The task of arranging for a funeral or memorial service often occurs at a time of great grief. At St. Michael’s, we want to support those who have been bereaved and to be a means through which they may experience the consolation and love of God. Our understanding of the liturgy for the burial of the dead is expressed well in our Episcopal Book of Common Prayer:
“The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all its 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.” (Romans 8) This joy, however, does not make human grief un-Christian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend [Lazarus]. So, while we rejoice that the one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we join in sorrow and sympathy with those who mourn.”
At St. Michael’s there are three types of services for the departed: a funeral, a graveside service and a memorial service. All services are either according to The Burial of the Dead as set forth in The Book of Common Prayer or they are designed to conform to the intent and pattern of it. The Rector of St. Michael’s normally presides at the service. Visiting priests, at the invitation of the family and in consultation with the Rector, may assist in the celebration.
For more information about funerals and memorial services at St. Michael’s, please contact the Parish Secretary.