Funerals in the Church

The death of a loved-one is always traumatic. It is completely normal to have a range of emotions in the immediate aftermath of the death of someone close to us. At St Michael the Archangel, we want to help care for those who have suffered a loss. Part of that care is assisting with the planning of funerals and memorial services. Our job at St. Michael the Archangel is to help the bereaved at this time of loss, and planning a suitable service is an important part of helping cope with bereavement.

The funeral service is a significant time in our life journey. It is the opportunity to celebrate a life now ended, commend that life and ourselves to God, and to give thanks for the life, love and the friendship shared and enjoyed - all of which have enriched our lives and helped make us the people we are.

The Anglican Funeral Service contains all these elements in a simple and touching Christian liturgy from the moment the coffin is received at the church to the farewell from the church. This service can be personalised in many ways: the choice of readings and readers, the particular music and hymns chosen, and in the celebration of the life through the Eulogy or Reflection. Symbols of the person’s life can also be used, but the primary focus must always be that this is a Christian act of worship and this is to be pastorally maintained throughout the service and in the choices. For example, it would be suggested that these symbols be placed on a separate table in the church, rather than on the coffin itself.

A white pall is draped over the casket. The national flag, where appropriate, may also be used on the coffin.

It can be helpful to have suitable people give brief reflections or eulogies at services. It is normally better for close family not to perform this task due to the many emotions present during such a service. The number of Eulogies or Reflections should be kept to one or two to avoid duplication and repetition.

You may feel that a Christian service such as this is not really what you want. We can help you plan an alternative. All that really matters is that your need for closure and the celebration of your loved one's life feel right to you.

It is often better to do funeral planning well in advance of someone’s death, if possible. We all would like funeral services to reflect the wishes and desires of the person who has died, and to be fitting tributes to someone whom we have known and loved. To that end, an awareness of favourite bible passages, music, hymns and prayers can help create a unique and dignified service. St. Michael the Archangel has a Funeral Information Sheet to enable you to prepare for your own funeral and to lodge this form with your church and with family, so that they know your wishes. We are happy to send this form to you.

To discuss any of these points or to arrange a funeral at St. Michael the Archangel, please contact the priest-in-charge directly at 416-299-9592 or

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