When someone dies
The death of someone close is a very sad time and there is always a lot to do when you least feel able to cope. We are here to help you.
A service in their local church is for anyone, whether or not they have been regular churchgoers. If the person who has died either lived in one of our parishes or had a connection with one of them, you can contact the Priest-in-charge yourself or your Funeral Director will do this for you. There are different options for you to consider, and your Funeral Director will explain these to you.
The Funeral Service
A funeral service may be held in any one of our four churches, or at a local crematorium. We can take the service in either setting. The priest will help you to plan the service. This can be very simple, or more elaborate if you wish. For a church service, we have a list of organists who can be contacted.
The funeral service usually lasts about thirty minutes and can include music, hymns, prayers, short readings and possibly a tribute to the deceased. Please let the clergy know if you, or any of your family or friends, would like to contribute to the service. A funeral service is for everyone who knew the deceased, children as well as adults. Often children can find it very helpful to be present.
The final part of the service is the committal of the person’s earthly body to be cremated or buried.
If the person who died has chosen burial, this will take place in a churchyard or cemetery. The churchyards at Edburton, Pyecombe and Newtimber are available for those who live in the parish or have a significant connection with it. The Churchyard at Poynings has been closed for some years, but the local council cemetery next door is used. Again, its use is for those from the parish. When the service in church is followed by burial in the cemetery or graveyard, the prayer of committal takes place at the graveside as part of the funeral.
Where there is a cremation, the whole service may be conducted at the crematorium, or the service may be split with a short service of committal at the crematorium following a service in church. Some people choose to have a service of Thanksgiving in Church after a more private funeral at the crematorium. Alternatively, you may choose to have the complete service in church, including the final prayer of committal, in the surroundings that would have been familiar to the deceased and with the whole congregation present and able to participate. The Funeral Directors will then take the deceased person to the crematorium – accompanied by close family members if you wish.
There may be a later burial of ashes in the churchyard or cemetery, conducted by the priest.
More details – including details of the services and of the nationally set fees payable – are available on the Church of England website: www.churchofengland.org/weddings-baptisms-funerals/funerals.aspx
After the Funeral
Sometimes it is not the time immediately after the death or funeral that is the most lonely or difficult. Grief takes its own course, and its own time, and you should not hesitate to ask for help or support. Some prayers and poems that may be helpful at this time are available on this website – see……http://www.downlandchurches.co.uk/category/loss-bereavement/