I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
John 11:25, 26
The burial of the dead is not only a memorial of the departed, but also an act of Christian worship and witness that proclaims the assurance of God’s love, and the hope of resurrection, through faith in the crucified and risen Lord.
It is a time therefore in which we look backward in memory, sorrow, and thankfulness for our fellowship with the departed; it is also a time when we look forward, with confidence and joy in Christ to the greater fellowship we shall have in heaven. And therefore the focus of a Christian funeral is not merely the departed persons, and our memories of them; but even more so the hope that is given those who believe in Christ, the crucified and risen Lord.
The service in the Church is called the Office of the Burial of the Dead. It is a service of the word, usually celebrated with hymns and sermon. It is followed either immediately or at another date by interment or committal (of the body or its ashes). The Holy Eucharist (called a Requiem Eucharist, from the Latin word for “rest”) is most appropriate at the burial of a Christian and churchman, as the sure testimony that those who die in the Lord, and as members of his Body, will also rise with him.
To bury the dead is one of the Church’s corporal works of mercy. All requests for burial at St. John’s will be considered (not just those of members), and no fees are charged. (Honoraria may be made to the participating clergy but such gifts are at the discretion of the family.)
Because burial is a service of the Church, it is under the direction of the parish clergy according to the orders found in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
Flowers on the altar are arranged by the Chancel Society. Other flowers will be displayed at the entrance to the church or other appropriate places.
When cremation is planned, the ashes may be interred in the border around the foundations of the Church, if desired. No plaque or other marker is placed.
Parishioners are encouraged to make funeral plans in advance, in consultation with the clergy, and to deposit a copy of those plans to be kept on file at the Church Office.