Planning a funeral can be difficult because it often comes at a time of deep personal grief and when there can be many other complex things to arrange at once. We are here to help you as much as we can and we are able to provide several different types of service, depending on your needs and preferences.
A Christian Funeral is an occasion to remember the dead, give thanks for their life, to comfort one another in our grief and, frequently, this is also the occasion to commit their earthly remains to the ground in the sure and certain hope that when the Lord returns, those who died in faith will be raised to a new and perfect everlasting life.
We are permitted to conduct Christian Funeral services using the Anglican liturgies authorized by the Bishop of Pittsburgh. Such services may be held at Christ Church Fox Chapel or you may request the officiating minister to attend at another local place, such as a funeral home.
If you prefer, we may instead conduct a Memorial Service also using the liturgies that have been authorized by the Bishop of Pittsburgh. There is a greater degree of flexibility over how we shape a Memorial Service and typically the main thing distinguishing it from a funeral is that the body or remains are not present.
Some families request a Memorial Service, where there has already been a funeral or a committal elsewhere.
It may be that you only require a brief service of committal (where the body or cremated remains are placed in the ground) because the family wants something simple and more intimate that can be arranged more easily or because another service has already been held.
Our clergy are happy to lead such services either at our columbarium or at another authorized burial place, such as a cemetery or church yard, within the area. If one of our clergy attends at another church, it is customary for us first to seek the permission of the minister in charge of that church.
It is possible to arrange for your loved one’s cremated remains to be committed to the ground at our columbarium just down the hill from the main church building. It is a beautiful space to visit and pray and remember your loved one. Some families choose to reserve a space or adjacent spaces well in advance.
Where a Funeral Service is held at Christ Church Fox Chapel, we can process to the columbarium, to conclude the service with a committal there.
We will conduct any of the services above, where the deceased or the person in charge of arranging the funeral is a member, former member, or is closely related to a member of our church.
To be a member, one must be a believer who is active in the worshipping life of the church. A member is defined in our church bylaws as someone who is “baptized, a communicant, eighteen (18) years of age or over, recognized by the Rector and Wardens as a regular attendee at services, and on the Treasurer’s records as a regular contributor to the revenues of the Congregation.”
We will also conduct such services for those who are not members but who are regularly involved in other activities at our church, perhaps though one of our mid-week groups or through the school next door.
What to expect
All of our services follow a liturgical structure of simple prayers, at least one bible reading, at least a psalm or piece of Christian music and a simple homily or sermon. We can discuss with you any other aspects of the service that you would value such as a eulogy, Holy Communion, other readings or military honors. We are prepared to be very flexible on what we agree provided that all aspects of the service are consistent with our beliefs and Christian doctrine which honors Jesus Christ as Lord and the only way to everlasting life.
Ordinarily it takes at least a few days to prepare a service well because we are a busy church, but we will do our best to accommodate your needs when we can. We have several clergy at Christ Church all of whom can lead services to a high standard.
Preparation and arranging the date
Before we can preside at a service, the officiating minster will want to meet with you to discuss your needs and to find out more about the deceased. We will also want to ensure that the family has agreed on one person to have the final say on any decisions. To help you get started on gathering the information necessary to ensure that the funeral proceeds as you would like, our Interactive Funeral Planning Form can be completed in Adobe Acrobat Reader (you can save your progress & return to it as needed). You can then print & review with the clergy who is officiating.
We are happy to agree a date directly with you or your funeral director.
There are certain minimal fees for music, flowers and bulletins. We also charge for hiring the facility if you desire to use our hall, narthex, outdoor space or kitchen for a reception.
We charge non-members for the service and minister’s time but we do not charge current members for this because it is an important part of our ongoing pastoral support of you.
If members wish to make a donation to the church or to the officiating minster you can always speak to the church office or to your funeral director about what people typically give but we have no expectations.
We charge everyone the same rate for a place in the columbarium and these charges, in part, are used to maintain the area.
For information on the current fees, please contact the church office.