Why a funeral?
Of all human events, death concerns us the most deeply. When death approaches, whether it be our own or that of someone close to us, it immediately becomes our principal and overriding concern. When people die, their family and friends suffer loss, shock and grief. Grief is like a wound which requires time and care if it is to heal. Nevertheless, God’s love continues through our loss and in our grieving. These services aim to strengthen our assurance of this.
On the one hand, Christians know that Christ has triumphed over death, and that therefore we need no longer fear it. The last event in our lives leads on to something richer. On the other hand, when we have loved deeply and received love, especially when this love has been lasting, the grief and pain suffered is extreme. The loved person will not be encountered again in this life. The future seems uncertain and forbidding. It can be almost impossible for the sufferer to accept the loss.
As death approaches, the person and immediate family require regular, loving support. At the time of and immediately after death the need for care is critical. People need to be strengthened by prayers at the time of death and their grieving before the funeral, whether prayer is offered at home, in church, or on the marae.
In a funeral service there is comfort for the mourners, the commendation to God of the person who has died, and the committal of the body for burial or cremation. After the funeral, there is provision in the home for beginning a new life; committal of ashes after a cremation; and prayers at the anniversary or the unveiling of a memorial.
‘Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.’
At St Mary By The Sea, we offer both Funerals, Memorial and Remembrance services. This ministry is not restricted to parishioners and is open to anyone who asks for it. If you would like the church to conduct a funeral or a memorial service please feel free to contact us.
We are a busy parish with numerous requests for services. The parish staff welcome these as a vital part of our outreach to the wider community, but are also keen that our churches are not simply for hire. By having your funeral in one of our churches we take that to mean a request for a Christian service in the Anglican tradition, officiated by one of the parish clergy.
The Remembrance Service
Where you are unable to attend the funeral service for a loved one, we would be privileged to lead a memorial service for you. This is often requested if your loved one was a long way away geographically when they died, or if for some other reason you weren’t able to be present. Sometimes people wish to have a remembrance service at an anniversary. We are happy to try and meet your pastoral need, whatever that may be, please be in contact.
The Funeral Service
The Anglican Church offers a range of options within the funeral liturgy which you will have time to study carefully if you wish and, in consultation with the officiating Minister, develop into an order of service that is appropriate for you.
It is the responsibility of family to have service sheets printed if they are required. Normally this is done by the funeral director.
Music is an important part of the service. Many people choose to have a mix of contemporary and older hymns, as well as CD music. If CD music is to be used, it is easiest if the required songs can be ‘burnt’ onto one CD so there is no confusion as to which songs to play. Please write a list/order of the songs, with when they should be played, along with the length of the song beside the name. If possible, a individual burnt CD for every slot in which CD music is used is easiest. For example, one CD for each of:
- before the service
- carry in music
- reflection time
- carry out – and after
Of course the above music slots may also be piano or organ based.
A typical service looks something similar to this:
- Carry the person in (if desired)
- Welcome and introductions
- Bible reading(s)
- Reflection time
- Commendation and committal
You may choose to have the committal at the grave side or crematorium rather than in the church.
Projection / Powerpoint
We have a high quality data-projector, and laptop for show slide shows if you wish to make use of this. This needs to be arranged ahead of the day.
The flowers are arranged by parishioners but if you want to share in the decorating of the Church, please contact the Parish Office (Ph 473 8180). During the season of Lent (six weeks prior to Easter), there are no flowers provided in the Church, you will need to arrange for your own if you wish to have flowers, and will need to ensure their removal after the service. For the rest of the year you may:
- Use the flowers provided (no cost).
- Provide your own flower arrangements.
We have the ability to do an audio recording of the service if you desire. We often have external contrators come in to video a service, or live stream it. Please talk to your funeral director about options here.
We have the ability to host up to 60 people in the foyer for refreshments. Your funeral director will be able to arrange a caterer and menu for you. For larger funerals the Bays Club, often hosts post funeral gatherings.
Our parish has a large number of bookings for church activities and timing is often tight. Please check the timing of any funeral service with the clergy and church office before publicising any dates or times.
The family is offered follow-up pastoral care after the funeral and you may wish to continue to use the pastoral care our parish offers. If you would like a visit from one of our pastoral care team, please contact the church office or the clergy person who officiated at the funeral.
We ask for 3 donations
- Church – for the use of the facilities
- Officiating minister
- Sound desk (if you are using CDs)
The amount is at your discretion.
210 people with extra seats