Chapter 17 » 17.09
Conduct of funerals
The Friends appointed should consult with the relatives of the deceased and with local elders, who take particular responsibility for the right holding of the meeting for worship on such occasions (12.12.f). Sometimes programmed elements may be appropriate in the worship. It is important to be clear at this stage whether a memorial meeting (17.10) is also to be held at a later date. The Friends appointed to arrange a funeral should also promptly inform appropriate Friends in the area meeting to ensure an adequate presence at the funeral. Former as well as serving elders and overseers may, for example, be included. They should be chosen for their wise judgment and special concern for the right conduct of such occasions of worship, and the concern should be clearly laid upon them.
Where it is expected that a number present will be without experience of a meeting for worship, it is important for an elder, or another designated Friend, to explain briefly the nature of the meeting for worship and the procedure to be followed.
Arrangements should be made in advance for some Friends to sit at the front of the meeting and for one of them, usually an elder, to take definite responsibility for bringing it to an end. At the close of the meeting for worship, it may be desirable for this Friend to come forward to the relatives, speaking with them and indicating that they should lead the way out.