In the Episcopal Church, a service for the dead is an Easter liturgy. That is, it finds all its meaning in the Resurrection. We proclaim that because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised. A funeral or memorial service, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This joy, however, does not diminish the natural process of human grief, nor consider it unchristian. The very love we have for each other brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered into the eternal presence of God, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.
What to do in the event of a death:
A death should be reported as soon as possible to one of the priests on staff and all arrangements for a service will made in consultation with them.
The priest officiates the service using the Book of Common Prayer. The service includes scripture readings from the Bible, and sometimes an additional poem or reading that holds special meaning for the deceased and/or the family; and usually a Psalm, hymn(s), a homily, and sometimes, brief eulogies by close friends or family members. Holy Communion is also an option at funerals, but not required. If cremated remains or the body is not present, the service is considered a memorial service, but is mostly the same in content.
The service should be held at a time when most of the congregation and/or the family’s community is able to be present.
We welcome all people who are in need of holding a funeral at the Church of the Heavenly Rest, regardless of membership status, background or previous attendance