Funerals and Memorial Services at St. Paul’s Memorial Church

The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all its meaning in the Resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised. The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”. This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.

The Book of Common Prayer, p. 507


The death of a member of the church should be reported to the Rector of the parish as soon as possible (church office: 434-295-2156). The Rector and staff are ready to be of assistance and can be with the family at the funeral home if our presence is desired.  The clergy should be consulted before a date and time is set for the funeral or memorial service.

Planning the service: Baptized Christians are properly buried from the church.  The service is called a “funeral” when the body or cremains (ashes) are present, and a “memorial service” when they are buried during a separate service.  A member of the clergy will meet with the family to plan and shape the service according to the needs of the family and the wishes of the deceased (if known).  Some resources related to the service planning are included here.



For most services, one lesson is chosen from each of the following four groups (as cited in the Book of Common Prayer).


From the Old Testament:


Isaiah 25:6-9 (He will swallow up death in victory)
Isaiah 61:1-3 (To comfort all that mourn)
Lamentations 3:22-26, 31-33 (The Lord is good unto them that wait for him)
Lamentations 3:22-26, 31-33 (The Lord is good unto them that wait for him)
Wisdom 3:1-5, 9 (The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God)
Job 19: 21-27a

From the Psalter:

Psalm 23
Psalm 27
Psalm 42:1-7
Psalm 46
Psalm 90:1-12
Psalm 106:1-5
Psalm 116
Psalm 121
Psalm 130
Psalm 139:1-11

From the New Testament:

Romans 8:14-19, 34-35, 37-39 (The glory that shall be revealed)
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 35-38, 42-44, 53-58 (The imperishable body)
2 Corinthians 4:16-5:9 (Things that are unseen are eternal)
1 John 3:1-2 (We shall be like him)
Revelation 7:9-17 (God will wipe away every tear)
Revelation 21:2-7 (Behold, I make all things new)

From the Gospel:

John 5:24-27 (He who believes has everlasting life)
John 6:37-40 (All that the Father gives me will come to you)
John 10:11-16 (I am the good shepherd)
John 11:21-27 (I am the resurrection and the life)
John 14:1-6 (In my Father's house are many rooms)


Family members are encouraged to identify people to read the lessons chosen from the Old Testament, Psalter, and New Testament. A priest will read the Gospel lesson.


Provision of altar flowers for a funeral service is to be coordinated with the parish office.  Flowers may be ordered from Couture (formerly Patterson’s) Florist (434-823-4942).

Guest book:

You may wish to bring a book for your guests to sign, as a record of their presence.


Christian hymns for funeral services are generally taken from The Hymnal 1982. If the family wishes to help choose the music, the church organist will be happy to work with the family in choosing appropriate hymns and/or anthems with final approval being given by the Rector.  Please notify the clergy as soon as possible if the services of the organist will be needed.

Organist fee: $200



The parish hall may be used for a reception after the service.  St. Paul’s does not have a reception guild.  We can suggest either Harvest Moon Catering (434-296-9091) or HotCakes catering (434-295-6037), both of whom are familiar with our kitchen.

Sexton fee:

If the sexton is required to work on Saturday for a funeral, there will be a fee of $50.

St. Paul’s Memorial Garden:

St. Paul’s Memorial Garden, located adjacent to the chapel,  is available for the direct interment of ashes.  This may be reserved prior to or at the time of death at a cost of $300. Those buried in the Garden are remembered on a bronze plaque inside the chapel.  Checks may be made payable to “St. Paul’s Memorial Garden.”

Almighty God, Father of all mercies and giver of comfort:  Deal graciously, we pray, with all who mourn; that, casting all their care on you, they may know the consolation of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, p. 505


Worship Schedule

8:00 a.m. Holy Communion
10:00 a.m. Holy Communion
5:30 p.m. Holy Communion
9:00 p.m. Compline
12:15 p.m.
Holy Communion
5:30 p.m.
Evening Prayer

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Church Office (434) 295-2156


St. Paul's is a Stephen
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