With you at every step
Wherever you choose to have a funeral, it will reflect the unique life of the person you knew. Whatever will help to make the funeral special – music, hymns, readings, tributes, even the type of coffin – can be part of a Church of England funeral. Talk to your minister about what is possible. We’re with you every step of the way.
When everyone has arrived at the funeral venue, the coffin will be carried by the pall-bearers, (who could be family or friends), into the building or onto the burial site, depending on where the funeral is to take place.
If the funeral is in a crematorium or in a church, music can be played as the coffin is carried in. You may prefer no music, and that is fine too.
Some funerals taking place outdoors have included live music at this point, such as a flautist or trumpeter, to accompany the coffin to the graveside. But it’s also fine to have no music at all. The minister may also say some words of comfort and hope as the coffin is being carried.
When everyone is gathered, a hymn may be sung. It is fine if you don't want any hymns, but if you do, here are some popular choices for funerals:
Music for adults
- Abide with me
- All things bright and beautiful
- Amazing grace
- Be still for the presence of the Lord
- Dear Lord and Father
- For the beauty of the earth
- Great is thy faithfulness
- The Lord is my shepherd
- Lead us heavenly Father lead us
- Lord of all hopefulness
- Lord of the dance
- Love divine all loves excelling
- Make me a channel of Your peace
- Old rugged cross
- The day thou gavest
- The king of love my shepherd is
Music for children
- Christ beside me
- Thank you for the gifts we treasure
- There is a place
Remembering a unique life
After the hymn, there is time to listen to the story of the person you knew and loved. You, another friend or relative, or the church minister can do this.
It may include reading and/or music which reflect the character or interests of the person who has died. There are popular readings for funerals given on the right - just click on the readings to see more.
A message of hope
You can choose the Bible reading for this part of the service if you would like to. Some popular choices are offered on the right.
The minister will speak about God's promises - of the hope that death is not the end.
Whatever your beliefs, hearing these words can bring a sense of hope and comfort, even at this very difficult time.
Reflecting and remembering
In a time of reflection, music can be played, or silence may be kept. Prayers will be said too.
At this point, it might be appropriate to lay flowers on the coffin or express your sadness and loss in another way. Some families choose a cardboard coffin so that messages and pictures can be drawn on it. Perhaps a poem or a reading may be just right.
Talk to your minister about any ideas you might have. Tell them all about the person you knew and loved and they can offer suggestions for special ways to make it personal.
In your order of service, there may also be time for another hymn, if you'd like that. Talk to your minister about how much time you'll have, especially if the funeral is taking place at a crematorium.
It will then be time for the farewell. The minister will pray, asking God to keep your loved one in his care, using words that have been used for centuries:
"...earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust: in sure and certain hope fo the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ"
This may be a very emotional moment. It may be possible to have some special music played at this point.
The minister will say a blessing and music may be played as the mourners leave the venue.
A moment with God
There's so much to think about when organising a funeral, but God is with you and your church will help you through it. If you'd like to take a moment to pray, you can light a candle here online to help you do that.