In the Christian community, death is a corporate experience that touches the life of the entire family of faith. When a death occurs, the immediate family is encouraged to notify the church as soon as possible and to share fully in planning the service with the minister.
The service recognizes both the pain and sorrow of the separation that accompanies death, and the hope and joy of the promises of God to those who die and are raised in Christ. The service celebrates the life of the deceased, gives thanks for that persons’ life, and commends that life to God. It offers consolation to the bereaved by acknowledging their grief and anger or guilt. It provides the Christian community and others an opportunity to support the bereaved with their presence. Its purpose is to affirm once more the powerful, steadfast love of God from which people cannot be separated, even by death.
A representative of the family may speak during the service at a special time of remembrance, although this is not necessary and can be discussed when planning the worship service with clergy. Sensitive consideration is always given to ethnic traditions, local customs, and the particular circumstances of the bereaved.
A minister of Union Church presides at all funeral, memorial, and graveside services of the church. Non-member services may also be held according to availability of clergy upon request. It is a privilege to love God and to serve our neighbor together in the community of faith. We are bound together in life and in death, and we claim God’s promises that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God.