Losing a loved one is perhaps the hardest thing we have to face in life. In one sense we do this alone because our relationship to them is unique as each one of us is unique. Yet we are here to help and support in any way we can.
The Funeral itself looks back over the life of the one we have lost. It is an occasion when we can give thanks for that life and for all that has been good within it. We look back over profound events and over those little incidents which are so part of being human. Whoever is taking the funeral will want to hear more about the person we are giving thanks for and it is often helpful to write a few things down before the funeral visit. In the modern service there is provision for what is described as " a brief personal tribute" . This is not meant to be a long drawn out speech but a few minutes of what the person has meant. Because there is so much emotion at a funeral this may be very difficult to do in public at a time when you are very upset so it is important to think through whether you want this option and if so who might do it or if you would prefer the minister to read what you have written or lead this part.
Each funeral in Church also thinks about the Christian message of eternal life. It does this through a reading from the Bible (let us know if there is a particular one you would like) and also through a brief address about the Christian hope and belief in eternal life. The hymns you chose also reflect this theme and we are happy to give guidance, as we are about the music and the beginning and the end. Quite often mourners request recorded music which they supply. It is important that this is supplied in advance so that we can try it out on our sound system.
Each funeral held at St Nicholas also prays for the bereaved. We want to be with you in your sorrow and assure you of God's love and the prayers of the Church at this time. We also pray for the rest of our life here on earth, that we may life it in a Christian way, and also for our readiness to live in the light of eternity.
Towards the end of the service the focus changes to commending and commiting our loved one to God. We do this in the ancient words "in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life". The Church service normally finishes with the Commendation and then we go either to the cemetery or the crematorium for the committal. At other times the whole of the service is held at the Crematorium and sometimes all of it is held at the Cemetery.
We are fortunate in having some excellent funeral directors locally who will help you all they can and try to make life easier at this difficult time.
After the funeral we try to keep in touch and to visit, although this is not always easy. Do get in touch with us if you would particularly like a visit so that someone from the church may come and see you.
Each year we send out an invitation around All Souls tide (the end of October or beginning of November) to a special service where we remember those who have died over the past two years. At the informal service on a Sunday afternoon we light and candle for those we have loved.