The death of a member of the family, or of a close friend or a good neighbour is always hard. Even when we think we’re prepared for it after years of caring for someone with failing health, when death comes, we discover just how unprepared we are. When it is unexpected, with no time for preparation the shock of it can be devastating. The break that death brings in our relationships throws us - we must organise our lives without that person being around, we may well feel really lost and we can also be quite angry. This is true even for those who have a strong faith.

Yet, all life is precious to God. We are not lost to him - indeed we are ‘found’ in quite a new way.

The clergy are always ready to be with you in these desperate times, to help with funeral arrangements, not only with the choice of music and readings, but also with ongoing support in the days and weeks after the funeral service.

Nowadays, many funerals seem to take place at a Crematorium or Burial Chapel. But don’t forget that a funeral may also take place in Church – which may be the better place for many reasons, allowing unhurried time for a family to express love and appreciation for the person who has died, because in Church you are not ‘tied to the clock’. And indeed, your local church may well be the place of many personal or family memories – of weddings or of christenings, for example. 

A family’s first port of call will be with the Funeral Director (Undertaker), who may or may not suggest a Church funeral service (the person making the arrangements with the Funeral Director may have to ask for this). And it is usually the Funeral Director who will contact the Parish Priest once a date and time have been provisionally booked by him.

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 You can also find more general information by clicking here on the Church of England website