Burial at Grace Episcopal Church Martinez
“The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all meaning in the Resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too, shall be raised. The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.”
Book of Common Prayer, pg. 507
When someone dies, it is important for family and the church community to gather, pray for the soul of the one who has died, and give thanks to God for the gift of that life. We also gather to comfort others who share our feelings of loss and sorrow. At a funeral, grief and gratitude mix together and are held up in prayer to God. But it is important to recognize that funerals are to a great extent for the benefit of the living. Through faith we trust that the one who has died rests now with God. Through faith we believe that the love we feel for the one who has died will never die. It is the loss of their regular presence in our daily lives that makes us sad.
When we gather for a funeral we face death and confront our own mortality. The loss of someone close offers us an opportunity to reflect on their example and consider how we live our own lives. At a time of loss, through God’s grace and self-reflection, we pray that we might be transformed, just as we know our loved one already has been.
The following link will assist you in planning for a burial or memorial service at Grace.