For the Christian death is an end, but only to life as we now know it. The promise of our baptism, repeated during the Eucharist, is fulfilled after our death. We shall live with Jesus in eternity.
The service will follow a clear plan. The focus moves from earth to heaven as the service moves from greeting the mourners, to remembering the one who has died all the while asking for God’s comfort and then committing your loved one into God’s care.
After the welcome and first prayer, there may be a hymn or a tribute to the person who has passed away. This can be done by family and friends or the minister. Sometimes symbols of the person’s life are placed on or near the coffin as a part of this.
Sometimes there is a prayer for forgiveness. It’s common to feel we have let a loved one down after they die, that there were things we could have done or should not have done. The prayer for forgiveness can help with these feelings.
Readings and Sermon
Psalm’s are read, for example: ‘ The Lord is my shepherd’ is comforting because it speaks of God being with us in death and grief. The Bible readings focus on God’s care and the hope of eternal life. The sermon speaks of the Christian hope of life beyond death and relates it to your loved one.
The funeral prayers recall the promise of the resurrection. They ask for God’s presence with those who mourn and give thanks for your loved one’s life. The prayers normally end with the Lord’s Prayer.
Commendation, Farewell and Committal
The minister says a prayer to commend the person to God’s love and mercy. Then the body is ‘committed’ for burial or cremation. The committal prayer might be said in church, or at the graveside, or in a crematorium as the curtains close around the coffin. It will be a very emotional time, a clear ‘Goodbye’ to your loved one for this life.
‘I am the resurrection and the life (says the Lord), he that believes in me, though dead, shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me, shall not die forever.’ (John 11.25-26)
Funerals can be arranged by contacting the Cathedral Office