If you are reading this page because you have recently lost a loved one, we are so very sorry for your loss. Please accept our sympathies at this difficult time. It is our sincere hope we may be of some assistance and comfort at this time.
Jesus says in the Gospel of John:
'Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'
Our hope for you at this time is that through Jesus you will indeed be comforted and your hearts will not be troubled.
If you haven’t already done so, you need to make contact with a Funeral Director.
At Wyong Anglican, we have a great deal of experience in conducting and planning funerals and memorial services.
If you wish to contact us about organising a funeral, the Minister can be contacted through the church office: (02) 4353 6399 or email: [email protected]. You may also reach him on his mobile: 0415 657 038.
What follows are some guidelines which may assist you as you think about making funeral arrangements.
Guidelines for Preparing Funeral Services
Every funeral service or memorial service is an important occasion. The service provides the opportunity for people to express their grief, to extend sympathy to the bereaved, to honour the person who has died and to proclaim the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, the various elements of the gathering need to be given careful thought and detailed planning. At the same time there are guidelines as to what we are able to provide and achieve within the confines of the church service. These guidelines arise out many years of experience in conducting funerals and memorial services. All aspects of a funeral or memorial service must be approved by the Senior Minister With this in mind, please note the following:
Order of Service
Using the framework of the Funeral Service in the Prayer Book (An Australian Prayer Book 1978, A Prayer Book for Australia 1995 or Common Prayer 2012), there is a great deal of flexibility and scope for shaping the occasion around the desires of the family and friends involved.
Generally, only Wyong Anglican staff or other licensed Anglican clergy may conduct funerals or memorials in the Church. For this reason, please do not ask other clergy or ministers to participate until having discussed it with the Senior Minister, who alone has the authority to issue the invitation.
Many people like to sing hymns at a funeral service. The best advice regarding hymns is, if you are used to singing hymns then have hymns. If you are not used to singing hymns, then don’t. If you wish to sing hymns, an organist will be required. The Minister can organise one for you. The cost for an organist is $200.
Here are some well-loved hymns you may wish to consider:
- The Lord's My Shepherd
- Abide with Me
- For All the Saints
- Nearer My God to Thee
- Rock of Ages
- How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds
- My Hope is Built
- What a friend we have in Jesus
- Amazing Grace
Other music can be played during the funeral service. However it must fit the Christian ethos of the service and be approved by the Senior Minister.
We suggest one or two readings. Here are some appropriate passages you may wish to consider:
- Psalm 23
- Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
- John 14:1-7
- Romans 8:31-38
- I Corinthians 15:50-58
A number of prayers are printed in the order of service. These are usually read by the Minister conducting the service, but they may be read by friends or family.
Those who have been asked to pray or read the Bible are asked to focus on their task and resist any temptation to add their personal reflections to the prepared tribute(s).
In recent times eulogies have become common at funerals. There is a place for carefully written and well considered statements recording the contribution that the deceased has made in his/her lifetime. It is not an occasion for expressions of personal grief nor inappropriate evaluations of the character of the deceased.
In recent years, the number of people wanting to speak has grown. We are not able to give everyone involved the opportunity to speak at length. Through past experience, we have found that we need to limit the tributes in the funeral service. But there may be another occasion later in the day when many more people may be able to share with one another in public tributes.
Our guideline for the funeral service is that the time for eulogies/tributes be limited to 10 minutes (approximately 1000 words). This may involve one or two people.
Photographic Tributes (Powerpoint Presentations)
Photographic tributes are also permissible. But these must be organised by members of the family or a friend. Wyong Anglican staff are not able to organise this for you. The church can provide a data projector and laptop at no extra cost to be used on the day. Photographic tributes must be limited to 4-5 minutes.
One of the central features of the funeral service is the proclamation of the Word of God. This is the time to declare the mind of God: in the midst of our sadness, to bring comfort and support; in the midst of loss and uncertainty, to declare the forgiveness of sins and the hope of resurrection life; and in the face of despair and doubt, to bring the challenge of the gospel.
It is important we do not fill the service with so many other elements that attention is taken away from the preaching. In keeping with the usual practice in all our church gatherings, the invitation to preach should come from the Senior Minister.
Order of Service / Printed Material
The order of service is planned in consultation with the minister involved with the service and is approved by him alone. For this reason, please do not begin any printing until the minister has given approval.