Unlike the other occasional offices, funerals occur so often unexpectedly. Even if a loved one has been ill for some time, and death comes as a relief from pain and suffering, the shock is still there. The Parish is sensitive to the many emotions that occur at this time, and the Parish Priest (though not a bereavement counsellor) is involved from the beginning. News of a death in the parish, because of its relative small size is usually quickly known and the deceased may well have had pastoral visiting, hospital or hospice spiritual care or house communion. In most cases a house visit is necessary but if the person deceased is from outside the parish or because of some other reason the bereavement family visit the Vicarage. Often the bereaved simply need to talk and the Parish Priest or the bereavement visitor needs simply to listen but at the same time to discern the needs of the bereaved at the time and during the funeral service. The service can be designed to fulfil these needs but so often hymns and readings are family favourites. Recent developments have included a Eulogy either by a family member or friend or given to the Parish Priest.
Light refreshments can follow the service although as the nearest Crematorium is over half an hour away complications can occur but the officiating minister sometimes needs to set aside a full day.
Experience has shown that sensitive pastoral care can result in bereaved people becoming regular members of the church congregation.
Total costs for the church are now £400. Extra Clergy costs may occur.
“I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write this; Happy are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth; even so, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, for they take with them the record of their deeds”. Rev.14; 13