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Funerals & Memorial Services

liliesGod’s love and power extend over all creation. Every life, including our own, is precious to God. Christians have always believed that there is hope in death as in life, and that there is new life in Christ over death…..

[from the Pastoral Introduction to the CofE Funeral Service]

All are welcome to use St Mary’s Church for funeral services, whether families have a particular connection with the Church or not. If you live in East Barnet parish, St Mary’s is your Church.

There are a number of advantages to having a funeral service in Church:

  • The church building is a place where local people have, for centuries, celebrated the whole of life – and so it offers a more positive context in which to thank God for the life of a loved one.
  • Service timings can be more flexible.
  • St Mary’s can comfortably accommodate about 200 people (more than some crematoria chapels), but is small enough to maintain a ‘personal’ atmosphere.

Please note that the churchyard is closed for burials, but there is a dedicated area for the burial of cremated remains.

When arranging a funeral, the first port of call is usually the Funeral Director, who will then contact the clergy to arrange the service at the Crematorium or in Church. However, you may like to approach the clergy direct. The minister conducting the service will arrange a time to visit you at home to discuss the service and assist in making the necessary arrangements.

If you have not yet contacted a Funeral Director, there are two companies in the Parish: Churchills Funeral Directors (020 8440 1413) and Brooks Funeral Directors (020 8441 6062 /020 8886 8831).

If you are preparing an Order of Service for a funeral, you may find the outline services below are a helpful starting point.

Please remember that they offer a framework, and the minister conducting the service will be happy to make whatever variations you feel appropriate.  You can find the words of most hymns in the online Oremus Hymnal.

Crematorium Service outline

Church Service outline

Memorial Services

Twice a year we hold special Memorial Services where all those whose funerals have taken place in the previous 12 months are remembered by name and candles are lit in their memory. Invitations are automatically sent to the families concerned, but it is always possible to include additional names. Please contact the Parish Office for more information.

candle flowerPrayers at a time of Bereavement

O God, who brought us to birth,
and in whose arms we die,
in our grief and shock contain and comfort us;
embrace us with your love,
give us hope in our confusion
and grace to let go into new life;
through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Risen Lord Jesus,
draw near to us as we walk this lonely road.
Pierce our weary sorrow
and gladden our heavy hearts as you go with us,
and bring us in the end to your heavenly table. Amen.