The liturgy for the Burial of the Dead is an Easter liturgy. The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ put an end to the ultimate power of death over us; thus, followers of the Good Shepherd believe that in death, life is changed, not ended. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too, shall be raised into the fullness of God’s grace.
The burial liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the sure and certain hope 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 Lazarus, his friend. So, while we rejoice that the one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn and look to God as the source of our consolation and hope.
The celebration of the Holy Eucharist is most appropriate at a funeral, as it gives us a foretaste of the heavenly banquet, where all those whom we love but see no longer rejoice at the Lord’s feast of victory and peace. In this sacred meal, which reminds us of God’s mercy, we are brought close to all the saints and our departed loved ones, as our prayers and praise are joined with theirs.
Information and forms to assist you with funeral planning can be found below. If you have additional questions about planning a funeral service at St. Francis, please call the church office at 502-228-1176.