When a Loved One Dies
In Christ, death is a crossing over from one form of being with God to another form of being with God. Dying is a process we are all engaged in. It is integral to human life and natural to it, and our experiencing it includes not only our own death, but our loved ones’ making the crossing too. When we experience a loved one’s death, even if that loved one lives a long way from our home, it is an important time in our spiritual life.
Care before death: When you or a loved one is actively dying, please contact our clergy. The signs are not always clear, but your loved one may speak about their end, or a doctor may give a diagnosis. It is okay not to know about yourself or your loved one. It is okay to be unsure of your emotions.
Clergy will visit and respond depending on the person’s and their family’s needs. Some people want to talk, some to pray, some to laugh, some to sit in silence. Some people want a pastor’s help in talking to another person about something on their heart, some want to talk about death, some to pray specific or spontaneous prayers, some to remember old times and laugh and give thanks. Everyone goes through life in their own way, and everyone goes through dying in their own way.
At time of death: When a loved one dies, please contact our clergy. A priest will come and offer prayers of last rites if you wish and be with your family. S/he can set a time to discuss the burial service and how to coordinate with other entities such as the funeral home.
Your loved one does not need to be a member of the church for you to seek pastoral care. If you lose a family member or friend, you are still facing death and dying, so feel free to ask for pastoral care.
The burial liturgy: It is never too early to plan the worship service that will celebrate your life on earth, comfort those who grieve losing you, and give thanks to God in whose resurrection you are received. Our parish keeps instructions on file for members who have planned their burial services. Whenever you would like to plan a burial service, contact our clergy.
If a loved one has died without a funeral plan, this is not a problem. Please contact one of our priests and we will arrange a time to plan the funeral.
Ascension Columbarium: For those who plan for their body to be cremated, a niche in Ascension’s Columbarium can provide a welcome place for family to remember loved ones regularly and on holidays. Clergy or members of the Columbarium committee can provide you with all the necessary information. For more information, click here.