Planning a Funeral

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 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.”

● The death of a member of the Church should be reported as soon as possible to the church.

● Arrangements for the funeral should be made in consultation with the clergy before decisions are made with a funeral director.

● Baptized Christians are properly buried from the church. The norm is to have the body or its ashes present for the service.

● Lessons for the service are selected by the family with the help of the clergy. They can be found in the Book of Common Prayer on pages 494-495. You may borrow a Book of Common Prayer from the Church or you can find the Prayer Book online at:

● The coffin is to be closed before the service, and it remains closed thereafter.

● The Burial Service may include a celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

● There is no charge for the use of the church for members. Cost for non-members is $500.

● Our Organist is available at a charge of $200.

● The priest’s honorarium is $250.

● To schedule a funeral or memorial service, contact the Rector at 207-380-2769.

Choosing a funeral home or crematory

While it is not always necessary to use the services of a licensed funeral director, their work and service to your family can be an invaluable source of support. At St. Andrew’s we work willingly and cooperatively with all funeral service firms. It is our policy to support your family’s decision in choosing a funeral home, and therefore we do not recommend or endorse a particular firm. 

Things to be done

● Make a list of the people whom you need to notify of your loved one’s death and funeral service.

● If a casket is to be present, choose pall bearers.

● Prepare a biographical sketch: age, place of birth, cause of death, occupation, clubs, organizations, military record, and a list of surviving family members for the newspaper’s obituary.

● Arrange for altar flowers.

When you visit the funeral home

● Have your biographical sketch.

● Have in mind a day and time you would like the service (as discussed with the clergy of St. Andrew’s).

● Have the birth date and place of the deceased.

● If a casket will be used, have the clothing of the deceased ready.

● Have a list of out-of-town newspapers to notify.

● Bring your deceased loved one’s social security number.

● In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to St. Andrew’s. Other charities can also be designated. It is helpful to the funeral directors if you have this information when you meet with them.

The liturgy at church

It is an honor and privilege to conduct funeral services at St. Andrew’s. If the family wishes to have another priest take part, they should consult the Rector who will then extend the invitation. We do not include farewell rites of fraternal orders; those are best done at the funeral home the previous evening.

Bulletins and orders of service

The order of service follows the Book of Common Prayer. It is planned in conjunction with the clergyperson who will officiate at the service, and during the meeting decisions are made about readings, hymns, psalms, and other details. The service bulletin created by the office is an attractive, straight-forward order of service. A more elaborate publication which includes remembrances and graphics is not generally provided, but if one is desired, families may design and print one. 

Readings from holy scripture

At a burial service with Holy Eucharist (the preferred order of service) four readings are chosen:

● One from the Old Testament.

● One from the Book of Psalms.

● One from the New Testament.

● One from the Gospels.

It is highly recommended that the family choose friends and/or other family members to read the Old Testament and the New Testament readings.


There is a wealth of beautiful and appropriate sacred music suitable for use in a memorial or funeral service. The most effective way to integrate the musical selections into the burial service is to meet or speak with the organist. We seek to work with you to design a service which honors our faith, your family and the Church.

What’s typical for funeral services at St. Andrew’s?

● Music and texts which proclaim faith in the resurrection, and aspires to be the living voice of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a live offering to God. Neither popular nor recorded music is used.

● Celebratory organ voluntaries before and after the liturgy. These are usually selected by the organist; requests for specific music selections should be made to the organist.

● 2-4 hymns which are sung by the congregation.

What’s possible, but not necessarily typical, for a funeral service at St. Andrew’s?

● A soloist. Additional fees may apply.

● Instrumentalists, other than the organist, may be hired to play. These decisions are made in consultation with the organist. Additional fees may apply.

Committal services

Committal services should be conducted at the actual place of burial or interment, at the final resting place of the body or the cremated remains, while people are gathered. The best time for committal is immediately after the service. In some cases it is not practical or pastorally sensitive to follow this sequence (service, then committal, then reception), but whenever possible, it is the recommended practice at St. Andrew’s.


The Episcopal Church does not provide for eulogies for three reasons:

● Our service is concerned with the future more than the past.

● Our salvation is based upon God’s grace, not our accomplishments. We are a mixture of good and bad, and a eulogy that extols our virtues does a disservice to the nature of God and humanity.

● In life we are not equal, but we are equal at death. Having services that are the same reveals the sameness of God’s love.

It is typical for the officiant to preach a short sermon, and for one or two members of the family or a friend to offer a very brief remembrance.


Please speak to the parish administrator (207-380-2769) to make arrangements about flowers.

Guest book

If you desire a guest book please provide one to be placed in the narthex. 


All caskets, while they are inside the church, are covered with the church’s pall, a large cloth. The pall symbolizes our baptismal garment, and points to the fact that all of us are equal. Flowers are not placed on the casket. If cremated remains are present (and having them at church is recommended) they’re placed on a stand in front of the Altar and covered with a smaller pall.

A note about the worship service

 All funeral liturgies celebrated by the clergy of St. Andrew’s will use the order outlined in the Book of Common Prayer (pp. 490-507).