All funerals or memorials are services of worship for the family and community of faith. While the form of services may differ, each is a Service of Witness to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The service on the occasion of death ordinarily should be held in the usual place of worship in order to join this service to the community’s continuing life and witness to the resurrection. The service shall be under the direction of the pastor.
The Chapel sanctuary is an appropriate place for a memorial or funeral service. Here on the Chapel property is where we worship every Sunday. Here is where we baptize our children, celebrate marriage, gather at the Lord’s table, and remember the love and grace of God. Here we are surrounded by the symbols of our Christian faith. In this place we have tangible reminders of the “great cloud of witnesses” that surround us, and the community of faith that supports us with compassion and love.
THE SERVICE AS WITNESS TO THE RESURRECTION: Memorial, funeral and graveside or columbarium services are acts of worship among the Christian community. The purpose of such services of worship are to glorify God, to affirm our belief in the resurrection to life everlasting, and to comfort the bereaved. Although gratitude and honor are to be expressed to God for the life and witness of the deceased, the focus of worship is upon God; therefore, prolonged and undue attention upon the deceased is discouraged.
Types of Services:
Funerals: The Funeral Service is a service where the body is present in either a casket or an urn. The Funeral Service is often concluded with a Service of Committal at the burial site.The resurrection is a central doctrine of the Christian faith and shapes Christians’ attitudes and responses to the event of death. The church offers a ministry of love and hope to all who grieve. Just as the church embraces us in our baptism and throughout our Christian life, so it does us in our death and in our hope of resurrection to eternal life.
Because it is difficult under emotional stress to plan wisely, families are encouraged to discuss and plan in advance the arrangements which will be necessary at the time of death, including those decisions about the Christian options of burial, cremation or donation for medical purposes. These plans should provide for arrangements which are simple, which bear witness to the resurrection hope, and in which the Christian community is central. By prior consideration and planning, the family of the deceased can be relieved of some difficult decisions, and the intentions of the deceased for an appropriate service of worship can be maintained.
Memorial Services: The Memorial Service is a service where the body is not present. Interment of the remains in a Service of Committal has either preceded the memorial service or will take place at a later time.
Graveside Services: The Graveside Service is a service that takes place at the burial site. The Service of Committal is a part of the Graveside Service.
Action steps if a funeral service is needed:
Upon the death of a loved one, Dr. Norris should be notified as soon as possible. This is best accomplished by contacting the Chapel office or by calling him at 561.801.5494 (if the office is closed for the day or on weekends). We earnestly desire to know also of those who need comfort and counsel as they face death. By being involved early in situations of death or impending death, the Chapel can help immensely with the necessary decisions regarding funeral homes, disposition of the body and service arrangements, as well as caring for the spiritual needs of those involved.
- Service Music: Stewart Foster, the Chapel’s organist, will provide suitable sacred music and is available for consultation with the family concerning these musical selections. The appropriateness of musical selections will be determined by Mr. Foster. Instrumentalists or vocalists may also be employed. The family is expected to cover the cost of any musicians.
- Flowers: In keeping with the simplicity and understanding of the Christian faith to avoid ostentation, flowers are usually minimal. This will encourage worshipers to focus their attention on the promises of Scripture and the grace of God. Typically, the family of the deceased will furnish the arrangement of flowers for the service.
- The Chapel Columbarium: The word columbarium comes from the Latin word “columba,” meaning dove. It formerly referred to a dovecote and, in Roman times, came to mean compartments for keeping cinerary urns. The Royal Poinciana Chapel has 160 niches, where urns containing cremated remains are interred. Each niche has the capacity to hold two urns. The niches are sealed with engraved marble fronts showing the name and life dates of those interred within. An inviting bench allows time for contemplation.