Ministrations at the Time of Death

When a person is near death, please do not hesitate to contact the Rector, in order that the ministrations of the Church may be provided.

Funerals in the Episcopal Church

All funeral liturgies at Trinity Church follow The Book of Common Prayer, Rite I or Rite II. The pastoral and theological wisdom of these burial liturgies have provided comfort, inspiration, and assurance for generations of Christians.

The death of a member of the Church should be reported as soon as possible to, and arrangements for the funeral should be made in consultation with, the Minister of the Congregation. Baptized Christians are properly buried from the Church. The service should be at a time when the congregation has the opportunity to be present. The coffin is to be closed before the service, and it remains closed thereafter.

The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all its meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we who have been united with him in baptism shall also be raised with him. “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Romans 6:5; The Book of Common Prayer, page 507)

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 power, 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.” (The Book of Common Prayer, page 507)

This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very 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 one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn. (The Book of Common Prayer, page 507)

Concerning the Service

The Book of Common Prayer refers to the service as “The Burial of the Dead.” There is no service in The Book of Common Prayer known as a “Celebration of Life.” Indeed, the service is a celebration, but more accurately, it is a celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, and the implications of his resurrection for those who have been united with him in baptism. The burial service in The Book of Common Prayer recalls our baptism, proclaims the resurrection of Jesus Christ, assures us of his promise of new life, and points to the communion of all the saints.

Please contact the Rector to arrange a time to meet as soon as possible.

To download more information regarding Christian Burial at Trinity, please click here.