At St. John’s Church, we welcome you to celebrate the life of a loved one in our church. We promise to do all in our power not only to make this funeral an appropriate event, but also to support you in your life in Christ and in the difficult transition you face. The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy, which finds all its meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised. This joy does not make human grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorry when we are parted by death, and Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend.
Who can be buried from St. John’s?
Must we be active members or regular givers?
No. We welcome everyone. Period.
What must we do?
Please contact us as soon as you think there may be a need. Clergy can help, for instance, in the transition to hospice care, offering prayer and spiritual care to complement the work of trained medical professions. Clergy are also better able to preach at a funeral when it is the commendation of someone they have known.
What about the obituary notice?
This is your responsibility. If you are working with a funeral home, they may be able to assist. Please consider St. John’s for memorial gifts in memory of the dearly departed.
What about burial?
Space for the interment of ashes is available in our Memorial Garden if you wish. The cost for this is $1,000, and this includes engraving the name on the stone wall surrounding the garden as well as perpetual care. A person need not be a member of the parish to be buried here.
Who plans the service?
In cases where no explicit plans have been made in advance, the immediate family of the deceased plan the liturgy in conjunction with the clergy. For those who wish to make known their wishes for their own eventual funeral, a guide is available from the parish office. Clergy are also ready to meet you with in person, if that is helpful.
What about a reception?
We have space for receptions following funerals, subject to availability and occupancy restrictions. There is no charge for active pledging members and their immediate family, although we do ask for reimbursement for janitorial services. All others are asked to make an appropriate contribution to St. John’s Memorial Trust for use of the parish hall. The clergy can discuss this with you in detail. Cost must never be a barrier to providing a dignified funeral.
When are funerals offered?
These are individually scheduled in consultation with the family. We strongly recommend that a funeral be held within a week of a death, as this ritual marks the formal beginning of a period of mourning that may last a year or more. Funerals should be held when it is convenient for people to attend—and this is especially true in the case of the death of active, well-known parishioners.
What will the service be like?
We use the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer, which provides a number of options. Here are some decisions that are up to you: whether the body will be present or not, whether we will celebrate the Holy Communion or not, what hymns and readings we will use.
What about music?
Our music director ordinarily plays for all services held in the church, and our clergy will officiate. The clergy and musician will help you in selecting music and Scripture readings.
How much does a funeral cost?
There is no charge for this or any other sacramental rite. As a sign of God’s love freely bestowed upon all people, the rite for the burial of the dead comes without a price tag. Certain costs must be paid, including reasonable amount for building use and the services of staff, musicians, and clergy. (The building-use fee is waived for those currently supporting St. John’s financially, including their immediate family.) Many people, however, feel called to make a monetary donation in thanksgiving for a loved one. A donation to the discretionary fund of the parish is both welcome and appreciated—and fully tax-deductible. Make checks payable to “St. John’s Church,” enter “Discretionary Fund” in the memorandum line, and give your donation directly to the priest. We remind you that the biblical standard for giving to the church is a tithe—ten per cent of all you have. If you are not currently giving at this level, we encourage you to consider prayerfully whether you can increase your giving.
What about flowers?
We welcome flowers from your florist or a funeral home. Whenever possible, funeral flowers are used as memorials for the life of the deceased and left for the following Sunday services.
What about a funeral director?
You may use the undertaker of your choice. In particular, these two local funeral homes are aware of our policies and procedures:
How do I schedule a funeral?
When you have a need, the process is quite simple. Please contact our Parish Administrator to begin your inquiry. Before your first meeting with the clergy, it is helpful if you can complete the Funeral Preferences booklet.