While many group the Episcopalian church with Anglicanism we here at FuneralSuggestions believe that that avoids telling what is a very interesting and compelling story. While much of the church derives from the Anglican tradition it’s interesting to think that for many followers it’s described as “Protestant yet Catholic”. Whats equally interesting is that the church mainly came about due to the fallout after the separation of the United Kingdom and the United States. Like many post-Lutheran faiths Episcopalians believe that eternity with God is dependant on earthly belief. This belief has a large bearing on what the faith believes happens to their dead.
What’s different about a Episcopalian funeral and lead up to the funeral?
Like with many other Christian faiths Episcopalians do not have specific or strict instructions around the deathbed. Apart from perhaps a few prayers or reflections very little is needed beyond the usual of being around family and friends. Once the person dies however the normal protocol is for the local priest to be called and informed. The funeral, its ceremonies and events are usually planned very soon after death has occurred and as with most Christian churches the ceremonies are usually within 2-4 days of death.
Where does a Episcopalian ceremony take place?
Viewings of the body are optional and usually take place place in either a funeral home, the family home and in relatively rare cases the place of worship. The religious service, which ordinarily takes place in a church is a relatively standard Christian service with hymns, prayer and readings which may on occasion be accompanied by communion (the taking and eating of holy bread). Following the religious service it’s not uncommon for a post funeral reception to take place at home or in a restaurant/other meeting place.
What normally happens at a Episcopalian funeral and what do non observers need to know?
Apart from communion (which can be taken by all baptised christians, restrictions however may apply on the part of the individual strands) their is really not a lot of elements which could cause confusion in an Episcopalian funeral. Like many other traditions the wearing of sombre colours are the norm for the main party with the close family wearing black. Flowers are generally allowed however it may be useful to make sure that this is acceptable before sending them as some families prefer charitable donations and occasionally large volumes of flowers are not well received.