The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

Diocesan Bereavement Care

The Sisters of the Cross and Passion at the Briery Retreat Centre in Ilkley have launched a new Diocesan Bereavement Service supported by Bishop Marcus. Elizabeth Prout Bereavement Care, named after the founder of their order, now has fully trained bereavement ministers in a few parishes around the Diocese of Leeds. 

Bereavement is, literally, a tearing apart. The word bereavement comes from the root word ‘reave’ meaning being ‘torn apart’. Losing a loved one has been described as being like having a limb torn off, not in some nice sanitised, surgical way, but literally being ripped away. Most of us who live long enough lives will experience the loss of someone we love, or who is central to our sense of our own identity. Even if the loss is of someone with whom we did not have an ideal loving relationship, it hurts when they die, we feel ‘torn apart’.

Grief is the name we give to those feelings of being ripped apart, broken, fractured, which we often endure after the death of someone significant to us. If we do not know how to grieve, if we do not have someone to help us to find ways to cope with those devastating feelings of loss, they can affect our own long term well being: our mental, spiritual and physical health. 

Sadly much of today’s culture does not help us to experience such difficult feelings. There is much in our world that spins the illusion that life is always good, always bright, always cheery. There is a kind of ‘toxic positivity’ around us which is resistant to us being honest about our real feelings of pain, of loss – of being ‘torn apart’. Too often we are supported very well until the funeral and then expected to be ‘over it’ or have ‘closure’. The truth is that for many people, the funeral is just the beginning.

Mourning is the process by which we learn to live with loss after the funeral. Mourning is the experience we have of allowing those painful feelings of grief and regret to be expressed. The expression of those deep emotions helps us to ‘metabolise’ or process the feelings so that we find a way to live with the loss. Without helpful mourning practices and rituals we can get stuck in an early painful stage of grief and find it almost impossible to move on.

If you would like to start a bereavement ministry in your parish or find a bereavement minister to accompany you in your grief process (however long ago the loss happened), please contact your parish priest and/or the Elizabeth Prout Bereavement Care at

Bereavement ministers have completed the excellent ‘Living with Loss: Grief Companion Training’ from Abi May and all have appropriate DBS clearance. To find out more, contact or call the Briery on 01943 607287

COMING SOON to this website! A page of Catholic resources for those facing or experiencing Bereavement.
In addition, all the above information will be permanently available in the ‘How do I…?’ information on the home page of this website under ‘How do I … Organise a Catholic Funeral?’


Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
(Matthew 5:5)