A funeral marks the close of a human life on earth. And when our loved one dies, we all want the opportunity express our grief and give thanks for their life in this world. A Christian funeral can also enable people to commend their loved one into God’s safekeeping.
A funeral service in the Church of England, whether in a parish church or crematorium chapel, may be very short and quiet with only a few members of family and friends present, or it may be an occasion of great solemnity with music, hymns and a full church.
Whatever the pattern of service, the words and actions all speak of a loving God, and the preciousness to him of every human being.
At a time of the death of a loved one, questions about life and death can be uppermost in our minds. Jesus himself believed in a life-giving God 'the God of the living, not 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.
The funeral service may reflect some of this hope, and most importantly will reflect the personality of the person who has died. When it is the end of a long and fruitful life, the feelings of thanksgiving can be strongest. 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.
All of these feelings can be expressed and held by the words of the funeral service.
Everyone has the right to a funeral in their parish church, whether they go to church or not. Our clergy will work with the bereraved and their families to make sure the funeral makes a fitting end to someone's life in this world.
Contact your local vicar for help and support in arranging the funeral. If you do not know who your vicar is please click here to find your local Church of England church.
More information and details of the funeral service can be found on the national Church of England website: