The Services

A funeral marks the close of a human life on earth. It is the opportunity for friends and family to express their grief, to give thanks for the life which has now completed its journey in this world and to commend the person into God's keeping.

Generally, funerals are arranged through the undertakers who will ensure that you will have a little to do as possible during this difficult time.

We work closely with the funeral director and offer pastoral care for the breaved.

One of our priests will visit your home and will discuss preparations for the eulogy and order of service.

A service of remembrance (All Souls) is held every year in October/November to which the families are invited to attend.

The local funeral director in Penistone is Dyson Funeral Services, managed by Peter Brailsford, who offers a friendly, personal service. He can be contacted by phone on 01226 762481 (day and night).

You can also find the website at:

The sections below are adapted from the main CofE website. The entire article can be read by clicking here.

Please click the heading section to read more.

The service begins with the priest or other minister reading aloud such reassuring sentences from the scriptures as:

'I am the resurrection and the life,' says the Lord; 'he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die' .

A psalm - often The Lord is my shepherd - follows and lessons are read telling of God's care and of the hope of eternal life.

At this point, there is an address (eulogy) remembering the life and work of the person. Hopefully our words are of comfort and strength to the mourners to enable them to carry on with their lives.

The committal is a particularly solemn moment of the funeral service. It takes place either at the graveside or, in the case of a cremation, in the crematorium chapel or in church before the hearse leaves for the crematorium.

In the cemetery or churchyard, the family will gather round the open grave into which the coffin is lowered and they will hear the words:

'We therefore commit his (or her) body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life.'

Handfuls of earth are then scattered on the coffin.

In a crematorium, the words of committal may be accompanied by the closing of a curtain (if you so wish) to hide the coffin from view.

The committal can be a very emotional moment. Many who are suffering grief find that the offering of prayer and the trust that the person is in God's safe hands can begin the process of healing the grief of loss.

The person who has died may have left a paragraph in their Will describing the sort of funeral arrangements they hoped for.

Naturally, the family will want to keep to such arrangements as far as possible.

Not everyone knows that they have the right to a funeral in their parish church, even if they and the dead person have not been church-goers.

Parish clergy regard the taking of funerals as an important part of our work. We give a lot of time to visiting families, comforting those who are facing loss.

If one of us is to be asked to take the service, this should be done before any other funeral arrangements are made to make sure one is free and available.

Funeral directors and their local knowledge play a very important part in all these arrangements; they know all the local priests, cemeteries and crematoria.

As part of a national network of funeral directors, they can, if necessary, give advice on funerals in other parts of the country, as well as on costs and fees.

In many country parishes, the churchyard is still open for burials and the parish clergy are able to advise on suitable memorials. However, St. James' Midhopestones provides the only open church burial ground within the Penistone and Thursltone Team Ministry.

The Church of England has nothing against cremation; these days six out of 10 funerals make use of the crematorium. This leaves the question of what is to be done with the ashes.

Crematoria have gardens of rest where they can be buried and many churchyards including St. John's, St. Saviour's and St. James' have a special place set aside for burying ashes even when there is no space left for graves.

People who have lost someone close to them are often so busy with practical details and arrangements between the death and the funeral that they do not experience the full sense of their loss until later.

Grieving is a natural and important part of coming to terms with and healing this loss and it may continue for several months.

We will endeavour to keep in touch and if appropriate, arrange pastoral visits after the funeral.

The Five Churches in the Parish