How can I ensure the funeral is personal?

There are lots of choices you can make for the funeral that will help reflect the unique life of your loved one. Read on for information and links to help with this.

A display of old framed photos taken throughout one lady's lifetime

At the heart of every funeral led by a Church of England minister is the good news of God’s love for every unique human being. Each service is designed to reflect that love alongside the story of a particular life.

We thank you for the person we knew, the years we shared, the good we saw and the love we received.

There are so many choices that can help to make the service personal, including:

  • Where it happens – at a crematorium, in a church, at a green burial site, in a funeral director’s chapel
  • The structure of the day – where the service begins, whether the funeral will move from one location to another and where things will finish.
  • The choice of coffin and transport
  • Flowers
  • Personal items at the service, such as photos or memorabilia
  • Music and hymns – sung by congregations or soloists or recordings
  • Readings – poetry, from friends, and the whole Bible to choose from!
  • A tribute or eulogy – shared by family and friends, or read on your behalf by the minister
  • Prayers and reflection – you could contribute and special interests of your loved one can be shared
  • At the graveside/afterwards – symbols such as balloons, doves or flowers

All of these can be part of a Church of England-led funeral and helps to make the service personal.

The minister will tell the story of God’s love, offering a message of Christian hope and comfort, drawing on timeless words that have helped generations of people. When the minister visits you, share your thoughts, and be ready to talk about the person you are remembering. You will be able to work together to create a service that is special, and that will work well on the day.

A Church of England funeral service, wherever it happens, offers a framework of love and hope which holds the personal stories of those whose lives we remember.

Explore the links below for more details about some of the choices you can make.

Further information

  • Does a ‘church’ funeral have to be in a church?

    Church of England ministers can conduct funerals in four different venues. Read more about them on this page.

  • Speeches and readings

    Speaking about someone or even reading some special words isn’t easy at any time, but can be especially difficult for a funeral service. Read on to find some practical tips and ways to help you do the best that you can for the people you care about.

  • Funeral locations

    A Church of England funeral doesn’t have to be in a church – though it can be. The church minister can lead the whole funeral service in a different place, or, a church service can be built into part of the day, wherever the funeral takes place. We can be wherever you need us to be.