A funeral marks the close of a human life on earth. It is the opportunity for friends and family to express their grief, to give thanks for the life which has now completed its journey in this world and to commend the person into God's keeping.
ARRANGING THE FUNERAL
The person who has died may have left a paragraph in their Will describing the sort of funeral arrangements they hoped for. Naturally, the family will want to keep to such arrangements as far as possible. Not everyone knows that they have the right to a funeral in their parish church, even if they and the dead person have not been church-goers; nor do practising Christians always realise that they can have a Communion service as part of the funeral. The funeral director plays a very important part in all these arrangements and will want to know if the funeral is to be in the parish church or if the vicar is to take the service in the crematorium. Funeral directors know the local clergy, the local cemeteries and the crematoria. As part of a national network of funeral directors, they can, if necessary, give advice on funerals in other parts of the country, as well as on costs and fees.
THE FUNERAL SERVICE
The form of the service will be discussed with the member of the Clergy who is taking the funeral. You will be able to discuss your choice of hymns, music and readings. The priest may have some suggestions to help you, or you can decide with the help of your friends and family. There will also be an address or a sermon remembering the life and work of the dead person and the great Christian beliefs about life beyond death. This can be said either by the priest leading the service, or by a close friend or relative.
BURIALS AND CREMATIONS
All the churches in our benefice have churchyards either surrounding the church or very close by. If a cremation service is chosen, the churchyards have space set aside for burying ashes.
FEES for 2013
- Funeral service in Church - £160.00
- Burial in churchyard following the service in Church - £260.00
- Burial of cremated remains in churchyard - £138.00
In addition to these fees, set by the Church of England, the Benefice may also make charges. The funeral director will usually arrange the payment of these fees and also Organists are arranged through the funeral directors.
Please note, no fee is payable in respect of a burial of a still-born infant, or for the funeral or burial of a person under sixteen years of age.
These must be in accordance with Diocesan regulations. Please discuss your requirements with the Rector or relevant churchwarden.
QUESTIONS OF LIFE AND DEATH
The funeral service will reflect the personality of the one who has died and the circumstances of their 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, the feelings of thanksgiving can be strongest. Funeral services always raise profound questions about the meaning of life and death. Jesus himself believed in a life-giving God: 'the God of the living, not of the dead.' Christians believe that Christ's resurrection is the triumph of good over evil and of life over death and has made eternal life available to us. What heaven is like, none of us dare say too precisely but we know that we shall delight in the presence and love of God and of the whole company of heaven. Whatever is wonderful about life here on earth is only a glimpse of the glory of the life that is to come.
If you have any queries or questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Rector:
The Revd Neal Phair
Church Lane, Longworth
Abingdon OX13 5DX
t: 01865 821277