Christian Burial at
“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.”
– An Order for Burial, The Book of Common Prayer
Burial services at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church conform with the practices of the Episcopal Church as contained in The Book of Common Prayer. Services are set as the St. Paul’s schedule allows and are held either in the nave (the main worship space), which can seat up to 450, people or in the adjoining, private Our Lady Chapel or Military Chapel, which can seat 40 people comfortably. Fees are assessed based upon the use of St. Paul’s resources, including but not limited to space rental, clergy and music. Officiating clergy and family members of the deceased jointly plan the service. A Eucharist (Holy Communion) can take place during the service, but that is left to the discretion of loved ones and clergy planning the burial service.
At St. Paul’s, we pray for the dead because we still hold them in our love even after their death. An Episcopal funeral, therefore, is a service of worship that honors the memory of the person who died within the context of the love of God revealed in Christ. The burial service therefore centers on deep gratitude to God for the gift of a life and for the promise of eternal life in the resurrection.
Among the rituals for the Burial of the Dead in the Book of Common Prayer is that the physical body or the cremated remains of the dead be present. A coffin (if present) is to be closed before the service and covered with a pall or other suitable cover. Rarely at St. Paul’s do we have a wake here the evening before the funeral. Our burial service for the dead is one of respect, gratitude and sacredness of life in the midst of death.
For more information, or to make an appointment with a priest, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (305) 296-5142.