“Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:5)
A window from Walterstown Church

The Parish is at your service at the time when you experience bereavement. As you may not know what to do in the circumstances of the death of a loved one, if you wish to have a Catholic funeral and Christian burial, the following information may help you at this difficult time in your life and that of your family.


At the time of death, as circumstances vary and the death may be sudden or after an illness, it is important that you contact the Parish Priest or Parish Office to make arrangements for the funeral. Please visit the “Funeral” section for further details.

Month’s Mind and First Anniversary

It is a longstanding and very consoling Irish tradition that family and friends gather again approximately one month, after the death of a loved one to offer Mass for them and to be with those who offered comfort and consolation at the time of death. To book a Month’s Mind Mass, please contact the Parish Office. Likewise, to have a Mass for the First Anniversary, this can be arranged at the Parish Office.

Annual Blessing of Graves

This is a much loved Irish tradition, whereby every year, usually during the Summer, when family members may be visiting from abroad, there is a great gathering at the cemetery for public prayers for all the faithful departed and the sprinkling of holy water on each and every grave, to show that life is changed, not ended, and that we live in the hope, by the grace of God, of being together again with loved ones forever. In this Parish, the Blessing of Graves, for all three Cemeteries usually takes place on the 3rd or 4th Sunday of August and the date is published annually in the Parish Bulletin.

November Service of Prayer for the Dead and the Bereaved

November is traditionally known as the Month of the Holy Souls. It is a time of year when we are very aware of the changing of the seasons, the onset of Winter and the falling of the leaves. It is a particularly appropriate and atmospheric time to gather and pray for the faithful departed. Our Parish has a particular outreach to those bereaved in the previous twelve months. A letter is sent to the next-of-kin of those who died since the previous November, inviting them and the family to an evening choral candle-lit service of prayer for the dead and consolation for the bereaved. You might designate a family member who will carry forward a candle for your loved one, all of whose names are in a framed List of the Dead placed before the altar for the month of November. All are invited to this service whether the bereavement is recent or of many years ago. The exact date of the service will be given in the letter sent out and in the Parish Bulletin.

First Friday Mass

In the month of November, month of The Holy Souls, parishioners are invited to write the names of all their departed loved one on a specially prepared leaflet and to return these to the church or to the Parish Office. All of these leaflets are put together to form the annual altar list of the dead containing the names of all our departed loved ones. By a pious tradition, the first Friday Mass, in every parish, is offered for all whose names are on the altar list of the dead, which is placed on the altar during Mass.