A funeral service helps us to mark the end of a person’s life here on earth. Family and friends come together to give thanks for the life lived, to express their grief, pray for the departed and for themselves, and commend the person into God’s keeping. A funeral can be a small, intimate ceremony or a large occasion in a church full of family and friends.

When someone dies your key relationship is with the funeral director of your choice. He/she should explain to you all the options that exist and in particular whether you would like a church minister involved and even a service in church.

At a very difficult time with so many decisions to be made it may not be easy to think through all the options clearly. Planning ahead for a sad occasion is as useful as planning ahead for a big family wedding - and good planning always results in a more rewarding day. Our clergy will be very pleased to meet with you while you or your loved one is still alive to consider some of the questions that will arise.

For instance, there are more ways to approach your loved one’s funeral service than you might imagine. You may, for example, hold a single service in a crematorium. However, if the number of people attending is going to approach 100 or if the deceased played a particularly significant role in the local community, then it makes sense to hold the service in the local church which can offer both the space and that sense of place.

Church services can be held either before or after the crematorium service. There are other possibilities as well, including having the entire service in church, including the Committal, leaving the funeral directors to take the coffin to the Crematorium with a few close family and friends, or even just themselves in attendance. This option helps to ensure the funeral party stays together between the service and the gathering afterwards.

It can be an enormous help to distressed relatives and friends if there are clear written instructions available in advance. These can be very detailed to include choices of hymns, readings, music and even something personal written by the deceased. All of these plans may be lodged with a local funeral director, church minister or both.

Do contact us if you would like to discuss anything raise here. If a loved one has died recently, then please ask your funeral director to liase direct with the church of your choice.

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David Ford, 25/07/2019