It is sad but a privilege for us to conduct a funeral or memorial service for you. These guidelines are to help you think about what you want before meeting with the clergy.
Sometimes the person who has died leaves instructions about what they want at the funeral. If so, you will probably want to respect their wishes. However a funeral is also meant to help you, so respecting your needs in the service is important too.
If you would prefer to leave all the planning to the clergy, they will be very happy to arrange the service content for you - but you may like to consider the following:
Who would you like to speak about the deceased? The clergy are very experienced at this but there may be somebody else you would prefer to give a tribute. One, two or three short tributes can be offered.
Is there any special music? If the funeral is taking place in church it needs to be suitable for playing on the organ. We are able to play CDs but you need to provide the music. The Parish Office (020 8772 0463) can give you the words of hymns for the service sheet. Choose hymns that you think people will be able to sing. It may help to have a choir if the mourners are likely to find it difficult to sing or are unfamiliar with church hymns.
Do you or did the deceased have a favourite bible reading or poem to be read? Is there a friend or family member you would like to ask to do the reading? We can lend you a book of readings and poems if you wish.
Do you have any favourite prayers? Would you like some music played for a time of silent reflection during the prayers? If you are printing a service sheet it is a good idea to print the words of the Lord’s Prayer
If it helps, you may like to display a photo of the deceased in church
If you wish to have flowers in church then please ask the florist to ring the Parish Office (020 8772 0463) for guidance on what is suitable and times for delivering the flowers. Ideally flowers should be in place the day before the service.
Children are most welcome at a funeral, they need to be able to say their own goodbyes. It may help to invite them to draw a picture to be put in the coffin or in the grave at a burial. They may like to place a flower on the coffin.
If you are having a cremation we are delighted to inter ashes in the memorial garden at a later date. By placing ashes in the earth they become not only part of this beautiful church but also part of the community that has been, and is, St Luke’s for many generations. The name of the departed will also be put in the church memorial book.
On the first Sunday in November there is a beautiful sung requiem at which the names of those who have died are read out. Families of those who have had funerals conducted by St Luke's clergy are specially invited to this service.
How to find out more
To discuss further please contact the Parish Office 020 8772 0463 e-mail.