How do I decide what sort of funeral to hold for my loved one?
A lot depends upon their age and personal tastes. If you know a lot about these, I can help you incorporate them into a service which reflects their personality very well. If you know less about the person whose funeral you are arranging, it’s probably best to opt for something fairly traditional, depending on their age and background.
What do you mean by a ‘traditional funeral’?
I mean a funeral broadly following the style of services used by the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, and other major denominations. These are all fairly similar in format, and usually include prayers, Bible readings, hymns, a brief sermon, a tribute, and a committal of the departed to God’s keeping. A traditional service may also incorporate other elements, such as the reading of poetry, or a musical performance. It may be in traditional language, in which God is addressed as Thee, or in more modern, formal English.
What do you mean by a ‘semi-religious funeral’?
I mean a funeral with less religious content than a traditional funeral. Such services often include a hymn and the Lord’s Prayer, but little other religious material. It may be highly customised in form, or it might follow the same basic format as a traditional funeral, but with most of the Christian content replaced with alternative materials, such as poems, readings from secular literature, etc.
Do you do completely non-religious funerals?
Only if you really want or need me, specifically, to take it. I’m a Christian minister, and while I’m able to be highly flexible about the content of funerals as pastoral need dictates, I would tend to recommend you to a friend who is an excellent humanist celebrant instead.
Will you take a traditional Prayer Book funeral?
Yes, absolutely! I’m a great supporter of the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible, and am highly familiar with the Classical Anglican tradition.
Do you do woodland burials?
Yes. I’m happy to take services in any suitable venue.
Are you a recognised Christian minister?
Yes. I’m in Anglican ‘holy orders’, and currently serve in the Free Church of England, whose ordinations are recognised by the Church of England.
How about Roman Catholic funerals?
I can lead a service for anyone, but it may be useful to know that Roman Catholics usually receive a Requiem Mass in a Roman Catholic parish church, and this can only be taken by a Roman Catholic priest. However, not everyone from a Roman Catholic background wants a traditional Roman Catholic funeral; some are happy with a cemetery or crematorium funeral, and I am able to lead these, incorporating Roman Catholic material where desired.
What about your fees?
Ministers are usually paid by the funeral director from the overall sum which you have paid for the funeral. I am usually happy to accept the standard fee which the funeral director allots to the minister, which tends to be around £200. However, for funerals outside the London area, I may have to charge more to accommodate the additional travel expenses.
What does your fee include?
It includes a visit to you at home, or wherever you’d like to meet me to discuss the service, telephone, skype, or email communication, the arrangement of the service, the creation of text for an order of service, and my work in leading the actual service.
Will you travel outside London?
Yes, subject to practicalities, and with additional expenses.
Can we just discuss the service with you on the phone or via email?
Yes, of course. I’m happy to deal with things at a distance, if you prefer.
Can you make us an order of service?
I always send the text of the service via email for your approval, but cannot design or print the order of service for you. That’s for your chosen printer to do, and your funeral director will be able to recommend a local firm who can help you design an order of service using the file which I send you.