Funerals and Burials
The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all its meaning in the Resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised. The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty 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 make human grief unchristian. 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 one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.
—The Book of Common Prayer, page 507
St. Paul's seeks to serve the sick, the dying, and their families through prayer and sacraments at home, the hospital, or in hospice. Our ministry is dedicated to celebrating each person's Easter moment, and our trust in the resurrection to eternal life.
If you would like to talk to someone about ministering to the sick, please call the parish office at (412) 531-7153.
If this is a pastoral emergency, please call our pastoral care hotline, which answers 24 hours a day (412) 531-7153 and press 5.
Preparing for a Funeral or Burial
The Funeral Liturgy is found in the Book of Common Prayer, and normally involves music and communion. This Liturgy, or a Burial service alone, can be offered in the church or in the Good Shepherd Chapel. We will guide you through the process of selecting scripture readings, remembrances from family and friends, and music, as well as choosing a date and time for the service.
These services may be followed by the Committal, a brief service of interment in St. Margaret's Garden, the Columbarium, or a cemetery.
Flowers for funeral services are typically ordered by the family. Should the service be held on a Friday or Saturday, the flower arrangements for the Sunday worship can be used for the funeral service. Please contact the parish office if you have questions about flowers.
St. Margaret's Garden is a portion of the church property designated for the interment of ashes following cremation. The names of those interred in the Garden can be mounted on an exterior wall of the building facing the Garden. The Holy Eucharist is celebrated at the Garden Altar.
If you would like information about being buried inside the church, the Columbarium is an enduring place for ashes after cremation. It is located behind oak doors to the right side of the Altar in the Good Shepherd Chapel. Read more below.
The Lydia Circle of St. Paul's Church can provide a reception in the Lounge or Undercroft following the funeral service. Coffee, tea, cool drinks, sandwiches, cookies, and other finger foods are served, freeing the family to visit with friends.
Preparing for Death
A Christian Prepares for Death is a booklet that will help you to make and record some decisions about how and where you want your burial services conducted. This booklet will guide your family, friends, and executor(s) in carrying out those decisions, and make other necessary arrangements. You can download this resource at the link above, or contact our parish office for a copy.
You may wish to consult a clergyperson to help you make choices about your funeral liturgy. Please call the parish office to schedule a time.
An Enduring Place for Ashes after Cremation Christians affirm that Jesus is divine and human, both God and man, and that He lived and died. At His death, the Gospel tells us that the discip…
An Enduring Place for Ashes after Cremation
Christians affirm that Jesus is divine and human, both God and man, and that He lived and died. At His death, the Gospel tells us that the discip…