The death of a loved one is an emotional and difficult time. The clergy at St. John’s consider it a privilege to walk with those who mourn and grieve through the days before and after the death of a family member.

At the Time of Death

Our clergy are available to provide the rituals and sacraments of the church for those who are dying. They can provide Holy Communion for those who are still able to receive it, anointing for those who are dying and prayers of commendation for those who have died.

The Litany at the Time of Death (The Book of Common Prayer, pages 462-467) is an order of prayers and blessings that can be adapted to different situations and even repeated when a situation, for the sake of family peace or individual comfort, warrants it.

Burial

The death of a member of the church should be reported as soon as possible and arrangements for the funeral made in consultation with our clergy. They may be reached by calling the church office. One of our clergy will meet with the family to plan a service that honors and celebrates the life of the individual, respects the family and friends while remaining true to the understanding of death and dying that arises out of our Christian tradition.

The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all its meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised.

The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.

The Order for Burial is in the Book of Common Prayer, page 507.

Advance Preparation

We encourage our members to prepare in advance to make their death as easy as possible for those who remain and those who have responsibility for carrying out their wishes.

Such planning includes:

  • Reviewing one’s financial position and consulting an attorney about any estate planning distribution options. Create and/or update your will.
  • Review the Burial Rite in theBook of Common Prayer (pages 468-489 for Rite I and pages 490-505 for Rite II) and meet with clergy to plan a service to celebrate your life.
  • Have a conversation with one’s family about end of life decisions and desires.

To meet with a member of the clergy, please contact our church office.