Every funeral and every death is different. You might feel numb at first and then a mixture of grief, gratitude, joy and anger – perhaps all mixed together. You might be hurting with the tragedy of an unexpected death, or perhaps you are grateful for a long and fruitful life. A Christian funeral is available to all people whether they are regular worshippers in their local church or not. Some people find planning the funeral with family and friends helps in their grieving. Perhaps you already know something of what your loved one wanted. You may even have planned the service together some time ago. If you are uncertain, the minister who will lead the service can help you choose suitable readings, hymns, music and prayers. Some deaths will be especially traumatic, distressing or unexpected. The Church has special funerals for children, or after sudden or violent deaths, including suicide. We would be honoured to talk with you about what is possible. Funerals can also raise profound personal questions about the meaning of life and death, this is perfectly normal. There may not be much time around the funeral to properly reflect on these matters, but you can come back to them later and a member of the St. Stephen’s pastoral team would be very happy to talk with you about how you are feeling and the questions and thoughts this has raised. We also have an annual service near the end of October during which you remember your loved one, have their name read out and light a candle if you wish. More information about a Church of England funeral can be found here.