An Order for Burial
When, for pastoral considerations, neither of the burial rites in this Book
is deemed appropriate, the following form is used.
1. The body is received. The celebrant may meet the body and conduct
it into the church or chapel, or it may be in place before the congregation
2. Anthems from Holy Scripture or psalms may be sung or said, or a
hymn may be sung.
3. Prayer may be offered for the bereaved.
4. One or more passages of Holy Scripture are read. Psalms, hymns, or
anthems may follow the readings. If there is to be a Communion, the last
Reading is from the Gospel.
5. A homily may follow the Readings, and the Apostles’ Creed may be
6. Prayer, including the Lord’s Prayer, is offered for the deceased, for
those who mourn, and for the Christian community, remembering the
promises of God in Christ about eternal life.
7. The deceased is commended to God, and the body is committed to its
resting place. The committal may take place either where the preceding
service has been held, or at the graveside.
8. If there is a Communion, it precedes the commendation, and begins
with the Peace and Offertory of the Eucharist. Any of the authorized
eucharistic prayers may be used.
506 Order for Burial
The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all meaning in the
resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too, shall be
The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that
“neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present,
nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else
in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ
Jesus our Lord.”
This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very love
we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted
by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we
rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord,
we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.
Order for Burial 507