Funeral

    Before the Funeral
     
  At Home before the Funeral
     
   
Note
 
     
    This service may be adapted for use
     
    ¶      on hearing the news of a death;
     
    ¶      as part of the minister's visit to the family before the Funeral.
     
    Hymns may be sung at appropriate points.
     
   
Preparation
 
     
    At this time of sorrow
the Lord is in our midst
and consoles us with his word:
Blessed are the sorrowful; they shall be comforted.

Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation.
He comforts us in all our afflictions
and thus enables us to comfort those who grieve
with the same consolation we have received from him.
     
    We shall not all die
All
  but we shall be changed.
     
    The trumpet shall sound and the dead will rise immortal
All
  and we shall be changed.
     
    The perishable must be clothed with the imperishable
All
  and the mortal must be clothed with immortality.
     
    We shall not all die
All
  but we shall be changed.
     
   
Readings
 
     
    These or other appropriate readings may be used
     
    We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died.
   
1 Thessalonians 4.13-15
     
1
  I lift up my eyes to the hills; 
from where is my help to come?
     
2
  My help comes from the Lord,  
the maker of heaven and earth.
     
3
  He will not suffer your foot to stumble;  
he who watches over you will not sleep.
     
4
  Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel  
shall neither slumber nor sleep.
     
5
  The Lord himself watches over you;  
the Lord is your shade at your right hand,
     
6
  So that the sun shall not strike you by day,  
neither the moon by night.
     
7
  The Lord shall keep you from all evil;  
it is he who shall keep your soul.
     
8
  The Lord shall keep watch over your going out and your coming in,  
from this time forth for evermore.     
   
Psalm 121
     
    Martha said to Jesus, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.' Jesus said to her, 'Your brother will rise again.' Martha said to him, 'I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.'      
   
John 11.21-24
     
   
Prayers
 
     
    Memories of the departed may be shared, ending with the following prayer
     
    O God, who brought us to birth,
and in whose arms we die,
in our grief and shock
contain and comfort us;
embrace us with your love,
give us hope in our confusion
and grace to let go into new life;
through Jesus Christ. 
All
  Amen.
     
    These or other prayers may follow
     
    Lord, we come into your presence to remember N
and to seek your comfort,
for we know that nothing can separate us from your love
and that you support us in our sorrow.
We are sure that the souls of the righteous are with you
and that nothing can harm them.
Although they have died they are in peace.
Give us your strength to rejoice
that you have taken N to be with yourself
where he/she shall no more be in need.
May we find life and peace and perfect joy with him/her
      in your presence;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
All
  Amen.
     
    God of all consolation,
in your unending love and mercy
you turn the darkness of death
into the dawn of new life.
Your Son, by dying for us, conquered death
and, by rising again, restored to us eternal life.
May we then go forward eagerly to meet our redeemer
and, after our life on earth,
be reunited with all our brothers and sisters
in that place where every tear is wiped away
and all things are made new;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. 
All
  Amen.
     
    Lord, be with us as we open the door.
Come in with us, go out with us.
Do not sleep when we sleep,
but watch over us, protect us and keep us safe,
our only helper and maker. 
All
  Amen.
   
cf Psalm 121
     
   
Conclusion
 
     
    And now to him who is able to keep us from falling,
and lift us from the dark valley of despair
to the bright mountain of hope,
from the midnight of desperation
to the daybreak of joy;
to him be power and authority, for ever and ever. 
All   Amen. 
     
  For those Unable to be Present
at the Funeral
     
    Note
     
    This service may be adapted to suit particular circumstances. It may be led by a friend or family member or by a minister.
    It is deliberately based on the Funeral Service itself.
     
   
The Gathering
 
     
    We meet in the name of Jesus Christ,
who died and was raised to the glory of God the Father.
We join with those in (place)
in remembering before God our brother/sister N;
to give thanks for his/her life;
to commend him/her to God our merciful redeemer and judge;
to commit his/her body to be buried/cremated,
and to comfort one another in our grief.
     
    God of all consolation,
your Son Jesus Christ was moved to tears
at the grave of Lazarus his friend.
Look with compassion on your children in their loss;
give to troubled hearts the light of hope
and strengthen in us the gift of faith,
in Jesus Christ our Lord. 
All
  Amen.
     
    Almighty God,
you judge us with infinite mercy and justice
and love everything you have made.
In your mercy
turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life,
and the sorrow of parting into the joy of heaven;
through our Saviour, Jesus Christ. 
All
  Amen.
     
    Those present may be encouraged to share briefly their memories of the one who has died.
     
    Prayers of Penitence and the Collect may be used from the Funeral Service.
     
   
Reading
 
     
    An appropriate reading from the selection is read.
     
   
Prayers
 
     
    The prayers from the Funeral Service, or less formal prayer, may follow as appropriate to the circumstances.
     
   
Commendation and Farewell
 
     
    The prayers in this section of the Funeral Service may be adapted with the addition of a phrase such as 'With those in (place)' before the words 'We entrust…' or 'We commend…'.
     
    This may be followed by a time of silence, the Lord's Prayer and a form of dismissal.
     
     
  Receiving the Coffin at Church
before the Funeral
     
    Note
     
    The coffin may be received into the church at the beginning of the Funeral Service, or earlier in the day, or on the day before the Funeral. A candle may stand beside the coffin and may be carried in front of the coffin when it is brought into the church.
     
   
Receiving the Coffin
 
     
    The minister meets the coffin at the door of the church and says
     
    We receive the body of our brother/sister N
with confidence in God, the giver of life,
who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead.
     
    The coffin may be sprinkled with water, and these words may be used
     
    With this water we call to mind N 's baptism.
As Christ went through the deep waters of death for us,
so may he bring us to the fullness of resurrection life
with N and all the redeemed.
     
    (or)
     
    Grant, Lord,
that we who are baptized into the death
      of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
may continually put to death our evil desires
      and be buried with him;
and that through the grave and gate of death
we may pass to our joyful resurrection;
through his merits,
who died and was buried and rose again for us,
your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
All
  Amen.
     
    These or other suitable sentences of Scripture may be used. The minister may add 'Alleluia' to any of these sentences.
     
    'I am the resurrection and the life,' says the Lord. 'Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.'     
   
John 11.25,26
     
    I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.     
   
Romans 8.38,39
     
    Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. So we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
   
1 Thessalonians 4.14,17b,18
     
    We brought nothing into the world, and we take nothing out.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
   
1 Timothy 6.7; Job 1.21b
     
    The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is his faithfulness.                       
   
Lamentations 3.22,23
     
    Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
   
            Matthew 5.4
     
    God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.                         
   
John 3.16
     
    When the coffin is in place, the minister prays using these or other suitable words
     
    God our Father,
by raising Christ your Son you destroyed the power of death
and opened for us the way to eternal life.
As we remember before you our brother/sister N ,
we ask your help for all who shall gather in his/her memory.
Grant us the assurance of your presence and grace,
by the Spirit you have given us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
All
  Amen.
     
    A pall may be placed over the coffin by family, friends or other members of the congregation and these words may be said
     
    We are already God's children,
but what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
Yet we know that when Christ appears we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
     
    (or)
     
    On Mount Zion the Lord will remove the pall of sorrow
hanging over all nations.
He will destroy death for ever.
He will wipe away the tears from every face. 
     
    A Bible may be placed on the coffin, with these words
     
    Lord Jesus Christ,
your living and imperishable word brings us to new birth.
Your eternal promises to us and to N are proclaimed in the Bible.
     
    A cross may be placed on the coffin, with these words
     
    Lord Jesus Christ,
for love of N and each one of us
you bore our sins on the cross.
     
    Other suitable symbols of the life and faith of the departed person may be placed on or near the coffin, with the minister's permission. Those present may be encouraged to share briefly their memories of the one who has died.
     
    Silence is kept.
     
   
Readings and Prayers
 
     
    Heavenly Father, you have not made us for darkness and death,
but for life with you for ever.
Without you we have nothing to hope for;
with you we have nothing to fear.
Speak to us now your words of eternal life.
Lift us from anxiety and guilt
to the light and peace of your presence,
and set the glory of your love before us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
All
  Amen.
     
    John 14.1-6 or other appropriate readings may be read, with psalms and prayers and silence.
     
    Almighty God,
you love everything you have made
and judge us with infinite mercy and justice.
We rejoice in your promises of pardon, joy and peace
to all those who love you.
In your mercy turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life
and the sorrow of parting into the joy of heaven;
through our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who died, who rose again, and lives for evermore. 
All
  Amen. 
   
Ending
 
     
    The minister uses one or more of these prayers. The service may end with a time of silence. As they leave, the mourners may come near and touch the coffin, or gather round it and pray. 
     
    N has fallen asleep in the peace of Christ.
As we leave his/her body here, we entrust him/her,   
with faith and hope in everlasting life,
to the love and mercy of our Father
and surround him/her with our love and prayer.
[In baptism, he/she was made by adoption a child of God.
At the eucharist he/she was sustained and fed.
God now welcomes him/her to his table in heaven
to share in eternal life with all the saints.]
     
    God of all consolation,
your Son Jesus Christ was moved to tears
at the grave of Lazarus his friend.
Look with compassion on your children in their loss;
give to troubled hearts the light of hope
and strengthen in us the gift of faith,
in Jesus Christ our Lord. 
All
  Amen.
     
    The Lord God almighty is our Father:
All
  he loves us and tenderly cares for us.
     
    The Lord Jesus Christ is our Saviour:
All
  he has redeemed us and will defend us to the end.
     
    The Lord, the Holy Spirit is among us:
All
  he will lead us in God's holy way.
     
    To God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
All
  be praise and glory today and for ever.  Amen.
     
  A Funeral Vigil
     
    Note
     
    The vigil may take place as part of a service at church before the Funeral, or it may be a separate service. It may take place in church, at home or in another suitable place, such as a hospital chapel. The Gathering and the Ending may be omitted if the vigil is part of another service.
     
   
The Gathering
 
     
    O Lord, open our lips
All
  and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
     
    Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy,
shepherd and protector of your grieving people,
their beginning and their ending.
Lead us to a place of peace and refreshment;
guide us to springs of life-giving water;
wipe away the tears from our eyes
and bring us to heaven
where there is no more death,
no more grief or crying or pain
in your presence, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
All
  blessed be God for ever.
     
    Christ yesterday and today,
the beginning and the end,
Alpha and Omega;
all time belongs to him,
and all ages;
to him be glory and power,
through every age and for ever. 
All
  Amen.
     
    If candles are to be lit
     
    May the light of Christ, rising in glory,
banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.
     
    One of these themes, or a selection from them, may be chosen.
     
   
Assurance and Comfort
 
     
    Old Testament:  Isaiah 61.1-3      
   
To comfort all who mourn
     
    Psalm: 139
     
    Psalm Prayer
    Lord,
you created and fashioned us,
you know us and search us out,
you abide with us through light and dark:
help us to know your presence in this life
and, in the life to come, still to be with you;
where you are alive and reign,
God, for ever and ever. 
All
  Amen.
     
    New Testament:  1 Peter 1.3-9      
   
We have been born anew to
a living hope
     
    Canticle:  A Song of God's Children
     
    Gospel:  John 14.1-6 
   
In my Father's house are many rooms
     
    Prayer
     
   
The Faithfulness of God
 
     
    Old Testament:  Isaiah 53.1-10      
   
The suffering servant
     
    Psalm: 116.1-8[9-17]
     
    Psalm Prayer
    Lord of life,
we walk through eternity in your presence.
Lord of death,
we call to you in grief and sorrow:
you hear us and rescue us.
Watch over us as we mourn the death of your servant,
precious in your sight,
and keep us faithful to our vows to you. 
All
  Amen.  
     
    New Testament:  Romans 8.31-end                   
   
Nothing can separate us
from the love of Christ
     
    Revelation 21.1-7      
   
Behold I make all things new
     
    Canticle:  A Song of the Justified
     
    Gospel:  John 6.35-40[53-58]               
   
 All that the Father gives me will
come to me
     
    Prayer
     
   
The Hope of Heaven
 
     
    Apocrypha: Wisdom 3.1-5,9
   
The souls of the righteous are
in the hand of God
     
    Psalm: 25.1-9
     
    Psalm Prayer
    God of our salvation,
in our sorrow we lift our hearts to you
and put our faith in you.
Have compassion on us,
forgive us, and love us to eternity,
as you guide us and teach us
in the way that lies ahead
in Jesus Christ our Lord. 
All
  Amen.
     
    New Testament:  Romans 8.18-25[26-30]
   
The future glory
     
    Revelation 21.22-end; 22.3b-5      
   
The Lord God will be their light
    Canticle:  A Song of Faith
     
    Gospel:  John 14.1-6      
   
In my Father's house are many rooms
    Prayer
     
   
Easter
 
     
    Old Testament: Job 19.23-27
   
I know that my Redeemer lives
     
    Psalm: 32
     
    Psalm Prayer
    Lord, our hiding place in times of trouble,
you bring our guilt to mind.
Your hand seems heavy;
our tongues dry up
and we openly confess our guilt.
Embrace us with your mercy.
Teach us to trust you,
and bring us at the last
to rejoice in your presence for ever and ever. 
All   Amen.
     
    New Testament:  2 Timothy 2.8-13
   
If we have died with him,
we shall also live with him
    Canticle:  A Song of the Redeemed
     
    Gospel:  John 11.17-27
   
I am the resurrection and the life
     
    Prayer
     
   
Advent
 
     
    Old Testament: Daniel 12.1-3[5-9]      
   
Everyone whose name shall
be found written in the book
     
    Psalm: 27
     
    Psalm Prayer
    O God our defender,
give us the light of truth and wisdom,
that all our hope may be fixed on you
and on your Son, Jesus the Christ. 
All
  Amen.
     
    New Testament:  1 Thessalonians 4.13-18      
   
So we shall always be
with the Lord
     
    Canticle:  The Song of Manasseh
     
    Gospel:  Matthew 25.31-end
   
The final judgement
     
    Prayer
     
   
An Unexpected Death
 
     
    Apocrypha: Wisdom 4.8-11,13-15
   
Age is not length of time
     
    Psalm: 6
     
    Psalm Prayer
    Our eyes, Lord, are wasted with grief;
you know we are weary with groaning.
As we remember our death
in the dark emptiness of the night,
have mercy on us and heal us;
forgive us and take away our fear
through the dying and rising of Jesus your Son. 
All
  Amen.
     
    New Testament:  2 Corinthians 4.7-15      
   
We carry in our mortal
bodies the death of Jesus
     
    Canticle:  Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon)
     
    Gospel:  Luke 12.35-40
   
The coming of the Son of Man
     
    Prayer
     
   
A Child
 
     
    Old Testament: 2 Samuel 12.16-23      
   
David's son dies
     
    Psalm: 38.9-end
     
    Psalm Prayer
    Lord, have mercy
on those who go about in mourning all the day long,
who feel numb and crushed
and are filled with the pain of grief,
whose strength has given up
and whose friends and neighbours are distant.
You know all our sighing and longings:
be near to us and teach us to fix our hope on you alone;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
All
  Amen.
     
    Apocrypha:  Wisdom 4.8-11,13-15
   
Age is not length of time
     
    Canticle:  A Song of St Anselm
     
    Gospel:  Luke 12.35-40
   
The coming of the Son of Man
     
    Prayer
     
     
   
Ending
 
     
    The Lord's Prayer is said.
     
    The minister says this or another suitable ending
     
    The Lord God almighty is our Father:
All
  he loves us and tenderly cares for us.
     
    The Lord Jesus Christ is our Saviour:
All
  he has redeemed us and will defend us to the end.
     
    The Lord, the Holy Spirit is among us:
All
  he will lead us in God's holy way.
     
    To God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
All
  be praise and glory today and for ever.  Amen.
     
     
  On the Morning of the Funeral
     
    Note
     
    This brief form of service is intended to provide a short time of recollection some time before going to the Funeral. It may be led by a friend, family member or the minister.
     
   
Preparation
 
     
    As we set out on our journey today,
we pray for the presence of Christ,
who has gone this way before us.

Lord Jesus, you have shown us the way to the Father:
Lord, have mercy.
All
  Lord, have mercy.
     
    Lord Jesus, your word is a light to our path:
Christ, have mercy.
All
  Christ, have mercy.
     
    Lord Jesus, you are the good shepherd,
leading us into everlasting life:
Lord, have mercy.
All
  Lord, have mercy.
     
   
The Word
 
     
    The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul,
'therefore I will hope in him.'
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

For the Lord will not reject for ever.
Although he causes grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone. 
   
Lamentations 3.22-26,31-33
     
   
Prayer
 
     
    Heavenly Father,
you have not made us for darkness and death,
but for life with you for ever.
Without you we have nothing to hope for;
with you we have nothing to fear.
Speak to us now your words of eternal life.
Lift us from anxiety and guilt
to the light and peace of your presence,
and set the glory of your love before us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
All
  Amen.