Church of England
Funeral services in the Church of England follow a general format. This may be slightly adapted to fit in with the wishes of the family or deceased; ideas should be discussed with the priest.
general order of service
Below is the outline of a standard Church of England funeral service:
The Welcome, also known as the Gathering: a few sentences of Scripture are read by the minister.
Introduction: the minister introduces the service. A hymn may then be sung.
Tribute: usually delivered by a member of the family or a friend, a tribute takes place if the sermon is to be separate.
Prayers: the minister leads a selection of prayers, ending with The Collect.
Readings: often delivered by a member of the family or a friend, there are usually two readings. One must be religious; the second may be a specially chosen piece of poetry or prose. The readings may be followed by a psalm.
The sermon: delivered by the minister. If there is not separate tribute earlier in the service, the sermon will have a personal theme.
Prayers: the minister leads a series of prayers, ending with The Lord's Prayer.
Burial: the family gather round the graveside and the priest will read the words of committal as the coffin is lowered into the ground. Handfuls of earth may then be scattered over the coffin.
Cremation: the committal may take place in a church before the hearse departs or in a crematorium chapel. The words are read as either the curtains close or as the coffin slowly moves away.