There is a natural longing in the human heart for peace, friendship, love and happiness; for a life that is purposeful and worthwhile. And there is an even deeper longing, sometimes quiet or hidden. This longing is to discover the ultimate meaning of life, to know the love of God, and to share in a destiny beyond the horizon of death. As St Augustine of Hippo, one of the great teachers of the Church, wrote: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
The Priest’s ministry is to lead the bereaved into and through the rites of the Church where the voice of the Gospel can be heard with healing power and clarity. As a people of faith, we know that the pain and loss of death must not be minimized or ignored. Our goal, as a congregation who care is to help you hold your grief and faith in balance. The bereaved need to confront and accept the loss of the deceased as well as be given hope. The individual congregation's promises to do their best to support you in any way needed. In the making of Funeral arrangements, we are reminded as Christians of the simplicity of our Lord's own burial, and that extravagant expenditures at the time of death are not a valid indication of our love and concern for the deceased, but in many cases an unnecessary burden on the bereaved. The Christian's emphasis should be Godward; the lifting of our hearts in prayer, the commending of ourselves and those we love to the care of God, and the conduct of rite and custom in simplicity with dignity. The Partnership Priest should be consulted before arrangements are made for the Funeral. For further information on funerals please access the material (in pdf) listed below.
The celebrant welcomes the congregation and may at this time, or after the readings, express thanksgiving for the gifts of the deceased person, especially the marks of a Christian life. Such remarks, without denying the legitimate grief of the mourners, should relate the life and death of the Christian to the victory of Christ.
It is important for Christians to be aware of the universal dimensions of funeral practices, partly out of sensitivity to the basic needs, conscious and unconscious, which mourners bring to these rituals, and partly so they can identify clearly the particular insights and interpretations which Christian faith brings to bear on the reality of death and the experience of bereavement.
A funeral is used to mark the end of a person's life here on earth. Family and friends come together to express grief, give thanks for the life lived and commend the person into God's keeping. These can be a small, quiet ceremony or a large occasion in a packed church.
Everyone is entitled to either a burial service (funeral) or to have their ashes buried in their local parish cemetery by their local parish priest regardless of whether they attended church or not. Because the Church is a caring community, it knows something of the hurt felt when a member of the family dies. Death may have been preceded by a long and draining illness. It may have come suddenly. The deceased may have been young or old. The hurt is there, and the Christian Community is eager to ease something of that hurt.
The Church lives in hope because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and we see a sense of victory underlying death. Both the hurt and the hope find expression in the Church's rites at the time of death and after. Our priest will assist you in the planning of the funeral that will give thanks to God who is the Lord of the dead and the living. He/She will do everything possible, in consultation with you, to help in making the funeral service a dignified expression of caring love and Christian hope.
Death is a part of natural life; however, society is notorious for being uncomfortable with death and dying as a topic on the whole. Many caregivers experience a level of burden from their duties during end-of-life care. This burden is multi-faceted and may include performing medical tasks, communicating with providers, decision-making and possibly anticipating the grief of impending loss. Similarly, many healthcare providers across the spectrum of care feel unprepared to provide end-of-life care or communicate with patients and families about the complex topics related to death and dying. They can attribute this to the fact that during formal education these topics were not discussed or only briefly talked about. It is imperative that patients and families have access to the care and support they require when entering a terminal phase of life. This phase is different for each patient, and the needs may differ for each patient and family, but it is vital for healthcare providers to provide care and support in a way that respects the patient's dignity and autonomous wishes. This activity reviews the evaluation and management of death and dying and the role of interprofessional team members in collaborating to provide well-coordinated care and enhance patient outcomes.
Loss is a part of life. It comes in many forms and everyone reacts differently. Living with loss can be hard, especially in the beginning. Any meaningful loss requires us to cope and imagine a new, changed future. Even when the change is positive, like moving away to start college, it can be hard at first to leave the familiar behind and embrace a new start. - Canadian Mental Health Association