Funerals

 

About these Guidelines:

These guidelines are prepared to help people revisit Church Traditions in relation to funerals and answer questions you may have as to how funerals are conducted within our parish.
Copies of these guidelines have been made available throughout the community. If you are presently experiencing the loss of a loved one, please accept our sympathy and promise to do all we can to help you. We draw near in the love and spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ.
THE MINISTRY OF THE RECTOR AND THE PARISHThe rector's ministry is to lead the bereaved in and through the rites of the church where the voice of the Gospel can be heard with healing power and clarity. As a people of faith and hope, we know that the pain and loss of death must not be minimized or ignored. Our goal as a caring congregation is help you hold your grief and faith in balance. We will stand by you and do all we can to help you face and accept the loss of the one you love. Our Church promises to do our best to support you - not only at the time of the funeral, but also as you and your loved ones return to the duties of your lives.
LOCATION OF WORSHIP SERVICEThe Christian funeral is a service of worship and should involve all those present. The funeral serves a support function with the goal that the religious, social, and emotional needs of mourners are met. In the Diocese of Central Newfoundland all funerals conducted by clergy are encouraged to be in the parish church .
Our Clergy must preside at the interment of any body in our cemeteries.

WORSHIP SERVICE FORMAT
Our funerals are held in the parish churches, the place where practicing Christians have centred their lives of worship. In our parish we offer families the choice of funeral service from the Book of Alternative Services or The Book of Common Prayer . In this setting, congregational singing and participation in the prayers is encouraged.
HOW SHOULD MOURNERS WORSHIP IN OUR TRADITION?A Christian Funeral is a time when we pause before the mystery of death and life . Funerals are an expression of faith in our salvation, resurrection and eternal life. As such, we come to worship God and rejoice in the new life he has given us beyond death. We also gather to thank God for the gift given to us in the person of the deceased. Funerals also express the community support that is shown at a time of death as we pray, sing, laugh and cry together. For these reason families should know that in the Anglican tradition there is an expectation that those who mourn will stand for the hymns, prayers, and the Creed as an expression of our combined and living faith .
HOLY COMMUNION AT THE FUNERALHoly Communion is encouraged at funerals, especially if the deceased was a regular communicant. By God's grace, Holy Communion brings peace through silence and spiritual fellowship . Holy Communion joins our earthly praise with the praise of the hosts of heaven, and this certainly has particular relevance to a funeral.
At a funeral, under no circumstances will the bread and wine be received by the family of the deceased to the exclusion of the congregation. The sacrament is for all whom have gathered.
EULOGIES AND TRIBUTES AND THE READING OF MESSAGES 1. Eulogies and Tributes : Eulogies have never been part of Anglican worship tradition. It is hoped that expressions of tribute , praise and love have been given to a person before they have died. Christian Funerals are not to be an expression of praise of the deceased, but of how God has worked in and through the person who has died.

2. The Reading of Messages : The reading of messages in Church are often a limited expression of concern. A message is no more important than any sympathy card or other expression of concern that the bereaved may receive. To read messages at the funeral service is to state that these are the most important. This belittles all other expressions of sympathy
The Guidelines Of Our Diocese State : Messages of sympathy, story telling, secular readings and songs, being an important aspect in the expression of grief, it is appropriate they be shared at the funeral home or in a social setting following the service.
These are also the Guidelines of our Parish.

FRATERNAL GROUPSSuch groups, upon the consent of the rector and following the guidelines outlined by our Diocese are welcome to take their place in the celebration of the life of the deceased person: The services of lodges and other organizations will not be confused or combined with the burial office and committal. Such rites will take place before or after the service in the church. This is done only after consultation with the rector of the Parish.
CHANGES IN THE WORSHIP SERVICE FORMATWe ask people to understand that guidelines for funerals are common throughout our diocese. What one parish does, affects the environment of other parishes.For that reason we must staywithin the guidelines of our Church. We will sincerely work with you to personalise the service Because of the emotional stress involved, the occasion of a funeral is not the time to press for changes in accepted parish practices.
CREMATION
Cremation is becoming more common today. The ashes are the body of the deceased in a changed form. We honour them as we honour the body.
- - A funeral can be held with the body present before cremation or with the cremated remains in an urn on a table near the chancel steps. (Never on the Altar)
- - They should be reverently buried in consecrated ground, as soon after cremation as possible.
- - The scattering of ashes is NOT an option in our liturgies, and if a family decides not to bury cremated remains in consecrated ground the priest is not required or expected to be present.
- - Cremated remains may be buried in an existing grave with the consent of the family concerned and in accordance with the guidelines of our cemetery committees.
MUSIC SELECTIONS FOR THE SERVICE
Music selected for use at a funeral should embody high standards of quality, and in general reflect the spirit of Christian confidence, trust, and hope in the resurrection. The hymns should reflect such themes as the invocation of the Holy Spirit, the communion of saints, hope in the resurrection. All Music selected for use at a funeral must be approved by the rector.
1. SOLOS: One solo at the funeral service is welcomed if the family desires.
2. CHOIR ANTHEM : One Anthem by the Choir is welcomed if the family desires.
A Combination of these is also welcomed if the family desires.

PRIOR TO THE SERVICE
The altar candles and paschal candle may be lighted before the people arrive and extinguished after they have left. When there is a choir, members will assemble in their places quietly before the service begins. The choir does not participate in the processions.

OTHER NOTES CONCERNING THE SERVICE
The minister, vested in alb or surplice and white stole, will meet the coffin, the pallbearers, and the bereaved at the entrance of the church. (The bereaved may arrive and go to their seats prior to the beginning of the service.) The coffin remains closed throughout the service.
The coffin is to be placed in the position with the feet toward the altar. The position reflects the accustomed role of the deceased in the church -- facing the altar as part of the congregation. The paschal candle is placed on its stand at the head of the coffin.

THE SERMON The sermon will include recognition of the life of the deceased, but its purpose is not eulogy, but a proclamation of hope and comfort in Christ.


THE COMMENDATION
The Commendation is a prayer which asks God to receive the deceased with mercy. The prayer is a concluding statement of our hope and trust in God. It is a prayer of consolation, as we declare "all is well because our departed loved one is now fully in His Hands."

THE COMMITTALWhen the body of the deceased is to be transported to a distant interment site, when it has been donated for medical use, or has been lost at sea , the commendation alone is done in Church.
The coffin is lowered into the grave. Urns are placed in their resting place.
Earth is cast on the coffin by the priest or one appointed by the priest as the body is committed to its resting place. The final blessing and dismissal is said by the minister.

VISITING CLERGYThe Rector is responsible for the administration and therefore is in charge of the service. If the family wishes to invite other Anglican Clergy or clergy of other denominations, they should first inform the rector. The role of all invited clergy at the service is assigned by the rector.
Clergy who have been asked to participate in a funeral will be asked to read an appointed reading chosen by the rector in consultation with the family.
These readings should be read without any extra commentary or introduction by the reader.

PASTORAL SERVICES TO MEMBERS OF ANOTHER CONGREGATIONSometimes our clergy are asked to be involved at the funerals of people from other churches. We affirm that the responsibility and authority for pastoral acts or services rests with the minister of the congregation where the deceased held membership. If our rector (or associate clergy) is asked to provide pastoral services for members of other congregations, the rector will contact the clergy of the church in which the person held membership before providing the service. Our goal is to aid other Churches in their ministry without interfering. It is hoped that this sign of respect would be returned to us from other clergy and Churches.
If the request for pastoral service involves an individual who has had conflicts with his/her pastor or congregation, the immediate family will be urged to resolve the difficulty prior to receiving pastoral service.
FLOWERSAfter the funeral, flowers may be left at the church, buried at the grave site, or taken by family members.
BULLETINSBulletins outlining the service and containing information about the deceased will be made available . This is only done upon request by the family, provided they give the clergy ample time to prepare.
MEMORIALS - A Powerful Christian TestimonyYour Church does not pressure you to make memorial gifts at the time of the death of a loved one.Often the life experiences you have shared during illness and death will bring your family close to the hospital, Cancer Society, Diabetes foundation etc.
Obviously, your choice of memorial should be important to you.
It is very appropriate to donate memorials to the Church. Asking people to donate to the Church makes a powerful statement about your life and Christian witness. Your Church will welcome any memorials that you choose to give in honour of your loved one with gratitude, and our rector will be glad to meet with you at any time to discuss your needs.
PLANNED GIVING
"Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received - only what you have been given: a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage."
St. Francis of Assisi


PREPARING YOUR OWN FUNERAL IN ADVANCE You are encouraged to think about your own funeral.
With respect for the Church's teaching outlined in this brochure, and in dialogue with your family, you may want to leave directions as to how you wish your funeral to be celebrated.
Your parish and diocese have the resources and is prepared to offer help in this area.

No comments:

Post a Comment