Funerals

Funerals

Arrangements for funerals are normally made through a Funeral Director. If you would like to arrange a funeral at the church, or have of one of the clergy at Holy Rood take a funeral service at a crematorium or cemetery, please specify this to your Funeral Director, who will usually contact the clergy on your behalf.

Once the Funeral Director has spoken to the Vicar, one of the clergy will normally contact you directly to discuss arrangements.

Music
Music can be an important part of the funeral service. Usually, you will be invited to choose music for both the beginning and the end of the service. Often people play tracks chosen from CDs, reflecting the character of the person who has died, or with words that are particularly meaningful. If you're not sure about music, the crematorium or chapel staff will usually select some gentle classical music on your behalf.

If you would like, there is also the opportunity to sing one or more hymns. Before you choose hymns, you may want to think about how many people will be there at the service, and whether the hymns will be well known to all. Do remember that you do not need to have a hymn, and if you're not sure that there will be enough people to sing it well, you could always have a piece of music played on CD instead. If you do want to sing a hymn, you will need to discuss this in advance with the funeral director and the minister, so that an organist or other musicians can be booked.

Readings
There are usually two or more readings at the service, and if there is a particular reading or poem you would like, please mention this to the minister in advance. In addition to poems or other readings, there will also always be at least one reading from the Bible. Again, if you have a particular bible reading you would like, you should mention this to the minister. If you're not sure, the minister will usually be able to make a suggestion for you.

It is also possible for a friend or a member of the family to take one (or all) of these readings if you would like. You need to think carefully about whether you think the person you have chosen will be able to read on the day without breaking down - usually, it is better not to ask a very close family member. If you don't want to do this, the minister will usually be able to read what you have chosen on your behalf.

Address
The minister will say a few words about the person in the address, based upon what you have told him or her, and also say something about the bible reading or the service as a whole. If you want, you could also ask another person (such as a family friend) to say more about the person who has died, by way of a eulogy (an outline of their life, family, interests and so on). Please let the minister know if you have asked someone to do this. If you aren't sure that there is anybody who could do this, you may wish to write a few words yourself about the person's life. This could be read out on your behalf by the minister, or used by the minister to help prepare his or her own address.

Scattering or burial of ashes
After a service at the crematorium, you may wish to scatter the ashes or arrange for their burial, in the grounds of the cemetery or elsewhere. If you would like one of the clergy to be with you, or lead a short service for this, please ask.

You may wish also to consider burying ashes, and erecting a small memorial stone, in Holy Rood's own Garden of Remembrance, at the side of the church. There is a charge for this service. Please use our 'Contact Us' page to request further information.

Service of Remembrance
Once a year, on or around All Souls Day (2 November), Holy Rood Church usually organises a Service of Remembrance for all those who have died. This is usually a quiet and reflective service where the names of those to be remembered are read out, and those present invited to light a candle for those who have died.

If one of the clergy has taken a funeral for you during the course of the year, you will usually receive a special invitation to this service. But all those who have lost a loved one, whether recently or in the past, are welcome. Please look out for details of this in our calendar.

 

Book of Remembrance
Holy Rood keeps a Book of Remembrance near the front of the church. Names of all those whose funerals have been taken by the clergy during the course of the year will usually automatically be entered into the book, unless otherwise requested. Other names can also be added on request. There is no charge for this.

Next to the Book there is a votive candle stand, where those who wish can light a candle by way of a prayer whenever the church is open.