The funeral liturgy for the dead is really an Easter liturgy. It finds meaning in the resurrection of Jesus and in faith we believe that the dead in Christ too, shall be raised. The liturgy, 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 make human grief unchristian. The love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that the one we love has entered into the presence of our Lord Jesus, we are also able to express grief recognizing that there is a real pain in parting. We as a church do sorrow in sympathy and solidarity with those who mourn. We seek to glorify God by organizing funerals with a blend of hope, thankfulness, sympathy and we seek God’s presence and comfort for all those who are bereaved.
Please call the Rev. Jimmie Sue Deppe, the Rector, to discuss funeral arrangements and to plan the unique service you wish to arrange for your loved one’s Memorial Service. All arrangements pertaining to any and all services at the church must be arranged through the Rector.
Concerning the Service
The death of a member of the Church should be reported as soon as possible to the Rector of the congregation. If death is imminent, it is always appropriate to call the Rector and have him or her be present to pray and offer the sacrament of Holy Communion or Last Rites.
All Memorial Service/Funeral arrangements should be made in consultation with the Rector, who is responsible for conducting the service. If the family of the deceased desires the participation of another minister, they should first contact the Rector to fully discuss that matter and explore how this might be organized.
The Committal (interment or the burial) generally takes place as part of or immediately following the Memorial Service itself. If the committal is offsite then arrangements can be made with the Rector. If the weather prohibits an immediate committal arrangements can be made with the Rector for finding a future date and time for the committal.
The Rector will meet with the family and together prepare the Order of Service for the Burial using the liturgy in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. The family of the deceased is responsible for providing any and all relevant information requested, such as full name of the deceased, birth and death dates, and any other information requested by the Rector.
Date of the Memorial Service
A preliminary meeting with the Rector is required before any date is set or announced. This meeting should take place prior to any discussion of dates with the Funeral Home.
The Rector of Epiphany is willing to consider and hold services for non-Episcopal family members if the family of the deceased wishes. Those arrangements must be consistent with Funeral Policies of Epiphany and consistent with Episcopal liturgical rites.
Baptized Christians are properly buried from the church rather than a Funeral Home. The service should be held at a time when the congregation can be present, giving due consideration to day of the week, normal work hours, holidays and Holy Days.
Note: The parish is unable to hold Memorial Services the week prior to our annual Rummage Sale or the weekend thereof.
The Church will prepare a bulletin for the Memorial Service, similar in content and design to the regular Sunday worship service bulletin. All information must be presented in a timely manner.
Coffins and Urns
The coffin is to be closed before the service, and it remains closed thereafter. It is appropriate that it be covered with a pall or other suitable covering. A covering is also provided for the urn or container for cremated ashes.
Any visitation with an open casket would take place at the Funeral Home. The casket is closed prior to arrival at the church and remains closed at the church.
The church Music Director/Organist will play for the Memorial Service unless other arrangements are made with the Rector and Music Director/Organist. The Rector is the final authority in the administration of matters pertaining to music. Secular music may not be used. This includes love songs, show tunes, popular music, music composed for secular occasions, and music composed by friends or relatives of a secular nature. (Such music may of course be played at any reception following the Memorial Service.) The Music Director/Organist or the Rector will advise you as to the music suitable to a Memorial Service and the appropriate places in the service for music.
It is expected that the Music Director/Organist be paid an honorarium for his/her time to prepare, practice, and play for the Memorial Service. The fee is determined by the church. If our regular organist/pianist is unavailable we will make alternate arrangements.
The church facilities are available to the active members of Epiphany without charge. There are no fees for the use of the church. There is a fee charged for the additional time to clean and prepare the church before and after the funeral.
The sanctuary is the portion of the church served by the clergy and the acolytes, with the altar as the focal point. The Altar Guild is responsible for the care of this area. Epiphany is a beautiful setting and flower arrangements should be simple.
Spectacular displays distract from the importance of worship and are not permitted. A maximum of four floral arrangements are permitted at a Memorial Service, including one arrangement on either side of the cross at the high altar, and one in front of the pulpit or lectern (also optional). Only live floral arrangements are permitted and no cards, or messages should be attached. There are size restrictions for arrangements due to space in front of the altar and on either side of the cross at the high altar. The church office staff or Rector can advise your florist if necessary.
Floral arrangements for a Memorial Service are customarily left in the sanctuary for the Sunday service. If the service falls during Lent, when no flowers are used on Sundays, then floral arrangements are removed by the family after the Memorial Service. If the service falls during Advent when greens are used, then the family may wish to take the flowers home after the service.
The family must arrange to take home any plants and flowers that will not be used in the church on the following Sunday. The church is not responsible for transportation of the flowers.
Fellowship Hall is available for a post-Memorial Service reception. The parish has a Funeral Reception policy and this will be reviewed with the family if they desire to hold a reception at the church.
Supply Clergy in the absence of the Rector have a fee. Conducting a Memorial Service is a normal duty of the Rector and there is no fee. However, a church member or non-church member may want to make a contribution. If you wish, you may make a check payable to Church of the Epiphany and write in the memo portion of the check Rector’s discretionary fund. Services for people who are not members of Epiphany may have their service at the church for a fee.
Calling Hours held at the Church
If the family desires to hold calling hours or any other type of service, for example fraternal orders, those arrangements will be made at the time of the initial Rector/Family arrangement consult.
All questions pertaining to the Memorial Service should be directed to the Rector.