“In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God” -adapted from Celebrate God’s Presence, a book of services for the United Church of Canada (2000)
As a Christian community we believe that a funeral or memorial service should be a service of worship centered on life, faith, and the Spirit of God.
The death of a loved one is a time to recall the miracle of life, to give thanks for the life of the deceased, and to mourn the loss. The Bible reflects many emotional responses to the reality of grief, including anger, denial, guilt, lament, resignation, thanksgiving, and trust. Empowered by Christ’s promise of resurrection, the Christian church faces the event of death, consoles the bereaved, celebrates the life of the deceased, and offers thanks to God. In so doing, Christians affirm their belief that there is hope in death as in life, and that there is renewed life, in Christ, after death.
The Service of Worship:
Funeral and memorial services are usually brief services of the Word. There may be 2 or 3 Scripture readings, hymns, a short sermon/reflection, and opportunities for additional gifts of music, personal words of remembrance or a eulogy. For services held in our church we will provide a written Order of Service, if requested.
We encourage family and friends to participate in worship through the reading of Scripture, sharing stories of the deceased’s life and faith, and offering gifts of music. The minister will be pleased to help you choose appropriate readings, songs, and hymns.
Some hymn suggestions for your consideration:
The following are hymns found in our hymnbook, Voices United, that are suitable for a funeral or memorial service. You may wish to discuss other selections or favourite hymns with the minister.
VU #149 – When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
VU #236 – Now Thank We All Our God
VU #238 – How Great Thou Art
VU #260 – God Who Gives to Life Its Goodness
VU #266 – Amazing Grace
VU #288 – Great Is Thy Faithfulness
VU #333 – Love Divine
VU #424 – May The God of Hope Go With Us
VU #436 – Abide with Me
VU #497 – Nearer, My God, to Thee
VU #586 – We Shall Go Out in Hope of Resurrection
VU #602 – Blest Be the Tie That Binds
VU #635 – All The Way My Saviour Leads Me
VU #644 – I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry
VU #651 – Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
VU #652 – Be Still My Soul
VU #657 – He Leadeth Me
VU #663 – My Faith Looks Up To Thee
VU #664 – What A Friend We Have In Jesus
VU #675 – Will Your Anchor Hold
VU #703 – In The Bulb There Is A Flower
VU #705 – For All The Saints
VU #747 – The Lord’s My Shepherd
VU #842 – Unto the Hills
To assist the church in providing this ministry to you, an honorarium is customarily paid to the staff members providing your funeral or memorial service. For details please call the church office at 416 267-8265.
Sentences from Scripture:
I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. (John 11: 25, 26)
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14, 1 – 3)
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8: 38, 39)