FATHER Joe Duffy has called for a day of "mass grief" on Friday as Daniel Morcombe is finally laid to rest.
The parish priest of St Catherine of Siena Catholic Church - where Daniel attended - says it is "really an occasion for people to express mass grief".
"Why? Because Daniel's teenage exuberance that people didn't know about until after he died challenged their imagination," he said.
"Prior to his disappearance he was just simply another teenager on the Sunshine Coast. After it, he became a focus for the care and concern we need to have for young people.
"Every parent on the Sunshine Coast with teenage children has been deeply affected by what happened and what has followed."
While Father Duffy says people should use the opportunity to mourn what is lost, the funeral service will also be an opportunity to reflect on a future hope.
"I feel the Christian way of dealing with death and burial can be underestimated in today's society, which tends to favour secular outcomes.
"A secular approach to the death of a person is very much related to their past, their history.
"When you have a Christian celebration of death, it focuses on the future and it focuses on hope and a promise. There is a marked contrast between the secular approach to death and funerals and a Christian approach.
"The Morcombe family is focusing on the latter. I'm glad they have, it is worthy to share," he said.
Father Duffy will be assisting Father Jan Bialasewicz at the service.
"Father Bialasewicz was on the parish staff when Daniel disappeared and has kept in contact with the family ever since," he said.
The service is expected to consist of tributes, followed by a Requiem Mass.
>> DANIEL'S SERVICE
- Service starts at St Catherine of Siena Catholic Church at 11am sharp
- Access to the site will be strictly from 9am
- This website will provide rolling coverage of the service.
- Those attending must bring hats, sunscreen, fold-up chairs and water
- SES will direct attendees to parking on the school oval from Sippy Downs Dr
- Parking banned on Sippy Downs Dr
- The service is expected to last 90 minutes
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