Mind the gap

After meeting and planning the service, there might be anything from a few days to over two weeks before the day of the funeral. This can be an especially difficult time for the family and all those who will attend. Read on for simple ideas to support them during this waiting time.

Waiting for a funeral to happen can feel strange, even surreal for those who are bereaved. There are still many practical things to think about, and they may also be experiencing a whole range of emotions and reactions.


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Leaving something tangible with the family that reassures them of the continuing support and care of the church can be helpful. This could be a special card, (posted if visiting has not been possible), which includes a prayer they can use. It also tells the family that they are being prayed for.

Signing the card and completing the details will give the family all they need to contact you if they need to.

The website www.churchofenglandfunerals.org also offers a way to pray at home with a virtual ‘Light a candle’ tool. It’s possible to share the virtual lit candle with others on Facebook and Twitter.

Be available to give guidance to the family if they need it, particularly if someone is going to do the eulogy or readings. If you have time to offer extra support, you may be able to offer rehearsal space, with you or another experienced colleague, or practical tips on writing a good eulogy, if they’d like that help. The Church of England funerals site offers tips on this too.