Mildenhall Anglican Church

Funerals

For Funeral enquiries please feel free to contact Rev Sue Leathley on the number given on the contact page

A funeral marks the close of a human life on earth. It is the opportunity for friends and family to express their grief, to give thanks for the life which has now completed its journey in this world and to commend the person into God's keeping.

First of all if you need to plan a funeral, you should contact a funeral director and when we hear from them we will contact you so that we can meet to talk with you about the service and plan it together. We will also need to get to know something of the person who has died, if that person is not already known to us. This helps to make the service – particularly the address – more personal and meaningful.

All funerals are opportunities for family and friends of the deceased to get together to pay last respects and celebrate the life of their departed loved one. However, a Christian Funeral has a clear focus, in that, we celebrate a life that is given to us from God. We thank God for the life of your loved one and commend them to God’s safe keeping. We pray for you as a family, that you may be comforted in your time of grief.

A typical Christian Funeral will consist of hymns, readings from the Bible, prayers and words of encouragement. We will talk with you and offer guidance. You may like to keep in mind the following as you begin to think about the service:

Hymns

It is helpful to have hymns which are well known and can be sung easily by the congregation.  We can lend you hymn books, so that you can look at the words of hymns to help you choose appropriately. The following are hymns which are often sung at funerals, but you may have other choices which have been favourites or important to your family:

  • Abide with Me
  • O Lord my God, (How great thou art)
  • Amazing Grace
  • Blessed Assurance
  • On a hill far away (The old rugged cross)
  • Dear Lord and Father of mankind
  • Great is thy faithfulness
  • Praise my Soul
  • Guide me O thou great Jehovah
  • The day thou gavest
  • Lord of all hopefulness
  • The king of love
  • Love divine, all loves excelling
  • The Lord’s my shepherd
  • Make me a channel of your peace
  • Thine be the glory


Other music

As well as playing music for the hymns, the organist will also play appropriate music as mourners gather in the church and as we leave. If you have a particular piece of music you would like the organist to play, this can usually be arranged.  Sometimes the family will request other music to be played on a CD. We urge you to think about this carefully, as a particularly personal piece of music or song can actually cause real distress – particularly in this emotional setting – and may distract attention from the rest of
the service.

We may agree to a piece of music being played, as a time to remember and reflect, within the service. However, any C.D. would need to be given to us in advance, so that it can be tested before the service on the church C.D. player, as not all C.D.s are compatible. The Parochial Councils of St.Mary’s and St.Peter’s have passed policies requiring that any music played needs to be appropriate to the occasion and in keeping with the Christian faith. It is sometimes more suitable to play the song or music so closely associated with the deceased person at the crematorium – if the committal is to take place there – or at the reception or family time following the funeral service.

Tributes

A tribute is part of the celebration of a loved one’s life. Usually we will give an address from all that you tell us about the person’s life and character. Sometimes a family member wishes to give their personal memories. However, this is not an easy thing to do because of the emotional nature of the occasion, so please consider this carefully. We can take the pressure from you by reading something on your behalf.

If a family member is reading or saying anything, we need to see this in advance, as this helps us in planning and managing the time we have for the service. Any poems used need to reflect that this is a Christian service.

Bible Reading

We can choose a reading if you wish, or you may like to select a Bible reading; the following
are particularly suitable:

  • Psalm 23, The Lord’s my Shepherd
  • Psalm 27 The Lord is my Light and my salvation
  • Psalm 121 My help comes from the Lord
  • John 14:1-6 In my Father’s house are many rooms
  • Romans 8:18-25 The future glory
  • Romans 8:31-39 Nothing can separate us from the love of God
  • 1 Corinthians 15:20-58 The resurrection of the dead
  • Revelation 21:1-7 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes


After the service

Grief is an ongoing journey of adjustment. It can also be a time when spiritual questions arise.  Should you wish to talk about any concerns please contact us. Visits can be arranged as well by someone from our visiting team, people who have a listening ear and who are experienced in the issues involved in bereavement.

An invitation will also be sent to you for our annual Thanksgiving and Memorial service, as a time to remember and to be with others.