Rev Paul Chamberlain, vicar at St Faith’s Church, Lee-on-the-Solent talks about funerals and remembrance services
A FEW weeks ago, my mother-in-law Pat died, after a long battle with cancer, and I had the privilege of taking her funeral.
This was the first time I had taken the funeral of a member of my family, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to be on the day.
It’s one thing to take the funeral of someone you don’t know well (as I do often), but it’s another to take the funeral of someone very close to you. As it turned out, I was able to make the funeral very personal, and to talk about the woman I knew.
Pat’s funeral, as all funerals are, was a chance for those gathered to remember the person who has died, to thank God for their life, and to say goodbye.
A funeral marks a significant moment for the family and friends of a person who has died.
A funeral is a public recognition that this death has happened, that the person you love is no longer here.
But a funeral is only part of a much longer process of grieving.
Once a funeral is over, you don’t forget about the person you loved.
They continue to come to mind, as Pat does often for my family at present.
One way of continuing to remember the people you love, is to come to an annual service of remembrance.
Parish churches often hold such services at this time of year.
At St Faith’s, Lee-on-the-Solent, our service of remembrance this year is at 6pm on Sunday, November 1.
You are all welcome to come along.
At our service of remembrance, we give thanks for the people who we love but see no longer, we read aloud their names, and there is also a chance to light a candle in memory of someone who has died.
At this service, St Faith’s is usually packed with people, because almost all of us have loved ones who have died, and it’s good to be able remember them together.
This year I’ll be remembering and giving thanks for my mother-in-law, Pat.
May she rest in peace.
n ST FAITH’S CHURCH, Victoria Square, Lee-on-the-Solent, PO13 9NF
Sunday services: 8am: Traditional Communion, 10am: Parish Eucharist with Junior Church, 6pm: Evening Prayer
Contact: parish office (023-9255 6445)