Preparing an Episcopal Funeral

Rob Boulter, Kenneth Koehler

Jan/2014, 56 Pages, Paperback, 8.25 x 10.75

ISBN-13: 9780819229168



Funeral planning is one of the most challenging things a family or priest may ever do, whether it is honoring the death of a loved one or long-time member of the congregation. This simple guide explains the Episcopal theology of celebrating a life alongside grief, while offering practical guidelines and forms for planning and arranging funerals. All content is in accordance to the Book of Common Prayer (1979) and approved liturgical supplementary materials.

Rob Boulter is the Associate Rector for Pastoral Care at St. Columba's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. Previously he was a liturgist at Washington National Cathedral and participated in the coordination of the funeral for President Ronald Reagan. Rob holds a bachelor's of Music from Ithaca College. He earned a Master's of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, as well as a Diploma in Anglican Studies from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. While at Yale, he studied innovative forms of liturgy with a special emphasis on intergenerational worship.

Kenneth Koehler has been a clergyperson for over twenty five years and a priest for nearly forty. He has served two Denver parishes, where the number of funerals per year has averaged 35-40. The first edition of Preparing a Catholic Funeral arose out of the experience of his own father's funeral; when it came time to plan, no one knew where/what his plans were. Since then, literally thousands of parishioners around the country have appreciated the opportunity to supply, in a quick form, the right information for the church and their families. Reverend Koehler currently serves as Pastor of St. Mark Catholic Church in Westminster, CO.

"Rob Boulter has compiled a valuable resource, and every congregation should make this resource widely available to its members. It offers sound practical advice, both for those facing the death of a loved one and for those planning ahead for their death." —Ruth Meyers, Dean of Academic Affairs, and Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics, Church Divinity School of the Pacific

"A valuable resource for the most poignant of times, you will find resources here to care for the grieving with pastoral insight and the power of finely crafted liturgy. I plan on giving copies of Preparing an Episcopal Liturgy to newly ordained clergy and pastoral care leaders." —The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Washington DC

"Pastors often say that preparing the sermon for Easter Sunday is one of their most difficult tasks. The Resurrection of Christ, with its promise to us, is simultaneously too simple and too vast a topic for that occasion. But we are given the special privilege of sharing that Easter message each time someone in our community dies and enters into Life. Preparing an Episcopal Funeral provides practical guidance for the pastor who wishes to share the Easter Gospel during those difficult occasions when people are most hungry to receive it, by both Word and Sacrament, and by their holy companions, pastoral care and administration." —The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire "Preparing an Episcopal Funeral is a solid and very practical guide to issues both pastoral and liturgical. It would be of great help to family and friends who face the death of a loved one, but would be a fine tool in the hands of any individual who wants to give attention to his or her own advance planning. This booklet is steeped in the church's conviction that nothing can separate us from the love of God in the Risen Christ." —The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Chicago

"Short enough to be a realistic and inviting resource for those dealing with the death of a loved one, comprehensive enough to offer insights about every facet of funeral preparation, this handbook expresses with directness and warmth the current pastoral and liturgical practice of Episcopal churches, combining respect for valuable traditions with a thoroughly contemporary orientation." —The Rev. Martin L. Smith, spiritual guide, retreat leader and author of books exploring contemporary spirituality

"Rob Boulter’s Preparing for an Episcopal Funeral belongs in every pastor’s study, every parish office, every seminary class on pastoral care. It is concise and remarkably clear, combining the pastoral and practical aspects of one of the most delicate and challenging aspects of parish life. How do we celebrate a life, even as we grieve the inevitable passing of a beloved member of our own family or the parish family? How can we, clergy or lay, offer compassionate support to those overwhelmed by grief even as they struggle with decisions great and trivial? Preparing an Episcopal Funeral is a valuable resource for us all—concise and profoundly useful in preparing for that service of farewell and celebration but also an thought-provoking invitation to reflection for all on the meaning of life and death." —The Rev. Margaret Guenther, Associate Rector, St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.


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