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The Burial of the Dead

Our assurance as Christians is that nothing, not even death, shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen. The Book of Common Prayer, page 862

This section includes the teaching of the Episcopal Church about the Burial of the Dead and guidelines for funerals at Trinity Episcopal Church. We hope that it will provide hope and comfort to the bereaved and guidance to families as they make arrangements for the burial of a loved one from the Church. Please contact the Rector for further information. Burial in the Episcopal Church The Book of Common Prayer provides the following directions for the Burial of the Dead in the Episcopal Church.

  • The death of a member of the Church should be reported as soon as possible to, and arrangements for the funeral should be made with the Minister of the congregation.
  • Baptized Christians are properly buried from the Church.
  • The service should be held at a time when the congregation has opportunity to be present.
  • The coffin, when present, 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.
  • All services must conform to The Book of Common Prayer.
  • Christian parents should make prudent provision for the well-being of their families and all persons should make wills, while they are in good health, arranging for the disposal of their temporal goods, not neglecting, if they are able, to leave bequests for religious and charitable purposes.

The liturgy for the burial is an Easter liturgy. It finds all its meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised. The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

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

The Burial Office typically includes Holy Communion and hymnody.

Funerals at Trinity Episcopal Church

The death of a loved one is an occasion of deep sorrow. It is also a time for the Church to offer comfort to the bereaved, and to assist family members in planning a service that will express thanksgiving for the departed, and witness to the assurance of eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. The following practices will guide the arrangements for funerals at Trinity Episcopal Church

When a person is near death, the Rector or one of the associate clergy should be notified, in order that the ministrations of the Church may be provided. See the service Ministration at the Time of Death, page 462, in The Book of Common Prayer.

All funerals at Trinity Episcopal Church are scheduled through the office of the Rector. Associate clergy share with the Rector in the ministration at the time of death and in the conduct of burial services. With the permission of the Rector, clergy of another Episcopal parish or another Christian church may assist at a funeral at Trinity.

All funerals at Trinity use The Book of Common Prayer. Scripture readings, prayers, hymns, and other music are selected in consultation with the clergy and/or the Minister of Music. A brief homily is always preached at a funeral. A brief address by a family member or friend may be included, with the permission of the Celebrant.

The Columbarium in the courtyard at Trinity is available for the inurnment of the cremated remains of members of the parish and their relatives. Contact the parish office for further information. It is fitting and proper for a Christian to plan her or his funeral in advance. The clergy of the parish are available to offer advice and direction in these matters, and the parish office maintains files of such plans and preferences.

Trinity Church has several memorial funds that may offer a fitting way to continue the memory of the departed person.