Human beings have sensed the mystery of death, and the pain of grief, since time immemorial. Every society has developed rites to mark the passage from life through death, and to commemorate the dead. Today we do this through the funeral service, and the rites by which we lay a person’s body to rest.
The wounds of grief need time and care to heal. The funeral may help this process, by enabling us to acknowledge our loss, give thanks for the life of the person who has died, make our last farewell, and begin to take up life once more.
God’s good news proclaims Jesus Christ to be our living Lord, who laid down his life for us. He knew death, yet triumphed over it, drawing its sting, and was raised by God to new life. Christians affirm the presence of the Spirit of Christ, who helps us in our weakness. Yet we, with all mortals, still face death. Those who put their trust in Christ share the sufferings of their Lord, even in the midst of God’s love and care.
A Christian funeral proclaims the Christian hope in the face of death— Jesus Christ, whose resurrection is the promise of our own.