Concerning the Service
The death of a member of the Church should be reported as soon as
possible to, and arrangements for the funeral should be made in
consultation with, the Minister of the Congregation.
Baptized Christians are properly buried from the church. The service
should be held at a time when the congregation has opportunity to be
The coffin is to be closed before the service, and it remains closed thereafter.
It is appropriate that it be covered with a pall or other suitable covering.
If necessary, or if desired, all or part of the service of Committal may be
said in the church. If preferred, the Committal service may take place
before the service in the church. It may also be used prior to cremation.
A priest normally presides at the service. It is appropriate that the bishop,
when present, preside at the Eucharist and pronounce the Commendation.
It is desirable that the Lesson from the Old Testament, and the Epistle, be
read by lay persons.
When the services of a priest cannot be obtained, a deacon or lay reader
may preside at the service.
At the burial of a child, the passages from Lamentations, 1 John, and
John 6, together with Psalm 23, are recommended.
It is customary that the celebrant meet the body and go before it into the
church or towards the grave.
The anthems at the beginning of the service are sung or said as the body is
borne into the church, or during the entrance of the ministers, or by the
celebrant standing in the accustomed place.
468 Burial I