Sodality Funeral Honor Guard
Each Sodalist is to participate whenever possible in a funeral Honor Guard, regardless of whether she knew the departed Sodalist. Over 90% of current Sodalists have requested an Honor Guard, so please be generous with your time and remember that if you wish an Honor Guard for yourself, it is important to keep this tradition alive by participating. Honor Guard also makes a meaningful difference to the family and friends of the departed sister that we are often thanked for.
HONOR GUARD PROCEDURES
All Sodality members will be notified, generally by email, as far in advance as possible of the date and time of a funeral for a fellow Sodalist who has requested an Honor Guard.
Sodalists should meet 15 minutes before the funeral begins, at the rear of the church, wearing their Marian Medals fully visible.
During the funeral, Sodalists will sit on the St. Joseph side of the church, behind any pall bearers. Purses, coats, and silenced cell phones should be left there before the start of the funeral.
A minimum of 10 Sodalists are required to comprise an Honor Guard. When it is determined that enough Sodalists are present, Sodalists then flank each pew going up the center aisle, starting at the front and extending back as many rows as there are Sodalists. Make sure to stand at the end of the pew without blocking pew entrances. Once guests are seated, stand as close to the pew as possible to allow for passage of the funeral procession up the aisle.
Sodalists are to be in position, standing, looking straight ahead and with hands folded in a devout manner before the priest and altar servers come out of the sacristy. Generally, the celebrant says prayers before the processional and then proceeds down the aisle to meet the coffin.
At the commendation (end of funeral) as the priest approaches the coffin, Sodalists resume their original pew positions, flanking both sides of the center aisle, and remaining in place until the music ends
The order for the recessional is:
1. Crucifer – cross bearer
2. Priest(s) and altar server(s)
4. Coffin carrying the deceased
5. Family and friends of the deceased
6. Honor Guard Sodalists