Covid-19: Funerals are still taking place although with many restrictions. Advice can change so do be in touch with Rev Dave and your choice of undertaker to be kept aware. In general there is only one part to each funeral at present, taking place either at graveside or at a crematorium, with restrictions on the numbers of family (or in certain cases, close friends) able to be present: typically 15 or 20 depending on circumstances. Rev Dave will still do his best to help you give your loved one an appropriate and respectful send-off, and is also willing to discuss the possibility of a Memorial Service or similar event once restrictions are lifted, at which more people may be able to gather to pay respects, express sympathies and so on.
Dave will in any case make contact with family members, certainly once arrangements are confirmed, to visit and take details of the service – including hymns and readings which he can suggest if you are unsure, and taking details of your loved one’s life in order to compile a tribute or ‘a story of their life’.
Firms covering the local area include Donald McLaren in Coatbridge and Airdrie; Co-operative Funeralcare who have branches in Coatbridge, Airdrie, Kirkintilloch and elsewhere; and Edward Lee in Muirhead, part of the larger Dignity group – but while these are the firms we most frequently work with (and get on well with), these are not specific recommendations and you should choose whoever you are most comfortable with.
Please note that on occasion the minister may not be available to conduct a funeral service (e.g due to holidays or at exceptionally busy times) but in that case he will ensure that another local minister, pastor or other church official will be available to conduct funerals. This will normally be advised to funeral directors and Session Clerks beforehand or noted on the church answerphone message.
While in the past use of the church buildings for funerals was limited either to elders of the church only, or to church members and their families, recent times have seen a more open approach to those who have requested it. The minister does not charge a fee but use of the church would include a requested amount for use of the building, heat and light, as well as for the time of the Church Officer and (if required) the Organist. Details available on request.
“As parish minister I am here for all residents of the parish as well as members of the local churches, however as a Christian minister I will bring that viewpoint to the conduct of funerals – including Christian prayers, Bible readings and (usually) Christian hymns. I will take details of your loved one’s life and to draw that together in a tribute to them – and/or work with family members who may wish to give their own tribute, poems or readings during the service.
“I recognise that family members and friends may well have different backgrounds, traditions and beliefs and will try to acknowledge that within the funeral service (e.g. by ‘inviting’ those assembled to pray rather than assuming they will do so, and by emphasising where I am bringing a Christian perspective). If any ceremonial from organisations other than the church is requested, this can be discussed and accommodated, usually by requesting that it takes place outside the church building and after the Blessing/Benediction is pronounced for the end of the service.”