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Memorial Services and Funerals

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? John 14:1-2

Of all of life’s experiences, the death of a loved one is often the most painful and challenging event that anyone can go through. This guide is meant to assist you in working through the details surrounding a death, whether it is your own eventual death, or the imminent death of a loved one. Our prayer is that the information below will alleviate the stress and confusion surrounding death.

LAST RITES

The Book of Common Prayer has a very brief service for ministry to a person who is about to die. This is often called “last rites.” When the hospital or hospice caregivers indicate that death is likely a day or two away, please call the church and arrange for a priest to visit. During this visit, he will ask about the condition of the dying person and then lead the immediate family and friends in a brief time of prayer around the bed. He will anoint the person’s forehead with holy oil in the sign of the cross and commend them to The Lord’s care. This is often a very holy moment and helpful in the grieving process. It also often gives the dying person permission to let go.

AFTER DEATH

Who to contact:

  • Family members and friends
  • Grace Anglican Church office at (904) 541-1234 (to arrange a time to meet with a priest to plan the funeral or memorial service and to discuss cremation or a bodily burial)
  • Funeral home

PLANNING THE MEMORIAL SERVICE

The liturgy for a memorial service is a helpful means of grieving. The family and friends join with their church to give thanks to God, receive a reminder of the hope of the future resurrection in Christ, and to seek God’s comfort in death. The urn or casket is covered with a pall, a white cloth, which reminds us that we are covered in Christ and his righteousness. The Book of Common Prayer guides the service, however there are several places where the family will have input.

INTERMENT OF ASHES IN THE PRAYER GARDEN

The church has a beautiful and simple prayer garden located alongside the sanctuary. It is available for church members and their families to inter the ashes of the deceased as part of the memorial service or at a later time if necessary. The prayer garden is not designated as a cemetery, nor does it have a columbarium. It is for committing ashes to the ground near the church building. Prior to the service, the family delivers the ashes to the clergy who place the ashes in a simple black urn, which the church owns. Families do not need to purchase an urn from the funeral home. At the conclusion of the service, everyone recesses out following the cross to a location inside the garden. As the celebrant reads the words “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust,” the remains are poured into a small hole already prepared in the ground and then covered with dirt. A brick is engraved with the person’s name and dates and set in place along the border next in sequence to the previous bricks.

FUNERALS AND GRAVESIDE SERVICE

When the family’s desire is for a funeral there are a few details in addition to the memorial service described above. The first is arranging for the funeral home to deliver the casket to the church prior to the service start time. The casket will be rolled into the narthex in preparation of the procession into the sanctuary. Although not required, the family is welcome to host a viewing in the narthex prior to the service. About 30 minutes before the funeral, the casket is closed and covered. Four to six pallbearers are required for the procession into the church. After the service, the casket is recessed out to the hearse and then driven to the cemetery for the graveside portion of the service.

RECEPTIONS

For funerals with a graveside service, the family often hosts a reception in a home rather than return to the church. With memorial services, the church usually arranges for a reception in our fellowship hall. Please let us know if this is your desire and arrangements will be made for church members to prepare food.

FEES/COSTS

There is no fixed fee for the clergy or staff musician. It is common for families to give them an honorarium but it is not expected. Other costs are listed below:

Sound technician $75

Altar Flowers $100

Reception Flowers $30

Prayer Garden/Engraving $150

Musician $150 (other than full-time music staff)

Please click here for a checklist that will need to be submitted to the church when planning for a Memorial Service. For more information, please call the office at (904) 541-1234.