Funeral Liturgy for Church of England

This article is about the funeral liturgy for the Church of England.

It is also the outline for South African funerals in general, and you can adjust it according to the family’s preferences.

The funeral is planned right from the initial gathering until the last minute so that things run smoothly.

It’s designed to help people who have never attended a funeral and are unsure as to what happens.

Funeral LiturgyInformation about the General Outline and Order of a Funeral Liturgy

  • The minister receives the coffin at the door
  • Sentences from the Scriptures will be read out
  • The minister will welcome people and begin the service
  • Friends and family pay tribute to the deceased
  • The minister then reads Authorised Prayers of Penitence
  • The sermon starts with a reading from the Bible and a sermon follows
  • A prayer that might include thanksgiving for the deceased and for those who are in mourning
  • The minister commends the deceased to God
  • He or she commits the body to the final resting place
  • The service ends

Here Are Some Examples of Words and Verses that Might be used in a Funeral Liturgy

  • ‘I am the resurrection and the life, ‘ sayeth the Lord. ‘Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. ‘ John 11.25,26
  • ‘Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. So we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.’ 1 Thessalonians 4.14,17b,18

The Prayers of Penitence might be anyone of these –

  • “As children of a loving Heavenly Father, let us ask his forgiveness, for he is gentle and full of compassion. ”
  • “God of mercy, we acknowledge that we are all sinners. We turn from the wrong that we have thought and said and done, and are mindful of all that we have failed to do. For the sake of Jesus, who died for us, forgive us for all that is past, and help us to live each day in the light of Christ our Lord. ”

There are also some specific Bible verses and prayers a minister might use

  • The Lord is my shepherd I lack nothing. Ps. 23


A Funeral Liturgy Also Includes various prayers –

  • Your mighty power brings joy out of grief and life out of death. Look in mercy on [… and] all who mourn. Give their patient faith in times of darkness. Strengthen them with the knowledge of your love.
  • You are tender towards your children, and your mercy is over all your works. Heal the memories of hurt and failure. Give us the wisdom and grace to use at the time that is left to us here on earth, to turn to Christ and follow in his steps is the way that leads to everlasting life.


A Funeral Liturgy follows a broad pattern that you can adapt to suit the specific needs of the mourners. The programme is just an outline that the Church of England uses. Talk to the minister and the funeral home in advance.

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All info was correct at time of publishing