To Arrange for a Funeral
Notify one of the clergy or contact the parish office to inform of a death in your family. Our parish clergy can meet with the family of the deceased for reflection, prayer, and the planning of the funeral service.
The Funeral Service
When you are making arrangements for the funeral, remember that the Prayer Book assumes that the normal service is the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist. This is rooted in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the basis of Christian hope in eternal life.
Since the Episcopal funeral service is a service of worship, it is properly held in the church or the chapel, unless space is limited. It does not matter whether the deceased was a member of the Church or not, or whether the survivors are members. The Church and its services are available to all.
The Book of Common Prayer directs that "The coffin is to be closed before the service, and it remains closed thereafter. The coffin will be covered with a white pall. No other decoration will be used on or around the coffin."
The Episcopal Church has no objection to cremation. The cremation may take place after the service in Church, or beforehand, in which case the ashes may be present at the service and blessed during the Commendation, just as the uncremated remains are.
Popular music is generally inappropriate for the occasion or in accordance with the teachings of the Episcopal Church but may be used during the gathering time after the service.
Hymns are to be chosen from the Episcopal Hymnal, and Easter music is especially appropriate. In the Episcopal Church, hymns are considered to be a fundamental part of the worship, and therefore it is the priest and music director who specify the music. Any arrangements or special requests with regard to the service are made with them, and not with the funeral director.
The scheduling of funeral services should be done in close consultation with the clergy of Trinity - Wheaton.