An Order for Christian Funerals - 2002
PREFATORY NOTE 2002 BY BISHOP DAVID THOMAS
The Order for the Burial of the Dead printed in Volume II of the 1984 Book of Common Prayer first came into use in 1974. The subsequent passage of time has inevitably brought with it new expectations of a funeral liturgy. Concern has been widely expressed in recent years about the archaic nature of much of the language in the Prayer Book funeral services, about the lack of prayers appropriate to particular circumstances and about the non-inclusion of certain readings that are in fact quite often used at funerals.
The Standing Liturgical Advisory Commission is currently preparing an alternative Order for the Burial of the Dead. While this work is going on, the Bench believes that the situation warrants the publication of this new edition of the funeral provision in the 1984 Prayer Book.
This edition contains a considerable amount of additional material. It is intended primarily as a resource for those conducting funerals, and there should therefore be no need to equip churches with multiple copies. In the interests of clarity and ease of use, material from the Prayer Book provision is normally printed first, followed by the supplementary material. The only exceptions to this are Sections 5 and 20, where the readings are listed and printed in their biblical order.
For and on behalf o the Bench of Bishops