It is helpful and important to contact the parish
priest when a loved one is near death or as soon as
possible after the death, so the priest may assist
the family in responding to the death of the loved
one, in making decisions, and to prepare for the
funeral service. When a person is near death the
ministrations of the Church may be provided.Ē (BCP
p. 462). There are many lovely ways to
pray with a dying loved one and our clergy can help.
The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy.
It finds all meaning in the resurrection.
Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too,
shall be raised.
Christian burial is marked by three
characteristics. First and foremost, it is an
act of worship wherein we glorify God for the gift
of eternal life in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Second, it is a time when members of the Body of
Christ gather to comfort one another and to offer
mutual assurance of Godís abiding love. Third,
it is a liturgy of celebration whereby we give
thanks for a deceased loved one and commend that
person the care of Almighty God.
Contact a Funeral Home
Make arrangements with a Funeral Home. A
commitment of the time and place of the service
should not be given to the Funeral Home without the
agreement of the Rector of All Hallows' Episcopal
The following decisions are made by the family or
friends of the deceased:
- selection of a casket or urn,
- arrangements for interment or cremation,
- the Funeral Director will help prepare an obituary
and place it in requested newspapers.
- Funeral Homes also offer a variety of other
services and their personnel will offer helpful
We will use one of the Burial services provided in
the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer and choose
prayers and hymns that your family agrees to hear,
sing and say. A funeral can be held at our Chapel
location (250 seating capacity) in Davidsonville or
at the Brick Church (125 seating capacity) in
Edgewater, with or without Holy Communion. The
priest will coordinate the date and time of the
funeral with the director of the funeral home that
the family has contracted. The clergy of All
Hallows' are expected to officiate at all worship
services, unless permission and invitation has been
extended to another clergy person. Funeral
services in Funeral Homes are discouraged, but will
be permitted under special pastoral circumstances.
The emphasis of the funeral service is a celebration
of the life of the deceased and the hope of a
resurrected life with Christ. The order of service
for funerals is according to the 1979 Book of Common
Prayer, which has two funeral liturgies. Rite
I service uses traditional Elizabethan
English, while Rite
II service uses contemporary English
language. All Hallows' will prepare a bulletin
so that the congregation may easily follow the order
During the Service the priest will preach the good
news of Godís love and our salvation, making
reference to the life of the deceased.
However, one or two family
members or friends may each speak for 5 minutes at
the beginning of the funeral service, following the
The family can choose the Lessons
from Holy Scripture for the burial
service. The lessons are read by a friend,
family member, or a member of All Hallows. The
Gospel lesson is read by the priest.
Music at funerals must be sacred in nature. Hymns
are normally drawn from the 1982 Hymnal, Lift Every
Voice and Sing or Wonder, Love and Praise.
Hymns not found in these hymnals may on occasion be
used if the music can be secured and copyright
permission is granted. The Music Director at All
Hallows will play the organ at all funerals unless
the organist and rector give permission for another
organist to play. Vocal and instrumental solos must
be approved by the Director of Music. Music
from compact discs or a digital music player, is
The liturgical color for funerals is white. White is
the color used for many of the great feasts of the
Church and symbolizes the joy of the Resurrection.
The frontal on the altar, the hangings on the
lectern, the pall on the casket, and the ministerís
vestments are all white. The paschal candle, which
is lit at Easter, baptisms, and funerals, is placed
by the body to symbolize the presence of Christ and
the victory of light over darkness. The All
Hallows Altar Guild will prepare the altar for the
burial service for your loved one.
Order Altar Flowers Ė Two arrangements of live
flowers that fit the brass containers and the space
at the Altar are needed for the celebration of the
life of the deceased. All Hallows' recommends
Bloom Florist in Edgewater as they are familiar with
flower arrangements for our Services.
Additional flowers in the service are not necessary.
Flowers are not placed on the casket in the church
during the service. Additional flowers may be
used for a reception or at the graveside.
In the Episcopal Church, the Holy Eucharist -- also
called the Mass, Holy Communion, or the Lord's
Supper -- is frequently celebrated as part of
funeral and memorial services. The Holy
Eucharist is our central sacrament, celebrating
Christ's death and resurrection. A celebration
of the Holy Eucharist as part of a funeral or
memorial service reminds us that we also share with
Christ is his death and resurrection. In the
Eucharist, we also share in the heavenly banquet
with the deceased and with those who have gone
before. The celebration of Holy Eucharist adds an
additional 20 minutes to the length of the
service. All baptized Christians, regardless
of denominational affiliation are invited to share
in the Lordís Supper.
When the casket is present for the funeral, it is
closed prior to the funeral and covered with a white
cloth called a pall. The pall reminds us of
the white garment of baptism and that the promises
of baptism are fulfilled at our death. The
cross and clergy lead the casket into the church and
family members may follow it, if they wish, or they
may be seated prior to the beginning of the
service. At the conclusion of the service,
prayers of commendation are offered around the
casket and the clergy leads the casket out of the
church with the family following. A funeral
service without a body is properly called a Memorial
service. It is conducted in the same way as a
funeral service with the exception that the prayers
of commendation over the body are not used.
Cremation is an acceptable and dignified way of
treating the deceased's body. In a sense,
cremation merely hastens the natural process of
returning a body to ashes and dust. When the
ashes, sometimes called "cremains," are present
during the service, they are treated the same way as
a body in a casket. They are placed on a table
at the front of the church. They may be
processed in and out of the church or they may be
placed on a table before the service begins.
The ashes may be interred before or after the
funeral service or at a later date.
Individual grave sites
and family plots are available at the Chapel in
Davidsonville and at the Brick Church in
Edgewater. Burials at All Hallows' Cemeteries
are generally reserved for members of the
parish. Contact the Parish Office for fee
information and other details.
The Parish House located behind the Brick Church may
be used following the funeral service for small
receptions, but the family or friends must provide
Since the time to prepare and play at a funeral
service is in addition to the time contracted with
our Organist, a $250 fee is paid directly to the
Organist by the family or through the Funeral
Home. An honorarium for the priest's
additional time needed to prepare for the service is
appreciated. The Church is available without
charge to members of All Hallows' and for
non-members an offering to All Hallows' is much
appreciated so we can continue to provide this
historic Church to support other families within the
community and continue to share God's love for all.
The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not be in want
He makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters
He revives my soul
and guides me along right pathways for his Name's
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
I shall fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me
You spread a table before me in the presence of
who trouble me;
you have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup is running over.
Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all
of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.