Steps in Funeral Planning at All Saints’
Step I: Initial visit with a priest - The priest will help you review the initial ideas you have about funeral plans.
Step II: Visit with the Church Administrator - This person will answer any questions you may have on fees and procedures associated with holding a funeral at All Saints’. Normally, fees are paid prior to setting the day and time of the funeral. Our experience teaches us that the day of the funeral is a day when the family of the deceased is preoccupied. Fees may be paid Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., except on holidays.
Step III: Final visit with the priest -The priest will help you finalize the funeral service and answer any other questions you may have. Normally only one priest conducts a funeral service. You may select either priest, based on their availability (vacation, out of town, etc.).
Priest-in-Charge -The Rev. Dr. L. Reid Hensarling
Funeral Bulletins - Mr. Donovan Dolde
Fee Coordination & Columbarium Arrangements - Mrs. Lora Karr
Parish Organist (Music Arrangements) - Ms. Martha Bunday
Funerals mark the close of a human life on earth. It is the opportunity for family and friends to express their grief, to give thanks for the life that has now completed its journey in this world and to commend the person into God’s keeping. As far back into history as we can penetrate, human beings seem to have felt the need for a ceremony for those who have died.
The funeral service at All Saints’ can be very short and quiet with only a few members of the family present or an occasion of great solemnity with music, hymns, and a church filled with family and friends.
Whatever service you select, the words and actions all speak of a loving God and the preciousness to Him of every human being. The central focus of a funeral service is the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. This is the means by which those who have died have a guarantee of a new life.
Parts of the funeral service will reflect the personality of the one who has died and sometimes the circumstances of their death. Feelings of grief, gratitude, joy and sadness often intermingle. Sometimes a sense of tragedy is uppermost, especially when it is a young person who has died or when a person dies suddenly and unexpectedly. When it is the end of a long and fruitful life, the feelings of thanksgiving can be the strongest.
There are times when the death of a faithful Christian seems to be the consummation of a wonderful life and the funeral service is a triumphal departure for their true home where loved ones await them and the trumpets sound their arrival on the other side of life.
Funeral services always raise profound questions about the meaning of life and death. Jesus intimately knew God: “the God of the living, not of the dead.” Christians believe that Christ’s resurrection is the triumph of good over evil and of life over death and that He has made eternal life available to those who believe.
None of us dare say too precisely what heaven is like. But we know that we shall delight in the presence of the love of God and of the whole company of the faithful. Whatever is wonderful about life here on earth is only a glimpse of the joy of the life that is to come for the faithful.
Whether you are planning the final days of a loved one or a death has occurred unexpectedly, we are here for you, to help you.
Funeral Fees (You may mail them to 209 South Iowa, Lakeland, Florida 33801)
- Altar Flowers - $50 for standard altar flowers. If you request fuller arrangements, then the fee is $75. Only the church florist does our altar flowers. Other flowers placed in the worship area are placed there with the permission and under the direction of the rector. If you want flowers for a Columbarium interment, they are an additional $50.
- Organist - $225 (includes mileage for one trip to Lakeland). Additional trips for rehearsing other musicians is $40 for each trip, which includes fuel and time expenses both ways.
- Extra Musicians (each) - We pay extra musicians no less than $75. However, they may request a higher fee. Some musicians may not charge a fee. This has happened when the musician knew the deceased. All extra musicians, whether from the family, from the church, or from the community are coordinated through the Parish Organist, Ms. Bunday.
- Sexton - A/V Booth Tech - $150 for a funeral at 5 p.m. and later or on a weekend. $150 any time when there is a large reception that will require substantial cleanup, whether a group within the parish helps or not. $150 for an extra sexton to help with parking, security, and/or cleanup. $75
- Video on DVD - A DVD (or Blu Ray) can be made of the funeral for a fee of $125 fee. Additional DVD's are $15 each.
- Funeral Verger(s) - If the funeral requires a number of people to be coordinated (processions, altar party, lectors, stewards, etc.) a funeral service Master Verger will receive $125. If they have to use another Verger or Master of Ceremonies, in the case of an elaborate or large funeral, the extra personnel will be $50 each.
- The priest serving your funeral will consider the ministry of preparing and conducting the funeral a great honor and privilege. Althought the priest will not ask for an honorarium, it is considered good taste and proper etiquette to show appreciation to the priest in some way.
Other Funeral Fees
- Cantor for the Commendation - $75 - if requested by the family.
- Choir Director - $100 - if the choir is requested for the funeral.
- Soloist available upon request. Fees vary.
- Food Service Director - $100 - if there is a reception in either hall.
- Bulletins - There is no charge for a standard one-page fold-over bulletins. There is a $50 fee for more elaborate bulletins. Custom bulletins are designed and purchased from a local printer. Our staff do not coordinate that.
- Nursery/Child Care - Price upon request.
Payment of Fees
Fees for services rendered are payable by cash or check prior to the funeral service.
Fees are made payable to the person(s) who will provide the service and NOT to All Saints’ Episcopal Church.
Fees for church burials should be given to the Administrator no later than one day prior to the funeral service, preferably when the date and time of the funeral is set.
There is no fee for the burial of a homeless person at the church or at a local funeral home or cemetery.
There is a schedule of fees if the service is at a funeral home and/or at a local or area cemetery. The funeral home will advise you of that fee(s).
1. The funeral date is set with the rector or associate rector, based on the parish calendar.
2. No one will be assigned to the service without the approval of the priests.
3. There will be no bulletin inserts without the approval of the priests.
4. Nursery workers will be scheduled, but canceled prior to the funeral, if there is no payment for them.
5. Funeral bulletins will be selected by the family three days prior to the funeral or staff will select them.
6. Once bulletins have been printed, there will be no re-runs to make changes.
7. A caterer may be used. They will be approved/supervised by staff and follow staff directions for church protocol.
8. Extra funeral workers may be used for set up and clean up – paid for by the family.
9. A Family Chaplain is necessary and will be compensated $125.
10. Seating in the sanctuary will follow All Saints’ SOP. Any change request is brought to the priests.
11. Music will be approved beforehand by the musicians or the priests involved.
Before the Funeral
The deceased may have left instructions in their Will or in other documents with a funeral home, describing the sort of funeral arrangements they desire. Naturally, the family will abide by those instructions as far as possible.
The clergy regard funerals as an important part of their ministry. They give their time to visiting with families of the deceased, comforting those facing loss, discussing the choice of service to be used and helping to arrange it.
Be sure to contact the All Saints’ clergy for availability – if they are to conduct the service – prior to scheduling them.
The clergy will also make every effort to become familiar with the deceased, particularly if they were not acquainted with the deceased, and if there is to be a funeral message. It is most helpful if they are provided with pertinent details about the person who died to use in their address.
The funeral director plays a very important part in the arrangements and will need to know if the funeral will be at the church, the funeral home, or graveside – or a combination.
Lakeland funeral directors know All Saints’ clergy and work closely with them. They are also very familiar with cemeteries in the greater Lakeland area and many of the surrounding communities. Additionally, as part of a national network of funeral directors, they can, upon request, provide information on funerals in other parts of the country.
The Funeral Service
The Book of Common Prayer service begins with a hymn and then the priest reads such reassuring sentences from the scriptures as:
“I am the resurrection and the life,” says the Lord.
He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live,
and whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die.”
“I know that my Redeemer lives...”
A prayer follows and then lessons and psalms are read telling of God’s care and of the hope of eternal life.
Then there is a funeral message remembering the life and work of the deceased and the great Christian beliefs about life beyond death. Such words are a comfort and strength to mourners. Often the service and the readings from the Bible convey all that needs to be said.
Holy Communion will follow, if selected. The Holy Communion recalls the promise of the resurrection, entrusts the deceased to the love and mercy of God, and asks for comfort and strength for those who mourn.
At the end of the burial service in the church and just prior to the recessional music, there is a commendation. The cantor beautifully chants this brief part of the service and light incense is used. The sprinkling of Holy Water is also appropriate at this time, if the casket has a pall on it. The brief use of incense symbolizes our prayers to God for the deceased and the holy water symbolizes that the person being buried has been baptized a Christian and comes to God with his/her heavenly wedding garment. The congregation will say the commendation with appropriate responses, if the services of a cantor cannot be obtained through the organist.
When the deceased has been a veteran, the funeral director presents the family the flag of the United States. Veterans may have their casket draped with a pressed American flag, an item arranged through the funeral home. In such a case, the family makes arrangements with the funeral home for the flag to be properly folded and presented to the family near the end of the service. The playing of ‘Taps’ with a trumpet is also appropriate after the flag folding and presentation. This is arranged with the organist. Then the recessional hymn, “For All the Saints,” starts. The person conducting the service will invite the family to recess to the entrance. Here the family has the choice to greet guests at the entrance or at a reception in the Parish Hall, at another site, or both. A blessing and dismissal ends the church service.
The committal is a short and particularly solemn moment of the funeral service. It takes place either at the graveside or in our Columbarium either following the church service, or at a later date.
At the cemetery, the family will gather around the open grave into which the coffin is lowered and you will hear the words: “We commit his (or her) body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life.”
A handful of earth or sand is scattered in the form of a cross on the coffin by the clergy.
The committal can be a very emotional moment. Many who are suffering grief find that, even in their sadness, the words of prayer lift them towards the experience of Christian rejoicing in the knowledge of life beyond death.
The offering of prayer and the trust that the deceased now is in God’s safe hands begins the process of healing the grief of loss.
After the Funeral
Comfort can be found in the promises of Jesus Christ, in the hope of the resurrection and in the belief that the beloved person is safe in the hands of God.
People who have lost someone close to them are often so busy with practical details and arrangements between the death and the funeral that they do not experience the full sense of this loss until later. Grieving is a natural and important part of coming to terms with and healing this loss. It may continue for several months or longer. Upon request, the clergy, and/or our Order of St. Luke will gladly help. It is those – clergy or lay people – who have themselves, suffered a close bereavement, which can most effectively offer comfort and support to those who mourn.
Burial Services – Burial services are found in the Book of Common Prayer, beginning on page 469. It starts with Rite I and then continues with a choice of Rite II on page 491. These should be studied in order to determine the desired service, either Rite I or Rite II (traditional or contemporary).
Cantor – A Cantor is available upon request to chant the Commendation (Book of Common Prayer pp. 482 and 499, or Hymnal #355) and lead the music.
Columbarium – The Columbarium has been managed by the Church since 1974 and it is for the interment of the ashes of deceased members of the congregation and their families. It is located beneath the nave of the Church off the southwest end of the parish hall. This fireproof Columbarium has several hundred niches. It is nicely appointed and well maintained. Plus, it is a controlled temperature/humidity environment and it is impervious to moisture, insects, and deterioration. It is maintained weekly. Access is available during office hours Monday through Friday and on Sundays.
Each niche in the Columbarium can hold two urns. The charge for a niche and one urn is $500. The charge for a niche and two urns is $750. This includes the engraved face plate for the niche.
The Columbarium has a nice entrance where a signature book is kept for people to sign when they make visits. The interior of the Columbarium has kneelers and Prayer Books, for those who would like to say prayers during their visit.
A Columbarium rule is that no pictures or other items be placed or taped on the niches. There are two small bulletin boards in the Columbarium lobby for pictures of loved ones. Please mark the back of all pictures so that they may be returned to you in time. In addition, there are two urns in the Columbarium lobby. You may offer fresh flowers for these vases at any time by contacting the church office. Artificial flowers are not allowed in the church, because they are not appropriate symbols of the life and resurrection of Christ.
Eulogy – A eulogy (or eulogies) is a personal reflection by a family member and/or one who is a friend of the deceased. The eulogy(ies) takes place after the Organ Prelude and just before the Worship Processional in the funeral service. It is not done after the Gospel reading and prior to the funeral message by the clergy, because a eulogy is not an interpretation of the Gospel. A eulogy, if done, is only appropriate at the beginning of the service where it has its own place and will receive the attention it needs.
One eulogy is traditional when there is a request, but more are sometimes requested. In case more are requested, the limit is three. The time limit of each eulogy is a maximum of three minutes and each should be respectfully short and serious in nature. The rector (or priest conducting the service) will determine whether any particular person will be allowed to give a eulogy and whether or not that person(s) is/are adequately prepared to make remarks. Please do not plan to have people give a eulogy without first speaking to the rector or priest conducting the funeral service.
Eulogies are not allowed at All Saints' until the remarks are prepared and given to the priest for examination. The reason is that eulogies have a certain etiquette and the priest will ensure it (they) meets those standards.
Flowers – Normally, the only flowers to be placed in the worship area are those used at the altar and possible floral pew markers. More elaborate floral arrangements may be used and this is an expense of the person or persons arranging for the funeral service. No floral arrangements are made without the consent of the rector or priest conducting the funeral.
The traditional color for funerals is white, but any cheerful color(s) may be used.
If the funeral is planned on Saturday or soon after a Sunday service (very seldom done), the Saturday/Sunday altar flowers may be used - and the family may contribute to the expense of the flowers.Flowers that may be left over after the church burial service belong to the family and they should be taken home by the family or the family may choose for them to be used by the church.
Funeral Processions – All Saints’ can provide a full or partial funeral procession. Where there is no procession, the family is seated shortly before the service, and those leading the service normally enter from the chancel.
Guest Books – Normally, the funeral home will supply the family with a guest book and it will be placed at the entrance of the church. If the family decides to have other guest books, they must arrange with the funeral director for their purchase, placement, and for the people who will manage them. For large funerals, additional guest books may be placed at the southeast corner of the worship area, in the lobby and near the parlor entrance on the east side.
Memorial Gifts – Friends and family often want to honor the deceased by a gift. If the nature of the gift is with flowers, please be aware that no flowers will be displayed in the sanctuary other than the ones already mentioned above. Floral remembrances may be sent to the home of the deceased, to the funeral home, or to the gravesite.
Memorial gifts may be made to All Saints’ in memory of the person who has died. Later, a family member discusses with the clergy how to use the gifts to honor the person.
Music – If specific musical selections have been requested by the family or the deceased through prior instructions, the clergy and parish organist will make the final and appropriate selection and placement of music for the funeral service. The parish organist will assist in enlisting the services of other musicians or soloists. Secular and taped music is not allowed in funeral services held within this church.
The Organist – The organist will make every attempt to be available for a funeral service during the course of the workweek (Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm). However, as the Organist is a part-time employee at All Saints' and has full time employment elsewhere, it is advisable that the family or church office contact the Organist at the earliest possible time to confirm her availability. If a service time is set without checking the Organist's availability first, she may not be available due to other commitments in her full time job. If a substitute organist is required due to scheduling, their fees will match those of the Parish Organist.
Obituaries/Public Notices – The funeral home has information and costs involved in placing the death and funeral notices in the local and out-of-town newspapers. Our suggestion is that this be well prepared, if possible, prior to the death of a loved one.
Parking/Entrance/Time – During the week, guests may park in the multi-level, city garage behind and across the street from the church after 5 p.m., or in All Saints’ small parking lot at any time. During weekly business hours (8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) guests will not be allowed to park in the city garage. They will be directed to other downtown parking areas.
On Saturdays, parking is normally available in the City Hall parking lot and city garage.
Guests may enter the church from the west on Massachusetts Avenue or from the entrances to the east of the church through the main lobby or admin lobby.
Receiving guests, by the family, is done following the funeral service.
Small chapel funerals should be conducted Monday-Friday at any time convenient to the staff.
Medium and large funerals should be conducted Monday - Friday from 6:00 p.m. through 7:00 p.m. This will allow your guests convenience of parking.
Saturday funerals should be conducted any time from 10:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. through 7:00 p.m. We have a 4:00 p.m. worship service each Saturday and the church leaves 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. as a time for the activities connected with that service.
Sunday funerals are not allowed because it is the Lord's Day for worship.
Readings – The funeral service closely follows a standard Sunday service. There are readings from the Old and New Testaments, as well as from Psalms. After the readings in the Book of Common Prayer have been studied, there should be discussions of the readings with the clergy in preparation for the service. After the readings have been studied, persons are then selected/invited (lay or ordained) to read them. The readers should be invited to participate as soon as possible, thus enabling time for preparation. The clergy should be informed who the readers are, upon acceptance of the invitation to participate. Final approval of the readers (lectors) will be made by the officiating clergy.
Reception of the Body and Lying in State – It is a tradition for the clergy, Altar Guild, family and friends to have a very brief prayer service at the entrance of the church when the funeral home brings the body of the deceased to the church. If there is a casket spray, it is left in the hearse; and at the entrance crossing, a funeral pall is placed over the casket. Reception of the Body prayers are then read from the Book of Common Prayer, and if the body is to lie in state, it is processed to the Paschal Candle and centered between bier lights. The Reception of the Body takes place thirty minutes to one-half hour prior to the service.
Receptions – It is our custom to provide light refreshments in the church parlor (consisting of cookies, juice, tea and coffee). These are served prior to the funeral service for the family as the family and out-of-town guests gather at the church in the parlor or parish hall.
If the family desires to provide a reception in the parish hall and/or parlor after the service, the family is responsible for all coordination with a caterer through our Parish Hostess, who oversees receptions, and our Administrator. The family and caterer are responsible for all setup and cleanup for such a reception.
Reserved Seating – Please arrange reserved seating for the immediate and extended family near the front, on the pulpit side, by telling the Director of Communication how many will be present for the funeral service. She will then coordinate your need with the Sexton.
Stewards and Pallbearers – At least two Stewards (ushers) should be chosen to hand out bulletins and to assist in the seating of the guests.
Pallbearers may also be selected. In the selection of pallbearers, consideration should be given to the selection of those who can physically handle the responsibility.
Honorary pallbearers, those who will not physically lift the casket, may also be named in the bulletin.
Pallbearers have several rows of reserved seating across from the family seating. In very large funerals, the Master Verger may conduct rehearsals for ushers and pallbearers prior the service.
Worship Assistants – The clergy may require assistance at the funeral and they will determine which positions need to be filled. They may include but are not necessarily limited to musicians, lectors, a verger, a sub-deacon, a cantor, chalice bearers, and acolytes. These positions will be filled with licensed, authorized members for All Saints’ or perhaps a close friend or relative who is licensed at another Episcopal church and requested by the person or persons arranging the funeral.
Please do not schedule people to lead or participate in a funeral at All Saints' until a discussion of appropriateness has taken place with the priest.
Your Guests – If at all possible, an estimate of the number of guests expected to attend the funeral should be given to the Director of Communication so that the correct number of bulletins can be prepared.
A funeral planning form will be given to you when you visit the priest.
If you need a suggestion for a funeral home or caterer, consult with the rector.