St. Francis in the Fields is honored to help families both mourn the loss of loved ones and celebrate the eternal life they've been given in Christ. As our Book of Common Prayer says, "Even at the grave we make our song, 'Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!'"

Christian burial is a sacred liturgy in which we give thanks to God for the gift of life itself, for the life of someone we have known and loved, and for the hope of the resurrection given to us in Baptism.

During the time of serious illness, the clergy of St. Francis in the Fields should be called upon to offer prayers and comfort. At the time of death, your family should notify St. Francis in the Fields as soon as possible so that we can assist them. Arrangements for the funeral will then be made in consultation with one of our clergy. They are available to help your family through each step they need to take, including accompanying them in meeting with the funeral home.

The Anglican tradition is that every baptized Christian is most appropriately buried from the church. The coffin is not opened in the church. It is our tradition that the coffin or container holding the ashes is covered by a pall, a cloth similar to the altar hangings, supplied by St. Francis in the Fields rather than elaborate floral displays or blan­kets. Our belief is that this custom symbolizes our equality before God and offers each person equal dignity.

The Book of Common Prayer, page 507

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.