Funerals and Requiems
'Requiem' is the latin for 'rest' and often RIP is placed on a funeral service book or gravestone meaning Rest in Peace.
The christian faith tells us that in death we rest in peace in the hope of sharing the everlasting joy of Easter because on that day Our Lord Jesus Christ conquered death for ever.
At the death of someone we have loved or known well, it is natural to be sad or dispirited but as Christians we have faith in the Easter hope and life everlasting in heaven. This life with God in heaven is not an automatic right and cannot be earnt, but God does expect us to practise our Christian faith daily and to serve Him throughout our lives. This action shows that we would like God to consider us for His wonderful gift of life with Him for ever.
The Funeral Service for a practising Christian expresses the Easter hope in words and actions.
Because the Christian has spent a life time of worship at the Church, the service takes place in Church.
The form of the Service is usually that of a Requiem Mass, the service that Jesus Christ commanded us to do in remembrance of Him in which we receive Bread and Wine, His Body and Blood in Holy Communion. This great priviledge and joy - of Holy Communion - has always been so much part of the life of the Christian that nothing else in suitable for the final service.
We receive the living Lord at the Requiem Mass who has conquered death at Easter and this fully expresses our hope for the departed Christian and for ourselves.
The Altar is dressed in black the colour of solemnity and there are many candles to express the belief that Jesus Christ, the light of the world, is drawing the departed Christian to His light eternal.
At the Farewell (just before burial or cremation) the coffin is often sprinkled with Holy Water to remind us that all Christians begin their life in Christ at Holy Baptism.
A Memorial Service may be held and a memorial gift to the church may be made to remember the departed, often at the time of the first anniversary of death. The name of the departed may be inscribed in the Book of Remembrance, and read out on Sunday at 10am during the month of the date of the death.
The Church extends a full Christian Funeral and Requiem to all baptised members and offers bereavement assistance to all who ask.
For further information, please contact us or call the Parish Office, Tel: (020) 8844 0457.