THIRD LEADER: Hail Mary…

 

ALL: Holy Mary…

 

The third leader and people pray

the Glory be once:

THIRD LEADER: Glory be…

 

ALL: As it was in the beginning…

 

The Fatima Prayer (optional) may be prayed

by all after the Glory be:

 

ALL: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.

 

FOURTH LEADER: The Fourth (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious or Luminous) Mystery, the (Announce Mystery).

 

The fourth leader and people pray

the Our Father once:

 

FOURTH LEADER: Our Father…

 

ALL: Gives us this day…

 

The fourth leader and people pray

the Hail Mary 10 times:

 

FOURTH LEADER: Hail Mary…

 

ALL: Holy Mary…

 

The fourth leader and people pray

the Glory be once:

FOURTH LEADER: Glory be…

 

ALL: As it was in the beginning…

 

The Fatima Prayer (optional) may be prayed

by all after the Glory be:

 

ALL: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.

 

FIFTH LEADER: The Fifth (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious or Luminous) Mystery, the (Announce Mystery).

 


The fifth leader and people pray

the Our Father once:

 

FIFTH LEADER: Our Father…

 

ALL: Gives us this day…

 

The fifth leader and people pray

the Hail Mary 10 times:

 

FIFTH LEADER: Hail Mary…

 

ALL: Holy Mary…

 

The fifth leader and people pray

the Glory be once:

FIFTH LEADER: Glory be…

 

ALL: As it was in the beginning…

 

The Fatima Prayer (optional) may be prayed

by all after the Glory be:

 

ALL: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.

 

The decades having been completed, the presider leads

the people in praying the Hail, Holy Queen:

 

 

PRESIDER: Hail Holy Queen…

 

ALL: …Mother of Mercy! Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary.

 

PRESIDER: Queen of the Most Holy Rosary pray for us…

 

ALL: …that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.

 

PRESIDER: Let us pray…

 

ALL: O God, whose only Begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of everlasting life, pray, we beseech Thee, that meditating on these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

PRESIDER: May the Divine assistance remain always with us…

ALL: …and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

 

PRESIDER: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

 

ALL: Amen.

 

Or, if the presider is a bishop or priest:

 

+ May Almighty God bless you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

ALL: Amen.

 

FAITHFUL NAVIGATOR OR PRESIDER: Mary, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, we present to you the soul of our brother (Name) that you may lead him into the presence of your Son. We look forward to the day when we will all join (Name) in that heavenly kingdom, where your Son lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

 

The Faithful Navigator or presider now reads

 and presents the Resolution of Condolence  

(see Appendix III if certificate is not available).

 

If the departed Sir Knight belonged to an

 assembly participating in a chalice program, the

 chalice, if available, should be presented once the

 Resolution of Condolence has been read and presented.

 

If a religious gift is to be given to the family,

the presentation should be made at this time.

 

 

APPENDIX I

 

The Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary

 

JOYFUL

          The Annunciation (The Archangel Gabriel appears to Mary)

            The Visitation (Mary visits her cousin, Elizabeth)

            The Nativity (Jesus is born in Bethlehem)

            The Presentation (Mary and Joseph present Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem)

The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (The boy Jesus is found among the doctors in the Temple)

 

SORROWFUL

            The Agony in the Garden (Jesus suffers on the Mount of Olives)

            The Scourging at the Pillar (Jesus is scourged for our sins)

            The Crowning with Thorns (Jesus receives a crown of thorns)

            The Carrying of the Cross (Jesus carries the cross through the streets of Jerusalem)

 

GLORIOUS

 

            The Resurrection (Jesus rises from the tomb on the third day)

            The Ascension (Jesus ascends to the Father)

            The Descent of the Holy Spirit (The Holy Spirit descends upon Mary and the Apostles)

            The Assumption (Mary is assumed Body and Soul into Heaven)

            The Crowning (Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth)

 

LUMINOUS

 

The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan

Manifestation of Jesus at the Wedding at Cana

            The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God

            The Transfiguration of Jesus

            Institution of the Eucharist         

 

 

APPENDIX II

 

Proper Days for Praying the Mysteries of the Rosary

Sundays from Advent to Lent………...Joyful

Sundays in Lent……………….…..Sorrowful

Sundays from Easter to Advent…….Glorious

Mondays………………………………Joyful

Tuesdays……………………….….Sorrowful

Wednesdays………………………...Glorious

Thursdays………………………….Luminous

Fridays……………………………..Sorrowful

Saturdays……………………………....Joyful

 

APPENDIX III

 

Resolution of Condolence

(for a Fourth Degree member)

 

Begin reading here

 

Knights of Columbus

(Assembly name) Assembly

Resolution of Condolence

 

In Memory of Sir Knight (Name)

            Whereas, It has pleased Almighty God, in His infinite wisdom, to call from our midst our beloved Brother who departed from this life (Date of death); and

            Whereas, By his death, our Assembly has sustained the loss of an exemplary Catholic and worthy Knight; therefore, be it

            Resolved, That while we bow in submission to the will of our Heavenly Father, we mourn the loss of our Brother who has been taken from us; and be it

            Further resolved, That this testimonial of condolence be offered to the family of our departed Brother Knight as an expression of our heartfelt sympathy.