“The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all its meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised.
The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, 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.”
This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.”
Book of Common Prayer, pg 507
As Christians, we know that death does not have the final word. Through God’s grace, Jesus has conquered sin and death forever. As we profess in the Apostles’ Creed, we believe in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.
Funerals are one of the times that, as Christians, we do the task of the Church the best. We comfort each other in our grief, we gather in community, and we proclaim Christ crucified and risen. A Christian funeral is not a tribute to how wonderful you were, but instead it publicly affirms the saving power of God, as demonstrated in your life. We tell how God’s story interacts with your story. Baptismal imagery is important because it reminds us of God’s saving deeds. As Paul writes in Romans 6:5, “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”
During the days following a death it can be overwhelming for the family to put a funeral together. Whether it is following a long illness or a surprising accident, your loved ones may wonder what your wishes really were. We suggest you contact the parish office for a planning sheet and return it to the parish office for safe keeping. The planning form is an opportunity for you to think about these things now, discussing them with your family, friends, and priest. It is not a legally binding document, but serves as a guide for having a conversation about what is to come.
If your loved one has died and you desire a funeral from the church please contact the parish office.