Funeral Protocol at St Joseph Melkite Church

Christ Is Risen, He Is Risen Indeed

Bringing the body into the church and commencement of service (usually 10.30 am)

All family members meet at the front of the church.
The body is walked into the church, behind the celebrant and the cross with all family members following the body.
The celebrant will do the raising of incense around the body. Once the celebrant is back in the sanctuary, everyone is to sit down in silence, in respect
of the body. From behind the altar the celebrant and other participating members of the clergy do the farewell prayers.

Psalm 23 (10.55am) (Reader via one of the family member )  The Lord is My Shepherd

As believers in God and followers of Christ, we do not fear death and we know that our beloved is now resting with Him, in peace.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

Funeral prayers (usually 11.00 am)
The funeral prayers start. When the celebrant holds the censer, everyone is to
stand. When the censer is given to the deacon, everyone is to sit down.

Reading of the Epistle (11.15 am)  The Epistle is read (language to be determined prior to the ceremony). Reader (one of the family member)

Reading of the Gospel In Arabic and English.
Family tree of the deceased and offering of condolences to the family  Celebrant/Deacon
Prayers of the faithful  To be prepared by the participants beforehand. ( family members)
All readers meet at the front on the left side facing the altar to read the prayers of the faithful.
Once finished reading, the reader goes to the end of the line of readers. When all prayers are read, the readers return to their seats.

Eulogy and Slideshow NOT  in Church anymore as the Melkite Bishop ask to do it during the meal of mercy  

Blessing the casket with fragrant holy water As a sign of farewell for the newly born in heaven, all immediate family members gather around the casket, and rose water is sprayed on the casket. The rose water is sprayed with rosemary kept from Good Friday.

Blessings and end of service
The celebrant says 3 times “His (or her) memory be eternal.”

The carrying of the casket: The selected immediate family members will be walking the casket out to the
car and return for condolences inside the church.

Everyone is to remain in the church. The immediate family returns to the church to receive condolences.
Condolences to the family

Due to time limitation, condolences are offered to immediate relatives only. The children stand in front of the Iconostasis ensuring their back is not turned
to the Altar. They stand in a line with their partners behind them.

Christ Is Risen, He Is Risen Indeed

as PDF  Funeral Protocol

as PDF Family Tree

as PDF Order of the Funeral of Dead