A Funeral Service
As well as being a time of loss and sadness and the time to commend someone to God’s eternal love, a funeral is an opportunity to celebrate their life and to give thanks for all they have been.
A Service at Church or at the Crematorium
A funeral service may take place in a parish church, cemetery or a crematorium chapel. It is sometimes a short and quiet service with only a few members of the family present or it may be a much bigger occasion with music, hymns and a packed church.
Whilst we are happy to conduct services at a crematorium we encourage people to hold their services in Church, whenever possible.
At Church there is room for as many people as want to come and no restriction on the length of service, so there is plenty of time to include readings, poems, music or contributions from family and friends. We also have facilities for playing recorded music.
If there is to be a Cremation, the whole service can be held in Church concluding with the prayer of committal taking place at the crematorium.
Whoever is taking the service will help you to plan it and can suggest readings and music if that is helpful.
Whilst we are happy as far as possible to plan each funeral service to meet a families particular wishes, a funeral service normally includes the following elements. The service begins with either a piece of music being played that the family has chosen or the minister reading some sentences from the scriptures. An opening prayer and hymn often follows and a bible passage is read. An address (tribute) follows, which celebrates the life of the person who has died and the great Christian beliefs about life beyond death.
The service then moves on to the prayers in which we remember the gifts and character of the deceased; we pray for the bereaved and ask for God’s help as we look to the future. There may be a second hymn. The minister then says a special prayer called the ‘prayer of Commendation’ when we commend the deceased into God’s loving care. This is followed by the Committal and a final prayer of blessing. Either a special piece of music chosen by the family or some quiet reflective music is played by the organist at the end of the service.
Who should I contact to organise a funeral
After registering the death, the first thing to do is to contact your local funeral director. They will help you to decide what kind of service will be appropriate and will then contact the clergy on your behalf. If you would like the vicar of St Mary’s church to conduct the funeral service for you please do ask the funeral director to contact us. You do not have to be a church member to ask us to conduct a funeral service for you.
After the funeral
People who have lost someone close to them are often so busy with practical details and arrangements that they do not experience the full sense of their loss until later. Grieving is a natural and important part of coming to terms with and healing this loss and it may continue for several months.
Please do not feel that you are alone in your grief – there are many organisations and individuals who can offer comfort and support as long as it is required. Our clergy are happy offer help and support, if asked.
Garden of Remembrance
We have a small Garden of Remembrance at St Mary’s for the interment of cremated remains. Please ask your funeral director to contact the church to arrange a short service if you would like your loved ones ashes to be buried in the Garden of Remembrance of St Mary’s.
Annual Memorial Service
Each year at All Souls-Tide in early November we hold a special service for all who are mourning. Invitations go out to all who have had family funeral services conducted by the parish in the previous year, but, of course, everyone is welcome.