Growing in God’s love
Sharing it with all
The church is there for you when you are facing the loss of someone you love, and need to arrange a funeral.
A funeral marks the close of a human life on earth. It is the opportunity for friends and family to express their grief, to give thanks for the life of someone at the end of their journey in this world and to commend them to God’s keeping. Christians have always believed that there is hope in death as well as life, and that there is new life in Christ after death. Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and I am the life’.
Everyone has a right to a funeral in the church in their parish, whether or not they were a churchgoer. The minister will be happy to conduct funeral services of parishioners – whether at the crematorium, at an outdoor woodland or green burial site, in a church or in a cemetery.
If you would like to hold a funeral service at the church it is usual to first contact a funeral director. They will then contact us to make a booking, and someone from the church will visit you to hear about the person you knew, and will go through all the details of the funeral service itself.
We will be happy to help you with the order of service, suitable hymns and readings, and to discuss any concerns or special requests.
You can find out much more about how we can help you at www.churchofenglandfunerals.org
We can help you to say your final goodbye in a way that is best for you.
We will celebrate and give thanks to God for the unique life of the person you knew and loved.
We can support you, your family and friends, before, during and after the funeral with friendship and prayer, understanding your sadness and loss
And in this difficult time, we can share a message of hope and comfort.
Wherever you choose to have the funeral, you can add a personal touch to reflect the unique life of the person you knew:
When the coffin arrives and is carried in the venue or onto the burial site, your choice of music may be played.
The church minister welcomes those present, and introduces the service. Then there might be a hymn, and time to listen to the story of the person you knew and loved. This might be done by members of the family or friends, or by the minister using information from the family.
The minister will speak about God’s promises – of the hope that death is not the end. You can choose the Bible reading for this part of the service.
You may want to include a time of reflection, when music can be played, or silence may be kept.
In the prayers we give thanks for the life of the person who has died and pray for God’s presence with those who mourn. Usually, everyone joins in the Lord’s Prayer.
There may be another hymn, and a special prayer entrusts the person who has died to the love and mercy of God.
The committal may follow immediately, either at the graveside or at a crematorium chapel. The minister will pray, asking God to keep your loved one in his care, in words that have been used for centuries.
Immediately afterwards you will be with your family and friends. But as the days and weeks go by the church will also be here for you.
When the time is right, you may need to place ashes in their final resting place. The church minister can offer brief words and prayers specially for this.
Grieving is a natural part of coming to terms with loss, and may continue for some time. God is there for everyone at such times of crisis; please ask if you would like the church minister or someone from the church to visit.
There are times when we cannot find the right words or when other people say it better. Here are a few thoughts from the Bible and past masters of prayer about death and bereavement:
'I am the resurrection and the life,' says the Lord. 'Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.' John 11.25,26
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5.4
Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening into the house and gate of heaven, to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; in the habitations of thy glory and dominion, world without end. John Donne
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
bear patiently the cross of grief and pain;
leave to thy God to order and provide;
in every change the faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. Katharina von Schlegel
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