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funerals & memorials

Funerals

In the Episcopal Church we believe that through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, at death,

“… life is changed not ended; and when our mortal body lies in death, there is prepared for us a dwelling place eternal in the heavens.”

(From the preface for the “Commemoration of the Dead” page 382, The Book of Common Prayer.)

Our burial services find their meaning in the Resurrection; because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too shall be raised. The services are characterized by joy in the eternal love of God in Jesus Christ, and by our human grief at the death of a loved one. While we rejoice that a loved one is now with God, we are sorrowful with those who mourn.

Funeral Services

A death should be reported as soon as possible to the clergy of the parish. All arrangements for burial services are made in consultation with the clergy of the parish. Burial services follow the rites authorized by the Episcopal Church.

The death of a child usually occurs long before his or her expected span of life, often under tragic circumstances, the Episcopal Church has a particular service which addresses these special needs.

Christian burials are customarily held in the church but for pastoral reasons may be held at the funeral home or graveside.

When possible burial services are to be held at a time and place when family, friends, colleagues and the congregation of the deceased have the opportunity to be present.

If cremation is to take place, burial services may be held prior to this, or if held afterwards, the ashes should be present at the service.

Memorial Services

A Memorial service will often take place weeks, months or a year after death has occurred. All arrangements for the services are made in consultation with the clergy of the parish and follow the rites authorized by the Episcopal Church.

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