A funeral has a dual focus: on the dead person and on our own hope of eternal life. It should also take account of the mourners’ own profound sense of grief and loss.

For the dead person, a funeral is an appropriate memorial and thanksgiving, indicated in the final commendation of the soul to the peace of God and the recognition of our own hopes and longings for eternal life in Christ.

For the bereaved, a funeral is equally important as a means of saying farewell to someone we have loved and with whom we have shared much. This is as true for children as for adults; being open and honest with children and allowing them to attend a funeral if they wish is a means of supporting a child as he or she negotiates the way through the process of grieving.

All the principal Christian denominations in Great Britain have funeral services with elements in common, and there is nothing to prevent anyone from drawing on more than one tradition in compiling a service.

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