First of all, we wish to express to you our sympathy on the bereavement you have suffered. Any bereavement is hard to bear, whether it was expected or not, and it raises to the surface many things that for the rest of life remain hidden. We want to pray that you will know God's comfort and help at this time, and the 'peace that passes understanding' as the Bible puts it.
You have two choices. You can either have the funeral at Selsdon Baptist Church as well as using the cemetery or crematorium.
Alternatively, you can just use the chapel at either the crematorium or cemetery (depending on which you have chosen).
Your undertaker will help you with your choice and book this up for you, although you will have to check that, if wanted, the church is available.
A service in the church usually lasts about half an hour, and would then be followed by a short committal in the chapel at the cemetery or crematorium for not more than five minutes. Alternatively you can go to the crematorium/cemetery chapel first, and then proceed to the church without the coffin.
This is suitable for a Thanksgiving Service and the length of the service in church can then be more flexible as the undertakers will not be needed once they have transported the main mourners there from the cemetery/crematorium chapel.
You can have a mixture of many things. There will always be some prayers and readings from the Bible, as well as a short talk which is a tribute to the one who has died, and an expression of our Christian faith. Hymns are optional - some people want to sing, and some feel unable to. In a church service before cremation/burial there would often be two hymns or songs, or three at the most. If the whole service is in the chapel of the crematorium/cemetery, again two or three hymns or songs can be sung. If you wish, an organist will be provided, and the undertaker will arrange this for you.
Some families want to include special readings or poems that were special to the deceased person, or that have been written by the family themselves. This is often possible, although the minister needs to see such contributions in advance to ensure their suitability.
Some families want to take part in the service themselves, by doing readings, by presenting some special musical item, or by giving the tribute. This is quite possible, although it has to be understood that the service can be an emotional occasion and anyone taking part has to ensure that they can cope with that.
The minister will want to meet with you, discuss your requirements and requests, and talk with you about the service.
If you need any help at all, please contact:
The church office
Selsdon Baptist Church
Tel: 020 8651 4308 (church office)