Funerals aim to bring comfort and closure to people around the world, regardless of location, but there are important ways in which various religions define their ceremonies. Funerals can differ significantly even between the branches of major religions like Christianity, so respecting the beliefs of the deceased in detail is very important.
With millions of people in the UK following the Church of England, Anglican funeral services are incredibly common. We can help to arrange an Anglican funeral that follows the wishes of the deceased and gives their friends and loved ones time and space to grieve, share their thoughts, and give thanks.
What is an Anglican funeral?
Anglicanism started here in England and has grown to become one of the largest branches of Christianity in the world.
An Anglican funeral, while often following a general order of service including prayers and readings from the Bible, leaves a lot of room for the life and identity of the deceased to shape the funeral service itself.
The service could take place in a parish church or at a crematorium. It might be a small, quiet affair for grief and individual reflection, or it might be a loud, bright celebration of the deceased’s life with hymns and light-hearted readings.
What happens at an Anglican funeral?
The liturgy for an Anglican church funeral service dictates that certain actions and practices of group worship will take place. These might include:
Readings and sermons
Passages are read from the Bible which reflect the mood and thoughts of those in attendance at the funeral. Of course, it might be that the deceased had a particularly favoured passage or set of passages from the Bible that they kept in their mind or strove to live their life by. In which case, the family might ask that these are the passages read out, or that the reading is followed by a favourite hymn of theirs.
The minister will typically give a sermon after the readings and hymns, which can be a welcome stretch of time to slow down, hear encouraging words, and receive guidance in your own faith through a difficult time.
Prayer is such an important part of faith; it’s often the only way mourners can impart their best wishes for the soul of the deceased and to give thanks for the life they had.
As such, an Anglican funeral leaves plenty of room for prayers, for both the benefit of the deceased and those who have gathered to mourn.
A highly recognisable and significant part of Christian worship, mourners may be invited up to partake in communion. This will involve taking a sip of wine and a morsel of bread or communion wafer, signifying the blood and body of Christ, respectively.
These are the final prayers and farewells given to the deceased before they are entrusted to God in an official manner led by the minister. This moment will often come with a period of silence to reflect, and mourners may wish to gather around the coffin.
This encompasses the final minutes of the funeral service. It may involve lowering the coffin into the grave for burial, or moving the coffin out of sight in the case of cremation. For many, this can be incredibly difficult.
Though the commendation is the official farewell to the deceased as they move into the afterlife, the committal represents the last time that the mourners will see the deceased in any physical form. It can often feel like the true final goodbye, and it is often the hardest part.
How long is an Anglican funeral service?
With the room for an Anglican funeral to include prayers, readings, and music at the request of the deceased or their family, there is no definite length of time needed for the entirety of the service.
The funeral may be as brief as around 20 minutes or take over an hour. There is no right or wrong length of time for a funeral; if you’re faced with arranging one, we can give you our best advice for the length of time you might want to take and help you plan accordingly.
You might want to adopt the attitude of the deceased when planning the length of the funeral. If your loved one always said they didn’t want anybody to ‘make a fuss’ about them, then you may aim to err on the side of a shorter service.
Conversely, if their beliefs as an Anglican were dear and close to them, then you won’t go amiss by ensuring the service takes its time to address the correct procedure.
How much does an Anglican church funeral cost?
The costs associated with a funeral can vary depending on various factors, and it can be painful to be having to think so much about money for such a solemn and difficult occasion.
Fortunately, funeral directors are required to list their prices and give you a clear picture of what your funeral service might cost. We do the very same for our prices, so that you can organise finances without worrying about nasty surprises or hidden costs.
Arranging an Anglican funeral
At Middleton’s Funeral Services, we want to help take care of your family. We can help you prepare an Anglican funeral service program and ensure that your loved one’s day is everything it needs to be; both for them and for you.
If you need to talk to us about planning an Anglican funeral, please contact us and we can guide you through the process at a pace that suits you.
Your funeral your way
Middleton’s Funeral Services are a rich and diverse community and believe in honouring the individual regardless of religion or belief.
If you wish to organise a religious ceremony for your loved one you can contact us using the form below or visiting the contact us page.