When a loved-one dies, Funerals at Saint Stephen’s
“We are sorry for your loss…”
Losing a loved one is hard and it’s something none of us ever get used to!
When someone dies, it’s only natural to turn to the church for guidance and support. We want to be there for you as you say goodbye to your loved one who is entering into a different way of being alive.
St. Stephen’s Church offers you our help in this difficult time.
Do I have to be a member of Saint Stephen’s?:
You or your loved one DO NOT have to be church members for St. Stephen’s to host your funeral or for our priest to officiate. We believe in the ancient Christian principle that everyone deserves a funeral.
You will want to schedule time, date and location as soon as possible so that your notifications can be completed. These arrangements are normally finalized in a conversation with you, your Funeral Director, and Fr. Hentzi Elek, our Rector. Please notify St. Stephen’s as soon as possible that your loved one has died. Call Heather Mitchell at 610-461-0490 to begin the process.
Planning the Funeral:
Some families want to be part of picking scripture readings, music and other details of the service. Others prefer that the priest do that for them. The conversation with our Rector, Fr. Hentzi will cover seven questions:
Funeral Mass or Burial Office?
For people of faith, it is most appropriate to join with our loved one and gather around the heavenly banquet in Holy Communion; for others, it may be more appropriate to find hope by focusing on the Scriptures read and proclaimed.
Do you want to help pick lessons? We have a Funeral Planner booklet to help you pick from the suggested Scripture passages.
Do you want to involve instrumentalists and singer/soloists?
Let us know if you are planning any family remembrances. One or two (or at most three) can add to the service if planned in advance and kept short. More than that work better as part of the family gathering after the funeral.
Involving your Family and Friends:
There are several ways to involve family and friends in the service: reading the Scripture lessons, leading the Prayers of the People. We encourage you to help family members contribute to the day by inviting them to participate.
Tell us a little about your loved one and your family.
Fr. Hentzi will have a conversation with one or more members of the family to get you and your loved one.
Your loved one’s remains:
Your funeral director will give you the choice of burial or cremation. If you choose cremation, you can choose having the body present at the service then being cremated, being cremated with the ashes present at the service, or having a memorial service with body or ashes already in their resting place. We recommend cremation with the ashes present at the service, but the other options are fine. Some families choose to retain ashes after the funeral for subsequent disposition.
Immediately After the Funeral:
We encourage families to gather after the funeral to “to remember, to tell stories, to laugh, to cry, and to begin the process of knitting together the fabric of your family around the hole torn by the passing of your loved one.”
A Week or two later…
On a Sunday soon after the funeral one of the Parish Masses will be offered in thanksgiving for your loved one’s life and for the comfort of all who mourn his or her passing. Your family and friends are invited to be present.