Help in your bereavement

IMG_0417Bereavement is one of the hardest things that anyone can face.  The loss of a loved one can be a devastating event, even for people of faith.  At a time of bereavement, we are contronted by the big questions of life… Is there a life after this life?  Will I see a loved-one again?  What happens after we die?  Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”  Those seem strange words but they point to a God who draws near to us when we face the depth of sorrow.  The comfort is that death does not have ultimate victory.  Jesus died on a cross but he rose again three days later.  For Christians, death is the passageway to a richer and fuller life with God.  There is no short-cut through the process of grieving but we can emerge from our grief with a faith which has been tested in the fire of our sorrow.

A parish minister is available for member and parishioners who have been bereaved.  Often an undertaker will contact a minister on behalf of a family but the family can contact the minister directly.  The minister will then arrange a visit to discuss the funeral arrangements.  If a funeral takes place in the Church there are fees for the organist, the church officer and the heating and lighting of the building. However, there is no charge for a minister and any donation to the church is discretionary.  When a minister calls, he will discuss the choice of hymns and scripture readings, the content of any tribute and the order of service.  He may ask whether a family member or friend wishes to say a few words and whether there are any poems or readings planned for the service.  If a service is planned for Kirkcaldy Crematorium, it is important to note that celebrants are limited to 20 minutes, so the content has to be tailored accordingly.

The minister is available for pastoral support after a funeral service.  However, there are organisations such as Cruse Scotland Bereavement Support, which offer ongoing support to those who are working through issues related to bereavement.  Its national phone number is 0808 802 6161.  Its website can be found here.

Church of Scotland, funeral guide leaflet pdf

Funeral hymn suggestions pdf

The church contact details are located here