The Funeral Service is a time when we:
- Worship God, celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that witnesses to the faithfulness of God in life and death;
- Give thanks for a specific person’s life and mourn that person’s death;
- Dispose reverently of the body.
A Funeral is a significant time in our journey of life. It is the opportunity to give thanks for the life, love and the friendship shared and enjoyed – all of which have enriched our lives and helped make us the people we are.
The Uniting Church Funeral Service contains all these elements in a simple and appropriate Christian liturgy from the moment the coffin is received at the church to its farewell from the church. This service can be personalised in many ways: the choice of readings and readers, the particular music and hymns chosen, and in the celebration of the life through the Eulogy or Reflection. Symbols of the person’s life can also be used.
But the primary focus must always remain that this is an act of Christian worship and this is to be sensitively maintained throughout the service and in the choices that are made. For example, it would be suggested that the symbols of the person who has died should be placed on a separate table in the church, rather than on the coffin itself. The national flag, where appropriate, may be used on the coffin.
The number of Eulogies or Reflections should be kept to one or two to avoid repetition.
It may also be appropriate to hold other services following the Christian service, such as an RSL, Masonic or other tribute. Care should always be taken so as not to blur the service being conducted and each should be kept quite separate.
As many, if not most, services at Trinity are now what we call “full services” and are held entirely at the church (that is, there is no service at the Crematorium) you may wish to hold these additional tributes outside the church at the hearse, prior to it being driven away. The RSL and Masonic Services are designed as graveside services and this would be a most appropriate place for this final tribute by members of these organisations.
These matters should always be discussed with the Minister during the arranging of the service.
To discuss any of these points or to arrange a funeral at Trinity, please contact the Minister.