Walking with the coffin

Buckinghamshire vicar

When a funeral has been in church, I invite the whole congregation to follow the coffin out at the end of the service and consciously commit it to God as the deceased goes on his or her final journey. We walk as far as the church gate and then stand and watch as the hearse departs from the crematorium. I have been amazed by what a strong positive reaction it evokes in people. It underlines the notion of life as a pilgrimage and a funeral as the final stage of that and reminds people that we do not go alone. Even in death, we can accompany a loved one for part of their final journey.