“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
From the beginning of the Church’s life, Christian burial has been an essential and integral part of the life of the parish community. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ put an end to the power of death; thus followers of Jesus believe that death is but the entrance to new and eternal life with Him. We wait in joyful expectation for the resurrection of the dead. Accordingly, Christians show proper reverence and respect for the body which awaits that resurrection.
Three characteristics mark Christian burial. First and foremost, it is an act of worship wherein we glorify God for the gift of eternal life offered in Jesus Christ our Lord. Second, it is a commitment of the one we love to the mercies of God in the faith that He will preserve in peace those who have died in the faith of Christ. Third, it is a time when members of the Body of Christ gather in the context of worship to comfort one another and to offer a mutual assurance of God’s abiding love. The liturgy is an offering in which joy and sorrow are mixed, for while we say an earthly farewell, we know that the dead live in Christ. The Holy Eucharist is most appropriate at the burial of a Christian, for in Holy Communion we “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” 1 Corinthians 11:26.
To bury the dead is one of the Church’s seven corporal works of mercy; therefore at St. Paul’s, the Burial Office or a Requiem Eucharist is available to anyone and accordingly no fees are charged.
When flowers are desired at the altars, the Altar Guild will arrange for those displays with the family of the deceased and the florists we customarily use. Honoraria may be made to the participating clergy, flower guild, and musicians but such gifts are neither required nor prescribed. When cremation is planned, St. Paul’s beautiful Chapel of the Good Shepherd is available for the cremains to be put to rest.
We encourage all our parishioners to make pre-burial plans; this not only relieves your loved ones from making decisions in the time of grief but clarifies your wishes. The Funeral & Burial Instructions can be downloaded below and will assist you in the planning of you or your loved one’s funeral and burial.
When completed, return to the Church office, and we will maintain a file of your funeral and burial plans and make it available to your family. Taking the time to make your wishes known is a tremendous gift to your family and, in the case of the funeral itself, can be especially helpful to family members who are not accustomed to the traditions of the Episcopal Church.