Bereavement

“Blessed are those who weep and mourn for they shall be comforted”

Comforting those who mourn is a central “Kingdom-building” spiritual work of mercy in which all Christians are called to be partakers. The parish, the Eucharistic community of the faithful, is the meeting place for spiritual works and activities for every man, woman, and child’s encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.

 The death of a family member or friend confronts us with one of life’s most difficult and painful challenges. The pastoral Bereavement program of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is the Church’s response to God’s call to comfort those who mourn.  The Church calls each member of Christ's Body to participate in the Ministry of  Compassion and Consolation to care for the dying and to comfort all who mourn.  Our Lord is the example of comfort and support to the grieving. 

Our Catholic faith gives us the strength and courage to help us in our grieving and reminds us of the promise of the spiritual reunion with our loved ones. 


Parish-based Support Groups

Parish-based support groups, facilitated by trained volunteers, are the cornerstone of our Pastoral Bereavement Program. Our bereavement ministers are lay people, deacons, and volunteers who have been trained in bereavement ministry and who are committed to their work with the bereaved. The support groups typically meet in a parish setting. While the support groups vary in format and meeting dates, our bereavement ministers’ goal is to provide a safe place where the bereaved can share their experiences with others, learn about the process of grief and be supported by their Church family during a difficult time.

If you are interested in attending a parish-based support group, click on the link below for a listing.  

A total of 37 parish-based support groups are currently active throughout the archdiocese. If your parish is currently running a support group not listed here, send us your information.

Download the list of Parish-based Support Groups 


Bereavement Facilitator Workshop 

A presentation and consultation for parishes interested in learning how to begin a parish based bereavement ministry.  It covers discernment, the role of the bereavement facilitator, listening skills, how to form a group, types of grief, resources, referrals, and challenges that arise in support groups.


Ministry of Compassion and Consolation

Level I (compassion) provides a foundation for understanding the general principles of the Order of Christian funerals as well as prepares the  volunteer how to prepare wake services, funeral liturgy, and hospitality.

Level II (consolation)  a follow up which builds on the foundation of the Level I course. Topics include instruction on programs, the grieving process, multicultural concerns, and consolation skills.


October 2016 - Vatican releases instructions on burial, cremation.

In English

En Español


Resources: 

Bereavement care for widowed

Bereavement care for parents grieving a child

Bereavement care for the loss of infant, miscarriage, or stillbirth:

Bereavement care for survivors of suicide:

Bereavement care for children & adolescents:

Support for couples struggling with Infertility

Prayers At The Death Of A Baptized Child

Prayer for Mourners

Grief Watch

Hospice Foundation of America