We care for the needs of about six families a year, providing funeral services for their loved ones. One of the practical benefits of having a church based funeral service is that you are not rushed through the building, hotly pursued by the next funeral group, we have more space, facilities and time. Many people have a church service followed by a very short crematoriam commital, but there is no mandatory fixed pattern. We have a special group of friends who steward during services, and we are pleased to be able to arrange and help families, end their time of need, even if they have not played a previous role in church life.
A past methodist minister said to me about funeral services:
Many people come to me, with the hope that I might pray for their loved one in death, that they might be seen in a good light by God, but I focus my attention not how good or sinful a person has been in life, but through Jesus Christ, how gracious God is to that person and to us all, and that in the midst of personal death, suffering and grief, both mourners and the dead are not forsaken.
And there are times when all of us need to cling on to that thought.