Reminder from Fr. Steve

Many of us, as we get older, have managed to form some sort of funeral plan. We have our plot purchased; we’ve arranged things with a funeral home; we’ve paid fees and decided what we want on our tombstones. Some of us have even written our own obituaries! But how many of us have sat down with the clergy or church staff and worked with them to plan the actual church service?

At the time of a loved one’s death, the family often finds itself in uncharted territory. Often times, this can be the first time a child or grandchild has had to make the kinds of decisions they are having to make. And, frankly, often times, these family members are not familiar with an Episcopal funeral service.

It seems like it shouldn’t be a big deal for anyone, but it is, especially for those who aren’t used to Episcopal funerals. Right when they are having to make all sorts of arrangements and deal with tremendous loss, they are suddenly being asked all sorts of questions that may seem more annoying than anything else:

Do you know what an Episcopal funeral entails? What is allowed and, especially, what is NOT allowed? Is it held in the church or the funeral home? Do you want to use Rite I or Rite II? Eucharist or not? Ashes or casket? Which Old Testament, New Testament, and Gospel readings? Which psalms? Hymns? Pall bearers? Readers? Will the family want to speak? Who? Will there be a graveside service? Will there be food after the funeral?

If each of us were to sit down with clergy while we are alive, it would take less than 30 minutes on average to answer these questions. And that plan can be kept on file. This is one thing you can do for the family that will be a tremendous help.

Contact Fran at (607) 334-8801, and she will send you the form and the funeral guide.

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