A funeral marks the close of a human life on earth. It is the opportunity for friends and family express their grief, to give thanks for the life which has completed its journey in this world and to commend the person into Gods keeping.
The funeral service of the Church of England can be very short and quiet with only a few members of the family present or an occasion of great solemnity with music, hymns and a packed church. Whether in a parish church or crematorium chapel, it can be the plain funeral service or service with hymns, favourite prayers and readings included as well. It can be very appropriately set into the context of a communion service. Whatever the pattern of service, the words and actions will all speak of a loving God and the preciousness to Him of every human being.
The funeral service will reflect the personality of the one who has died and the circumstances of the death. Feelings of grief, gratitude, joy and sadness often intermingle. Sometimes, a sense of tragedy is uppermost, especially when it is a young person who has died. When it is the end of a long and fruitful life, feelings of thanksgiving can be strongest.
Funeral services always raise profound questions about the meaning of life and death. Christians believe that Christ’s resurrection is a Triumph of good over evil and of life over death and has made eternal life available to every single one of us.
Once we at St.Brannock’s or St.Anne's have been informed of a death we go to visit the family, taking with us a leaflet comprising of the following:-
At the moment, word will not mean very much to you. Perhaps later there will be an opportunity for us to talk. In the meantime, we shall be praying for you, and your loved one. And when I say ‘we’ I mean the whole congregation of St.Brannock’s, Braunton. Each Wednesday at 10am service, and each Sunday at 9:45am service we pray by name for those who have died recently.
You will be experiencing a mixture of emotions during the next few days and weeks. Shock, numbness, fear, anger, guilt, and perhaps others. If it is any consolation, this is perfectly natural, and it is through the experiencing of these feelings that you will eventually come to terms with your loss. You will never ‘get over’ your loss; nor would you want to if the person who has died meant a lot to you.
However, though it probably seems unlikely at the moment, you will one day be able to accept your loss and learn to live without.
In the meantime, do not be afraid to grieve – to cry, to let go and most important of all, to talk about the dead person. Death is not the end; do not act as though it’s.
In the face of the helplessness which we all feel at a time like this, there is one thing you can do for your departed loved one, and that is to pray. Pray for him or her, ask God to grant to the departed light and mercy and peace. Pray and pray, mention his or her name to God again and again. Because prayer draws us nearer to God; and the departed are with God; so prayer draws us nearer to them.
Please do not hesitate to ring if you would like to talk.
This famous piece written by a priest at the beginning of the last century in a letter to his wife. Many people have found it helpful ever since.
Vicar: the Rev.d Anne Thorne 01271 815330
associate vicar: the Rev.d John Thompson 01271 378104
There’s a lovely custom to come to church on the Sunday following the funeral, when we will all be remembering your loved one by name. You are welcome at our services any time. We have a 9:45am service every Sunday morning and Wednesday morning service at 10.00am we do have a team specially trained people who are there for you. If you would like to talk someone (in the strictest confidence)or just have someone to keep you company for an hour or so then please do let us know.
A Prayer for the deceased
We thank you, our Father that our loved ones who have gone from our sight are in your keeping. Help us to leave them there in perfect trust, because you love them and us with infinite love. Grant that we may learn to know you better, so that we may meet them again in your presence, through faith in him who loved us and gave himself for us, Jesus Christ our saviour.
A Prayer for those who Mourn
Heavenly Father, our refuge and strength in every time of need: help and comfort us today. Increase our faith, dispel our fears, revive our hope, and lift us from the darkness of our grief to the light of your present, through Jesus Christ our Lord.