Funerals (from the Church of England website)
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 which has now completed its journey in this world and to commend the person into God's keeping.As far back into history as we can penetrate, human beings seem to have felt the need for a ceremonial leave-taking of those who have died...
Alternative Funeral Liturgies.
Alternative funeral services are available, especially a Requiem Mass, the 1662 and 1928 Funeral Services, and any prayers from the Roman Catholic Study Edition of the Funeral Services may be chosen.
Please make sure that you let the vicar know at the earliest possible occasion, before the time of the funeral is set as we assume that the funeral service in Church will last about 20 minutes, and a Requiem Mass takes approximately 60 minutes. Your choices will be limited unless you specify the type of service when you first contact your funeral director.
It is possible to have your loved one rest overnight in Church prior to the funeral, and a special service takes place on arrival, often with sprinkling of holy water and sometimes incense.
Life’s rich pattern seems less rich and more bleak when a loved one dies. The words of reassurance that people use can seem to miss the mark and often fail to give comfort. It is at times like this when we experience God’s presence more by his absence, than his proximity. But it is at these times, unknown to us that God cares for us most. Jesus said ‘I am the light of the world’.
Light and dark, full sun and shadow, the whole earth reveals the glory of God, and the risen Lord Jesus, son of God and son of righteousness. Here in Church we worship God revealed as Father Son and Holy Spirit.
Pre-Planning A Funeral
Few people plan ahead with their family and friends for their funeral. But forward planning ensures that you never die unprepared, that you have made your peace with your maker and with your family, and that your affairs are in order. We encourage you to think about your funeral and what will happen once you are gone. You may wish to think about your own funeral service, and leave the details with your will.. A word of caution: Pre-planning should not be so inflexible that it puts an undue burden on the surviving family--particularly as unforeseen circumstances can arise at the time when death actually occurs. It is better to leave one's family with a sense of direction and personal preferences, than with strict instructions. It might help your relatives - if you wish to plan in advance - to consider the questions that the vicar will ask. They are available here, and can be printed off, the answers filled in, and left with your will. Interment plots may be reserved in advance, although there is usually no need to do so as. Please speak to the vicar if you would like to know more.
What happens in a funeral service?
The average length of time for a service in Church is 15 to 20 minutes, followed by a few minutes at the burial ground or the crematorium. A service at the crematorium alone lasts about 15 minutes as there are no hymns there. The funeral service may be tailored to your individual wishes, within the guidelines of the Church of England and is never shortened for the vicar’s convenience. The vicar will ask questions when he visits about your loved one for the sermon , though a member of the family may give a 5 minute eulogy. The family may choose Bible readings and prayers and hymns, and a non-religious reading or poem may be chosen to be read by the family. By request funeral services may be combined with holy communion, as long as this is specified when the funeral director first approaches the vicar, as this service takes significantly longer. Prayers in the home the night before the funeral can usually be arranged.
Music at Funerals
Usually the organist will play as the service begins, and as the service ends. It may be possible to play pre-recorded music, but if you would like to play pre-recorded music in Church at your wedding you need something to play it on and someone to press play and stop at the right time, and who will check the volume prior to the service starting.
Favourite Funeral Hymns
The Lord’s My Shepherd / Crimmond.
Abide with Me.
The day thou gavest Lord is ended
The King of love my shepherd is
Thine be the glory
All things bright and beautiful
When I survey the wondrous cross
You can listen to these hymns at the following website - Church Music for Funerals.