The Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer has a wonderful description of a funeral, or what we call in our tradition “The Burial of the Dead”. Here it is:
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 powers, 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.”
This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.”
A funeral typically takes place in our church building. We are glad to help you pre-plan your funeral service, and encourage you to make your end-of-life plans as well.
In our funeral services, which are conducted according to the provisions of the Book of Common Prayer, we have opportunity to bring our grief, share mourning in community, and find that we are upheld by God and one another. We celebrate God’s victory over death in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we celebrate the gift to us of the person that has died.
The Clergy are available to consult with you on an individual basis to plan your funeral or that of a loved one.
The Columbarium at St. Paul's Bellingham
In continuation of our honor for those who have passed on, and as an expansion of our sacred space and communal life, in the summer of 2014 we established the St. Paul’s Columbarium: a place for prayer, meditation, and final rest for the cremated remains of the departed.
Cremation is fully in accord with the custom and teaching of the Episcopal Church and is an increasingly common burial option. The Columbarium provides a holy place for those who have chosen this option. They rest in what our Book of Common Prayer calls the “sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life.” Cremated remains are interred by burial in an above-ground marked crypt.
If you are interested in arranging a place in the Columbarium for yourself or a loved one, contact St. Paul’s Church Office for information, or