A funeral marks the close of a human life on earth. It is the opportunity for friends and family to express their grief, to give thanks for the life which has now completed its journey in this world and to commend the person into God's keeping. As far back into history as we can penetrate, human beings seem to have felt the need for a ceremonial leave-taking of those who have died. The funeral service of the Church of England can be very short and quiet with only a few members of the family present or an occasion of great solemnity with music, hymns and a packed church.
The Funeral Service
Whether in the parish church or a crematorium chapel, the team at
St. John's Church will endeavour to conduct a funeral service that
honours the memory of those who have died and provides a healing
environment for those who are grieving. In addition to the Anglican
service, relatives may select the hymns, prayers, readings and music
suitable for the occasion. Whatever the pattern of service, the
words and actions all speak of a loving God and the preciousness to
him of every human being.
Many bereaved families like to inter the ashes of their loved ones
or they like to have somewhere to lay flowers in their memory. At St.
John's there is a portion of the churchyard set aside for this purpose.
The grounds are kept neat and well maintained all year, and this
area provides a place to come and find some peace in which to
remember a loved one.
After the funeral
People who have lost someone close to them are often so busy with practical details and arrangements between the death and the funeral that they do not experience the full sense of their loss until later.
Grieving is a natural and important part of coming to terms with and healing this loss and it may continue for a long time. If the clergy are asked, they will try to help. One often finds it is those who have suffered a close bereavement themselves, clergy or lay people, who can most easily offer comfort and support to those who mourn.
Comfort is also to be found in the promises of Jesus Christ, in the hope of the Resurrection and in the belief that the beloved person is safe in the hands of God.
Annual Memorial Service
Each year in November, there is a service to which everyone who is bereaved is invited. This is a quiet and reverent opportunity to remember those who have passed away and to light a candle in their memory. Many people find this time of peaceful reflection a helpful stage in coming to terms with their loss.
If you wish to speak to our Vicar about any of these matters then please contact -
Rev Richard Walker,
St. John's Vicarage, Barcroft Grove, Yeadon,
West Yorkshire, LS19 7XZ.
Telephone: +44 (0) 113 250 2272