Saturday, March 20, 2010

Burials at St James'

The burial of the dead is one of the chief corporal acts of mercy within the Christian tradition.

The service of burial is an Easter and Baptismal service where we remember that Christ is the first fruits of all those who shall be raised from the dead on the last day. We bury our dead in the clear and certain hope of everlasting life in the coming kingdom. Nevertheless, burial is a time of loss for those who mourn and we acknowledge the need for, and appropriateness of sorrow.

The church urges all her members to prepare responsibly for death by setting up clear and legal wills, advanced directives, and bequests to the church. The church also urges her members to plan their own funerals in advance, so that their final wishes may be observed by those they leave behind.

It is particularly appropriate for the Christian dead to be buried "out of the church," which is to say, to have a burial service conducted in the church building, with remains if possible, before they are committed to the elements.

All members are invited to plan their burial out of St James' with the pastoral leader at their earliest convenience. Any Christian may request burial for themselves or on behalf of a loved one. We also have rites for the burial of those who do not profess Christian faith or for those for whom their faith is known to God alone.

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