A Christian Funeral
A Christian Funeral is a gift from God and marks the close of a human life on earth. It is the opportunity for friends and family to express their grief, to give thanks for the life of someone at the end of their journey in this world and to commend them into God’s keeping.
The Funeral Service of the Anglican Church of Australia can be simple and quiet with only few members of the family present or an occasion of great solemnity with music, hymns and a packed church. It may take place in a parish church, a crematorium chapel or at the graveside, and will come from the Australian Prayer Book
Whatever the pattern of service, the words and actions all speak of a loving God and the preciousness to Him of every human being, and in particular, the person you love who has died.
Everyone has a right to a funeral in the Anglican Parish of Callide Valley, whether or not they were a churchgoer. Parish clergy see the taking of funerals as an important part of their work and will gladly give their time to talk to those who are facing loss, to be with them in pain, and to help to arrange whatever kind of funeral service is most appropriate.
Planning the Funeral Service
There is a very clear framework for a Funeral Service, but there are many possibilities and choices within this framework. Each funeral service is personal and the Parish priest will be happy to advise you and assist you in choosing suitable readings, hymns and prayers and in ensuring that the life of the person who has died is appropriately remembered and personally celebrated. Don’t hesitate to voice your queries, concerns and special requests. Services held by the Anglican Church of Australia are particularly sensitive in their provision for funerals for children, and those who have died in especially distressing circumstances, such as an accident or an act of violence or suicide.
If the person who has died was a regular communicant, the funeral may take the form of a Communion service, helping people to focus on the death and resurrection of Christ and proclaiming our unity with those who have died in Christ.
The Funeral Service
Music may be chosen as part of the funeral service. This can be discussed with the minister.
Readings are chosen as part of the funeral service. It is usual to have one or more readings, one of which must be from the Bible.
Entry of the Coffin. Traditionally, the minister meets the coffin at the door of the Church, the Crematorium, or at the Cemetery, and leads the procession, saying some reassuring words from the Bible. Alternatively, the coffin may be brought into church some time before the service (sometimes on the day before), or the mourners may be seated first.
The Service will include a:
Welcome and Introduction.
Readings and Sermon.
Commendation and Farewell.
The Committal. This may happen in church, at the graveside or at the crematorium
A Funeral Service Leaflet
A Funeral Service Leaflet may be prepared by the undertakers, by the parish or by the family.
The Interment of Ashes
We offer the assistance as required for the interment of cremated remains. Ashes may be buried in a garden of rest at the crematorium and a suitable memorial message may be entered into our Book of Remembrance. The undertaker will advise about suitable memorials in civic cemeteries and crematoria. The burial of ashes usually takes place at some time after the funeral.
Friends in Bereavement
Grieving is a natural and an important part of coming to terms with and healing this loss and it may continue for a long time. Your parish priest, our bereavement team, your family and your friends are always willing to offer a listening ear. You will often find that it is those who have suffered a close bereavement themselves who can most easily offer comfort and support in your time of grief.
Practical Steps to Consider.
Contact the Priest.
It is very important to consult the Rector as soon as your loved one has passed away. Together with yourself and the undertaker, the Rector will determine a suitable date and time for the funeral.
Contact the Funeral Undertaker.
It is very important to consult your local Funeral Undertaker as soon as possible to take care of the many practical arrangements that need to be dealt with.
If you choose to have a reception you must book a catering venue such as the R.S.L., the Lawn Bowls Club or a local pub or restaurant. If you choose to have the reception at your home you must organise someone to do the catering.
The costs for a funeral in the Anglican Parish of Callide Valley are set in accordance with the Diocesan Fee Structure and agreed by the Parish Council for 2014.
Church support in your Bereavement.
As the death of a loved one brings pain, grief and other emotions to the fore, as a parish we would like to offer ministry in your time of need before and after the funeral in the following ways:
· Pray for you in an ongoing way before and after the funeral.
· To provide comfort, nurture, encouragement and care in worship.
· To provide pastoral care in your time of grief.
What do I do next?
Please contact the Rector, The Revd. John Coleman on 0414 722008