Planning Your Funeral at Christ Church

Planning Your Funeral at Christ Episcopal Church
Posted April 3, 2014

A printed form with this information is available in the church office. Downloadable copies of this form are available here: Microsoft Word | PDF

Planning one’s own burial service can be a holy and uplifting opportunity. Here you can express the ultimate attitude and convictions you have about life, death, and your new life. You can help plan a service at which all those who love and grieve can celebrate you and your life among them.

Notes on the Order for Burial from the Book of Common Prayer

The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all meaning in the resurrection, because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too, shall be raised. The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the death of his friend. So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.

Concerning the Death

The death of a member of the Church should be reported as soon as possible. Arrangements for the funeral should be made in consultation with the Priest of the Congregation. Many people today choose cremation instead of burial. Sometimes the cremains are interred before the memorial service or taken to be interred somewhere else. Many different options are available.

Without a body or cremains the service is called a memorial service instead of a burial/funeral.

Choices to be made

1. Will there be cremation? Yes____________ No_____________
2. If yes, will the cremains be placed in the Christ Church Garden? Yes____________No_______________
3. What Funeral Home will be used?

Choices to be made concerning the Church Service

1. Will there be communion? Yes____________No________________
2. Rite One or Rite Two (circle one)
3. Opening Hymn_________________
4. Select a Reading from the Old Testament (choose one)
Isaiah 25:6-9 (He will swallow up death forever)
Isaiah 61:1-3 (To comfort those who mourn)
Lamentations 3:22-26, 31-33 (The Lord is good to those who wait for him)
Wisdom 3:1-5, 9 (The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God)
Job 19:21-27a (I know that my Redeemer lives)
Who would you like to do this reading? ______________________

5. Psalm, hymn or canticle (choose one)
Psalm 42:1-7; 46; 90:1-12; 121; 130; 139:1-11 or
Canticle 16 (page 92) or Canticle 17 (page 93)

6. Select a Reading from the New Testament (choose one)
Romans 8:14-19, 34-35, 37-39 (The glory that shall be revealed)
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 35-38, 42-44, 53-58 (The imperishable body)
2 Corinthians 4:16 – 5:9 (Things that are unseen are eternal)
1 John 3:1-2 (We shall be like him)
Revelation 7:9-17 (God will wipe away every tear)
Revelation 21:2-7 (Behold, I make all things new)
Who would you like to do this reading? ___________________________

7. Psalm, hymn, or canticle (choose one)
Psalm 23; 27; 106:1-5; 116 or
Canticle 16 (page 92); or 17 (page 93) or

8. The Gospel (choose one)
John 5:24-27 (He who believes has everlasting life)
John 6:37-40 (All that the Father give me will come to you)
John 10:11-16 (I am the good shepherd)
John 11:21-27 (I am the resurrection and the life)
John 14:1-6 (In my Father’s house are many rooms)

9. Homily Yes No
(If communion is included you can select two or three additional hymns for the offertory and communion)
Hymn ___________________, Hymn ___________________
Hymn ___________________

10. Procession out
Hymn ___________________

11. Any other wishes?
***** Every effort will be made to provide for all of your wishes, however there may be circumstances that prevent that from happening. *****

In the Episcopal Church, flowers are only allowed on the altar. The family usually pays for these.
In lieu of other flowers, contributions may be made to: Christ Church Endowment; Episcopal Diocese Campaign for Congregational Development; or

Please keep a signed copy of this form in your papers, and send a copy to the Church Office.