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What Type of Service Fits Our Family?

So many of the funerals we have attended have followed the same order or ritual that we probably do not know that other types of services are possible and often desired. We almost think there is some rule that says a funeral must be done in one certain way. But the First Rule in Funerals should be — There Are No Rules!

A funeral should fit the person and the family. There is no way to make a funeral too personal. There is no way to say too much about the one whom we gather to remember and honour. Therefore the type of service should be determined by the type of person we honour. We should have total freedom to choose.

Traditional ceremonies can be a healing experience, and many families will find this is what will fit them best. If the loved one appreciated the rituals and ceremonies of a particular faith, then certainly the funeral should reflect that.

There is a growing trend toward more contemporary services. These can range from using contemporary music to services that are very unique.

For example, a funeral can be done almost entirely with music and personal words from friends. I have attended funerals where both rock music and worship music played over the sound system as the family and friends left the service.

You are not bound by location. The choice may be made to have the service in a church or at a funeral home. The consistent message that you will hear from us is that you should make decisions based upon what honours the life of your loved one and what will create a meaningful service. Your funeral director may have information about alternate locations and what arrangements are necessary to schedule a service.

Whether the choice is made to have the complete service at the graveside, or cremation after a service at a church, this time is also an opportunity for sacred moments and ceremonies. You can choose music to be played, ask your funeral director for a ceremony of final farewell, have a scripture read, say a prayer, or hand out flowers or other items of memory to each person who attends. Remember that you are hallowing the ground of the place where your loved one will continue to live on in your thoughts and memories and making that place a special one that you may choose to visit again and again.

The funeral is held to honour your loved one and comfort your family. Do it your way. Feel free to ask your funeral director about any ideas you might have. They are highly trained professionals who are there to help you and your family plan the funeral that best suits your needs.

Source:
“Building Memories: Planning a Meaningful Funeral.” Building Memories: Planning a Meaningful Funeral, by Doug Manning, In-Sight Books, 2011.

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李炳光牧師香港循道衛理聯合教會前任會長
蕭恩松牧師浸會出版社前任社長
王大為牧師基督教伯特利會遵理堂主任牧師
鍾建楷牧師中華基督教禮賢會荃灣堂主任牧師
李恩意女士資深輔導員
Gregory M. Anderson Ph.D.Senior Pastor, Union Church
Dr. Lawrence ChenPsychologist, Ph.D., FAAETS, BCETS, BCBT, MPEC
Brett HilliardSenior Pastor, Island Evangelical Community Church

Advisory Board

Rev. Li Ping KwongFormer President, The Hong Kong Methodist Church
Rev. Anselm SiaoFormer Executive Director, Chinese Baptist Press
Rev. David WongPastor In-charge, Tsun Lei Church Bethel Mission of China
Rev. Chung Kin KaiPastor In-charge, Chinese Rhenish Church, Tsuen Wan
Ms. Berenice LeeCounselor
Gregory M. Anderson Ph.D.Senior Pastor, Union Church
Dr. Lawrence ChenPsychologist, Ph.D., FAAETS, BCETS, BCBT, MPEC
Brett HilliardSenior Pastor, Island Evangelical Community Church