When someone we love dies we go through a range of emotions. Bereavement is the process we go through as we come to terms with the loss of someone who has been a part of our lives and it is usually a very hard time. For many the days after a death are made even harder because there is a great deal to sort out and planning a funeral can be another cause of distress, particularly if we have not had to organise one before. This information should help you prepare a service for a loved one and to grieve.
Light out of darkness
Christians believe that death is not the end but rather Jesus offers us the promise of eternity with God in heaven beyond death. This hope, along with God’s presence and peace, can bring us some comfort. The prayer below tries to express some of our feelings and our longings as we face the death of someone we love.
O God, who brought us to birth and in whose arms we die: in our shock and grief comfort and contain us, embrace us with your love, give us hope in our confusion and grace to let go into new life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Planning a Funeral
The vicar is always ready to arrange a Christian funeral, whether or not you, or your loved one, have worshipped regularly in church.
If you need to arrange a funeral, it is best to approach your chosen funeral directors first. There is a list of local directors at the end of this leaflet. They will liaise with the vicar initially, and he will contact you to arrange a visit.
Whether you wish to choose a burial in the cemetery or a cremation, we would be pleased to hold a funeral service in the church beforehand. We will also be very happy to take services in the cemetery chapel or at the crematorium.
A funeral service can be very simple, or more elaborate, as you wish. The vicar will be happy to help you plan it. It always includes prayers, a Bible reading and a short address. Hymns, music, other readings, poems and a tribute to your loved one can also be included.
It is good to personalise a funeral service with music or hymns which were favourites of the deceased and it is also very touching if family members or friends feel able to read themselves or to personally offer a tribute.
At the end of the funeral service is the committal of the person’s earthly body, either to be buried or to be cremated. If the service is held at the church, the committal takes place separately, after the service at either the crematorium chapel in the case of a cremation, or at the graveside in the case of a burial.
Further information about the funeral service can be found on the following Church of England website.:
When a funeral of a local person has to take place elsewhere, either because the family wish to bury the body in their country of origin or because family live some way away, it is possible to arrange a separate service of thanksgiving for their life. In certain circumstances it may also be possible to hold a service of thanksgiving on the anniversary of a death.
How much will it cost?
Funerals are expensive and it depends on what you choose, but the services of the church and the Vicar are set at £186 for a church funeral & £172 for a service at the crematorium. These figures are for 2014. An organist will cost £100.
Grieving seldom ends with the funeral. It is natural to feel the emptiness for a considerable time afterwards. The vicar is always happy to meet and talk with you and St Andrew’s may be able to offer you some comfort at this time.
The church is open nearly every day and provides a space for quiet prayer and reflection. Near the door and in the Lady Chapel you will find votive candle stands where some people find it helpful to say a prayer and light a candle in memory. At Easter there is the opportunity to buy lilies in memory of a loved one and have them beautifully arranged in the church by the flower team. Contact the office for more information. Every autumn on the Sunday nearest to All Soul’s Day, either at the end of October or the beginning of November, we hold a service of remembrance at 8pm, to give thanks for all those whom we have loved.
Local funeral Directors
Nodes: 020 8888 3404
A Seaward & Sons: 02088866101
Co-operative Funeralcare: 020 88860535
You can download a Funeral Form here but in every case you must make personal contact with the parish priest.