Alternative Services: Series One

    Alternative Services, Series One:
An Order for the Burial of the Dead
     
     
  Introduction
     
    The Ministers and Clerks, meeting the body at the entrance of the churchyard, and going before it either into the church or towards the grave, shall say or sing one or more of the following Sentences; together with one or more of the Penitential Psalms (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143) if need so require.
     
    I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
   
John 11.25, 26
     
    I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand up at the last upon the earth:whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.
   
Job 19.25-7
     
    We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
   
1 Timothy 6.7; Job 1.21
     
    Remember not the sins and offences of my youth:but according to thy mercy think thou upon me, O Lord, for thy goodness.
   
Psalm 25.6
     
    The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
   
Deuteronomy 33.27
     
    Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
   
Romans 8.38,39
     
    Whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
   
Romans 14.8, 9
     
    Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
   
Matthew 5.4
     
    Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions.
   
John 14.1
     
     
  The Service in Church
     
    After they are come into the church, shall be read one or more of these Psalms following.
     
    At the end of all the Psalms appointed for the Burial of the Dead the Gloria Patri may be left unsaid, and instead thereof may be sung or said
     
    Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord:
    and let light perpetual shine upon them.
     
    Before and after any Psalm or group of Psalms may be said or sung the Anthem following
     
    O Saviour of the world,
who by thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us:
    Save us and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.
     
     
    Psalm 39           Dixi, custodiam
     
1
  I said, I will take heed to my ways :
    that I offend not in my tongue.
     
2
  I will keep my mouth as it were with a bridle :
    while the ungodly is in my sight.
     
3
  I held my tongue, and spake nothing :
    I kept silence, yea, even from good words;
      but it was pain and grief to me.
     
4
  My heart was hot within me,
      and while I was thus musing the fire kindled :
    and at the last I spake with my tongue;
     
5
  Lord, let me know mine end, and the number of my days :
    that I may be certified how long I have to live.
     
6
  Behold, thou hast made my days as it were a span long :
    and mine age is even as nothing in respect of thee;
          and verily every man living is altogether vanity.
     
7
  For man walketh in a vain shadow,
      and disquieteth himself in vain :
    he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who shall gather them.
     
8
  And now, Lord, what is my hope :
    truly my hope is even in thee.
     
9
  Deliver me from all mine offences :
    and make me not a rebuke unto the foolish.
     
10
  I became dumb, and opened not my mouth :
    for it was thy doing.
     
11
  Take thy plague away from me :
    I am even consumed by means of thy heavy hand.
     
12
  When thou with rebukes dost chasten man for sin,
          thou makest his beauty to consume away,
          like as it were a moth fretting a garment :
    every man therefore is but vanity.
     
13
  Hear my prayer, O Lord,
      and with thine ears consider my calling :
    hold not thy peace at my tears.
     
14
  For I am a stranger with thee :
    and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
     
15
  O spare me a little, that I may recover my strength :
    before I go hence, and be no more seen.
     
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
    and to the Holy Ghost;
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
    world without end. Amen.
     
     
    Psalm 90             Domine, refugium
     
1
  Lord, thou hast been our refuge :
    from one generation to another.
     
2
  Before the mountains were brought forth,
          or ever the earth and the world were made :
    thou art God from everlasting, and world without end.
     
3
  Thou turnest man to destruction :
    again thou sayest, Come again, ye children of men.
     
4
  For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday :
    seeing that is past as a watch in the night.
     
5
  As soon as thou scatterest them, they are even as a sleep :
    and fade away suddenly like the grass.
     
6
  In the morning it is green, and groweth up :
    but in the evening it is cut down, dried up, and withered.
     
7
  For we consume away in thy displeasure :
    and are afraid at thy wrathful indignation.
     
8
  Thou hast set our misdeeds before thee :
    and our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
     
9
  For when thou art angry all our days are gone :
    we bring our years to an end, as it were a tale that is told.
     
10
  The days of our age are threescore years and ten;
          and though men be so strong,
      that they come to fourscore years :
    yet is their strength then but labour and sorrow;
          so soon passeth it away, and we are gone.
     
11
  But who regardeth the power of thy wrath :
    for even thereafter as a man feareth, so is thy displeasure.
     
12
  So teach us to number our days :
    that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
     
13
  Turn thee again, O Lord, at the last :
    and be gracious unto thy servants.
     
14
  O satisfy us with thy mercy, and that soon :
    so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
     
15
  Comfort us again now after the time that thou hast plagued us :
    and for the years wherein we have suffered adversity.
     
16
  Shew thy servants thy work :
    and their children thy glory.
     
17
  And the glorious Majesty of the Lord our God be upon us :
    prosper thou the work of our hands upon us,
      O prosper thou our handy-work.
     
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
    and to the Holy Ghost;
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
    world without end. Amen.
     
     
    Psalm 23             Dominus regit me
     
1
  The Lord is my shepherd :
    therefore can I lack nothing.
     
2
  He shall feed me in a green pasture :
    and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort.
     
3
  He shall convert my soul :
    and bring me forth in the paths of righteousness,
      for his name's sake.
     
4
  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
      I will fear no evil :
    for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.
     
5
  Thou shalt prepare a table before me
      against them that trouble me :
    thou hast anointed my head with oil,
      and my cup shall be full.
     
6
  But thy loving-kindness and mercy shall follow me
      all the days of my life :
    and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
     
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
    and to the Holy Ghost;
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
    world without end. Amen.
     
     
    Psalm 130             De profundis
     
1
  Out of the deep have I called unto thee, O Lord :
    Lord, hear my voice.
     
2
  O let thine ears consider well :
    the voice of my complaint.
     
3
  If thou, Lord, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss :
    O Lord, who may abide it?
     
4
  For there is mercy with thee :
    therefore shalt thou be feared.
     
5
  I look for the Lord; my soul doth wait for him :
    in his word is my trust.
     
6
  My soul fleeth unto the Lord :
    before the morning watch, I say, before the morning watch.
     
7
  O Israel, trust in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy :
    and with him is plenteous redemption.
     
8
  And he shall redeem Israel :
    from all his sins.
     
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
    and to the Holy Ghost;
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
    world without end. Amen.
     
     
    Then shall be read the Lesson following
     
   
1 Corinthians 15.20-6, 35-8, 42-4, 53-8
     
    Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's, at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority, and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
     
    But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:But God giveth it a body, as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. So also is the resurrection of the dead:It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory:It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality; then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
     
    Or one of the following Lessons
     
   
2 Corinthians 4.16 - 5.10
     
    For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (for we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
     
   
Revelation 7.9-17
     
    After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders, and the four living creatures, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen; Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
     
   
Revelation 21.1-7
     
    I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
     
     
  The Prayers
     
Minister
  Let us pray.
     
    Lord, have mercy upon us.
All
  Christ, have mercy upon us.
    Lord, have mercy upon us.
     
    Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
     
    The following versicles and responses may then be said by the Minister and People
     
Minister
  Enter not into judgement with thy servant, O Lord;
All
  For in thy sight shall no man living be justified.
     
Minister
  Grant unto him eternal rest;
All
  And let perpetual light shine upon him.
     
Minister
  We believe verily to see the goodness of the Lord;
All
  In the land of the living.
     
Minister
  O Lord, hear our prayer;
All
  And let our cry come unto thee.
     
    Then shall be said one or more of the following Prayers
     
    Almighty God, with whom do live the spirits of them that depart hence in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity: We give thee hearty thanks, for that it hath pleased thee to deliver this our brother out of the miseries of this sinful world; beseeching thee, that it may please thee, of thy gracious goodness, shortly to accomplish the number of thine elect, and to hasten thy kingdom; that we, with all those that are departed in the true faith of thy holy name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in thy eternal and everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All
  Amen.
     
   
The Collect
     
    O merciful God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life; in whom whosoever believeth shall live, though he die; and whosoever liveth, and believeth in him, shall not die eternally; who also hath taught us, by his holy Apostle Saint Paul, not to be sorry, as men without hope, for them that sleep in him: We meekly beseech thee, O Father, to raise us from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness; that, when we shall depart this life, we may rest in him, as our hope is this our brother doth; and that, at the general resurrection in the last day, we may be found acceptable in thy sight; and receive that blessing, which thy well-beloved Son shall then pronounce to all that love and fear thee, saying, Come, ye blessed children of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. Grant this, we beseech thee, O merciful Father, through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer.
All
  Amen.
     
    O Father of all, we pray to thee for those whom we love, but see no longer. Grant them thy peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and in thy loving wisdom and almighty power work in them the good purpose of thy perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All
  Amen.
     
    Almighty God, Father of all mercies and giver of all comfort: Deal graciously, we pray thee, with those who mourn, that casting every care on thee, they may know the consolation of thy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All
  Amen.
     
    O heavenly Father, who in thy Son Jesus Christ, hast given us a true faith, and a sure hope: Help us, we pray thee, to live as those who believe and trust in the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection to life everlasting, and strengthen this faith and hope in us all the days of our life: through the love of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Saviour.
All
  Amen.
     
    And then shall be said
     
    The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost,
be with us all evermore.
All
  Amen.
     
     
  The Burial
     
    The Burial may precede the Service in Church and the Prayers.
     
    When they come to the grave, while the body is made ready to be laid into the earth, the Minister shall say, or the Minister and Clerks shall sing these Anthems
     
    Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay.
     
    In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour, but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins art justly displeased?
     
    Yet, O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.
     
    Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears to our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, thou most worthy Judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall from thee.
     
    Or this
     
    Psalm 103.13-17
     
13
  Like as a father pitieth his own children :
    even so is the Lord merciful unto them that fear him.
     
14
  For he knoweth whereof we are made :
    he remembereth that we are but dust.
     
15
  The days of man are but as grass :
    for he flourisheth as a flower of the field.
     
16
  For as soon as the wind goeth over it, it is gone :
    and the place thereof shall know it no more.
     
17
  But the merciful goodness of the Lord endureth
          for ever and ever upon them that fear him :
    and his righteousness upon children's children.
     
    Then, while the earth shall be cast upon the body by some standing by, the Minister shall say
     
    Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change the body of our low estate that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.
     
    Or this
     
    We commend unto thy hands of mercy, most merciful Father, the soul of this our brother departed, and we commit his body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. And we beseech thine infinite goodness to give us grace to live in thy fear and love and to die in thy favour, that when the judgement shall come which thou hast committed to thy well-beloved Son, both this our brother and we may be found acceptable in thy sight. Grant this, O merciful Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, Mediator, and Advocate.
All
  Amen.
     
    Then shall be said or sung
     
    I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, From henceforth blessed are the dead which die in the Lord: even so saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labours.
     
    Here may be added by the Minister
     
    Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever.
All
  Amen.
     
     
    Notes
     
1
  The whole of this Order, with the exception of the Burial, may be said in the church.
     
2
  At the Service in Church three of the above lessons may be read, each preceded by one of the psalms above-mentioned, but a hymn may be sung in place of a psalm before the third Lesson.
     
3
  The Service in Church together with the Prayers may be used as a Memorial Service for the Departed apart from the funeral.
     
4
  When a child is buried at the same time with an adult person one or more of the prayers provided in the Order for the Burial of a Child may be said before 'The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ', etc.
     
5
  When this Order is used at the cremation of the body, in place of the words, 'commit his body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust', shall be said the words, 'commit his body to be consumed by fire':and in this case it shall suffice to say one or more of the prayers at the burial of the ashes.
     
6
  When this Order is used at the burial of the ashes after cremation, in place of the words, 'commit his body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust', shall be said the words, 'commit his ashes to the ground, earth to earth, dust to dust', or, 'commit his ashes to their resting place'.
     
     
    Collect, Epistle and Gospel at Holy Communion
     
    When there is a celebration of the Holy Communion on the day of the Burial, the Priest shall use the Collect appointed in this Order, or the Collect of Easter Even, or that of the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed; and for the Epistle
     
   
1 Thessalonians 4.3-18
     
    I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:and the dead in Christ shall rise first:then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
     
    Or this
     
   
2 Corinthians 4.16 - 5.4
     
    Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen:for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
     
     
    and for the Gospel
     
   
John 6.37-41
     
    Jesus said, All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
     
    Or this
     
   
John 5.24-9
     
    Jesus said, Verily, verily I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God:and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgement also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgement.