We believe that death has been conquered by God in Jesus Christ through our Lord’s resurrection. It is our conviction that we share in the blessings and benefits of his victory over the grave. We also affirm that at death the believer goes to the presence of God, with whom we shall abide eternally. These convictions are not grounded in our worth but in the grace of God. Therefore, as Christians we commend to God’s care those who believe in Him will be raised to life eternal. The Christian funeral should witness to this faith.
The Christian funeral is an act of worship. The Book of Orders says. “The church offers a ministry of love and hope to all who grieve.” (W4.10001) The proclaiming of the Word of God should be central. The Pastor(s) should apply the message of the Word for comfort, hope and healing.
In all we do, we should lift up Jesus Christ and bear witness to his resurrection.
Practical considerations that contribute to worship:
- The sanctuary is the most appropriate place for the funeral of a church member.
- The casket should not to be opened for viewing within the sanctuary as this does not contribute to the worship of God and may distract from the primary purpose for which we gather.
- The church owns a pall. We encourage families to cover the casket with this cloth in the sanctuary and at graveside service. (If the pall is soiled resulting from use at a graveside service, the family of the deceased is responsible for having the pall cleaned.)
- The use of recorded music during the funeral service is not permitted in the sanctuary.