Funerals

Guidelines for Funerals

at Trinity Cathedral – Miami

 

Overview

 

Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too, shall be raised from the dead. Therefore, our funerals are characterized by joy, because of the Scriptural promise that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This joy, however, does not aim to lessen our human grief. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that the ones we love have entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn. We believe that the rich beauty and sacredness of our Cathedral provides a comforting means to celebrate the lives of those about whom we care deeply.

 

Funeral Dates and Times

 

The death of a member of the Cathedral should be reported to our main office as soon as possible so that the Cathedral clergy can be notified and the service scheduled. The funeral service, which includes the body in a coffin or the ashes in an urn, is typically held immediately preceding the final interment/inurnment. A memorial service may be held either before or after an interment/inurnment and is distinguished from a funeral service in that the body or ashes are not present. Either service should be scheduled at such a time when people who may wish to attend can be present.

 

Guidelines

 

It is an honor for the Episcopal Church to assist those going through this difficult time of life. In our tradition, there are no open caskets; the coffin is to be closed before the service, and it remains closed thereafter. It is appropriate that it be covered with the Cathedral pall or other suitable covering [such as a flag for those who have served in the armed forces]. When there are ashes, they are covered in a similar way.

 

A funeral service is most theologically and liturgically complete with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist (“Communion”). If you have concerns about those of other denominations or faith traditions who may attend the service, please discuss your concerns with one of our clergy.

 

Family and friends are encouraged to take an active part in the service. At this emotional time, care should be taken about choosing close relatives to read. Parts of the service, which are appropriate for family and friends, include:

 

-Reading the Lessons (approved Lessons will be discussed with the clergy)

-Leading the Prayers of the People

-Bringing the bread and wine up for Communion

 

In the Episcopal Church, eulogies are generally discouraged because of how we understand the purpose of the funeral. The funeral is the place to lift the deceased up to God and to cast our cares at God’s feet. In short, the funeral is all about where God is in the midst of death and mourning. Exceptions can be made for pastoral reasons at the discretion of the Dean, but multiple speakers are discouraged. It is appropriate to make time and space available for friends to share their experiences of the deceased, since this is a healthy and healing activity.  A reception following the funeral is well suited for this.

 

Music and Flowers

 

The Dean of the Cathedral or another member of the clergy will advise you as to the music suitable to a funeral/memorial service. Care should be taken that those who are likely to be in the congregation know the hymns and service music. The Cathedral Director of Music/Organist will play for the funeral service and a Cathedral-approved soloist will sing, unless other arrangements are made with the Dean. Please note that the Dean is the final authority in the administration of matters pertaining to music.

 

The Cathedral Flower Guild is responsible for the altar flowers, which are optional (see “Customary Fees”). Trinity Cathedral is a beautiful setting; therefore, flower arrangements are simple. As such, spectacular displays, which distract from the importance of worship, are not permitted. Only live floral arrangements are used. Following the service these arrangements are customarily left for the Sunday service. If the service falls during Lent when no flowers are used on Sundays or during Advent when greens are used, the family may wish to take the flowers home after the service.

 

Any additional arrangements that may be desired are the responsibility of the family providing them. For these, the family must inform the florists to make arrangements for delivery to the Cathedral office no earlier than 24-hours prior to the service. Also, these arrangements must be taken out of the Cathedral immediately following the service.

 

Customary Donations and Fees

 

A gift to the Cathedral and to the officiating clergy in your name or in the name of family of the deceased is always appropriate and gratefully received. We suggest a minimum gift in the amount of $250. However, any additions to the funeral service, which are optional, do incur fees. These include fees for: the sexton (Cathedral custodian) to clean and prepare the church before and after the funeral; an organist to play music from a selected source of appropriate hymns; a soloist to sing from a clergy-approved repertoire; altar flowers that enhance the beauty of the service; special service bulletins for the funeral; and compensation for any vergers (liturgical assistants). And if there is to be a reception in Cathedral Hall following the service, an additional fee of $200 applies. Inquiries regarding the breakdown of these optional fees may be made at the same time of the funeral arrangements.

 

·       FOR NON-MEMBERS:

 

Trinity has held, and will continue to hold, services for non-members where for various reasons the family of the deceased wishes the person to have an Episcopal funeral service. Those arrangements need to be made directly with the Dean of the Cathedral. An appointment must be scheduled no less than one week before the intended date of the service. Fees will be determined at the time of the meeting.  

 

Next Steps

 

If you wish to make funeral/memorial arrangements, please contact the main office, at either office@trinitymiami.org or by calling 786-888-6692.

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