Life Celebrations Funerals Sydney arranges and conducts funerals for all faiths. Our experience allows us to provide funerals that meet particular requirements of clergy and families that reflect the life that is being celebrated. Life Celebration Funerals are not in any way “non religious” we offer personalised funerals and options to help families produce funerals that are memorable, respectful and meaningful to those attending.
Below is an outline of some funeral services for various Christian religions. Life Celebration Funerals staff will work with the family and clergy during every phase of the funeral to produce the most memorable service possible
What is Christianity?
The term "Christian" comes from the New Testament book of Acts, where Luke (the likely author) explains that followers (or "disciples") of Jesus were first called "Christians" in the city of Antioch (Acts 11:26). The term stuck, and quickly came to define all those who believed in and followed Jesus of Nazareth.
Major Protestant religions include Anglican, Uniting, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witness and many others. Each church, religion and community will likely have of their own funeral traditions, but they do have some common traits. The funeral usually takes place within the week after the death, often in a church, funeral home, Chapel or Crematorium. Some families will choose to have a wake or visitation prior to the funeral, but not always. Protestant funerals are usually very quiet, solemn affairs, though some churches with a musical or more boisterous tradition of worship do incorporate those traditions in funerals.
Many churches have a tradition to emphasize a community feeling at funerals, by inviting attendees to speak about the Deceased in combination with traditional readings from Scripture. Sometimes the Deceased’s favourite music will be played and photos will be displayed. It is common for a reception to be held after the funeral, either at the church or at the home of the family where people share food and stories.
The information listed here is a guide only, your are urged to discuss matters of the church, faith and funerals with the Parish Priest.
Once you have arranged the funeral with your personal funeral arranger it is important that you then contact the parish Priest in order to plan the funeral service. Each Priest will have particular requirements for the conduct of Christian Funeral Rites. It is important that you meet the Priest early in the funeral planning process. Life Celebration Funerals have specialist funeral arrangers for the provision of Catholic funerals, each with years of experience in the requirements of Catholic services.
There are generally three parts to a Catholic funeral:
The Night beforeThe funeral liturgy, andFinal committalVarious churches and families may choose to conduct each of these parts differently.
The Night before the Funeral
In Australia the service or Vigil the night before the funeral is optional, although many cultures, particularly Italians and Europeans adhere to the requirement. Different cultures have different customs for the night before the funeral. One custom is to visit the home of the close relatives of the person who died, to sit with them, to share their grief. Some people choose to go to the funeral home. There they will view the body and pray for a short time. Some parishes have the custom of praying the rosary at the church. The rosary may also be recited in the funeral home. This is a less formal setting and offers families the opportunity to conduct many of their own personal celebrations.
The Funeral liturgy
The funeral service is usually celebrated with a Mass of Christian Burial with prayers for the deceased. This is primarily an expression of our belief in the resurrection. As a Christian funeral, we praise God and give to him our dead relative, commending him or her to God's love.
Preparing a Mass of Christian Burial
When you discuss the funeral Mass with the Priest, you are likely to find that it enables you to express your love for the person in a unique way. You might choose to make a special booklet, although it is not absolutely necessary.
During the introductory rites, the community welcomes the body into the church. It may also be a time of welcome to the community who have gathered those who have come to pray in support of the family and to honour the dead person.
The priest may invite a close family member - one person only - to speak some words by way of welcome and remembrance to the assembled group. This is an opportunity to recall respectfully and lovingly, in a very few minutes, a little of the deceases life. Because this can be an emotional time, it is a very good idea if the words are written.
The first thing that you may think about is your choice of readings. Through them you can provide an opportunity for your family and friends to hear God speak. It is usually possible to choose a reading from each of the Old and New testaments and a Gospel reading. The priest may invite you to choose these from the Lectionary (the Book of readings used at Mass).
The Prayers of the Faithful
The Prayers of the Faithful (also called the General Intercessions) provide another opportunity to personalise the celebration of the deceased person's life and to enable family members to participate.
At the end of the Mass the Priest will offer final prayers at the coffin granting absolution to the deceased. At this time the coffin is sprinkled with Holy Water and Incensed.
These prayers are brief. They are an expression of the final taking leave, of letting go and of acknowledging our grief and our need for the comfort and support of others.