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Funerals with faith

Updated: Jul 3, 2019

Church of England Minister, Rev Mark Ashworth shares his thoughts with us regarding funerals with faith.

“In 2009 my wife, Lorna, lost her mother to cancer after a 10-year battle. It was during that time that someone asked if her faith had been shaken by the reality of death and the sadness of losing one so young (Milly was 61). It came as a surprise to many that the opposite was true - her faith was strengthened and sustained her thorough those tough times. 

Because of the Christian faith, she had a sure and certain knowledge that her mother was in a better place, without pain or suffering, a place that the Bible calls ‘my father’s house.’ 

At the funeral Lorna preached from the gospel of John 16:33 where Jesus tells his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

In the face of death, Christians do not grieve as those without hope. Instead, feeling the same loss and sadness, they know of the heavenly hope that awaits those who hold fast to Jesus; the one who has overcome the world.

So, as we think about the place of faith in a funeral, we are reminded that it brings hope; it speaks of a God who loves and cares for people like a good father or good shepherd. The songs we sing enable us to lift our eyes to see the wonder of God’s creation, whilst at the same time balancing the knowledge of the inevitability of death.

Let’s remember that each person has been created by God in love and that we have been given gifts of family, friends and community who can offer support during difficult times of loss. Particularly, for the Christian, faith in Christ offers a firm hope which brings us peace through tough circumstances.

I trust that you will find the comfort and hope of the Good Shepherd to help you through your loss.”

Rev Mark Ashworth

For more information about a Church of England funeral, contact All Saints’ Church, Crowborough and Holy Trinity Church, High Hurstwood.

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