Diocesan Handbook

1.1 Chief Liturgical Officer
The Diocesan Bishop is the Chief Liturgical Officer of the Diocese and gives direction to
clergy in matters of liturgical policy and practice. The Bishop authorises rites and
ceremonies used by licenced clergy or Licenced Lay Ministers and, from time to time, in
exceptional circumstances, congregational members who may be called upon to lead in
public worship.
1.2 Liturgical Principles
In recent years there has been much innovation and experimentation with liturgical
practices within the Diocese, with a goal to enliven and enrich worship. While the goal to
reach people and present the gospel afresh is admirable, for it to be authentic it must
reflect our Anglican theology, heritage, and tradition. We wish to encourage vibrant
worship but it must remain rooted in the gifts of our heritage.
The General Synod 2010 approved the document:
Liturgical Principles:Principles to Guide the Revision of Contemporary Language Common Worship Texts of
the Anglican Church of Canada .
This is an excellent document to study and use when considering liturgical innovation. It
highlights both where flexibility may be applied and where consistency with the wider
Church is essential. The document may be found at
http://www.anglican.ca/faith/files/2010/10Liturgical-Principles-and-Agenda.pdf
At present a wide variety of worship resources available through the Anglican Church of
Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the prayer books of the Anglican
Communion, including, but not limited to, New Zealand, England, Scotland, The
Episcopal Church of the US. We would insist that any Eucharistic Prayer normally come
from one of our Canadian resources but in special circumstances, where an alternative is
used, it MUST come from an approved prayer book of the Communion or of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada.
Occasionally, an alternative version of the Creed is used in worship. While there may be
some educational value in using an alternative version in a particular circumstance, it is
expected that use of one of the ecumenical creeds will be the normative practice.
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While the lectionaries of the Book of Common Prayer and the Book of Alternative
Services are authorized, The Revised Common Lectionary will be the ususal one for our
liturgies.
Over the years many parishes have begun “Prayer and Praise Services” which seem
mainly to consist of favoured choruses and prayers. We would encourage parishes to look
at the rich heritage of “Services of the Word” from around the Communion as well as
new and vibrant hymns and sacred music of the Communion, rather than simply borrow
from congregationalist, pentecostal traditions, which do not reflect our heritage, or our
commitment to “Common Prayer”. Indeed, they often do not reflect our theology.
Further, we would insist that the richness of our liturgical action be respected; the
seasonal patterns, the Propers of the Church Year. We insist that worship be rooted in
the fullness of Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in the celebration of salvation
history, in thanksgiving as our primary response in worship We insist that any
Anglican “Service of the Word” be rooted in our normal rhythm of worship; in
gathering, in proclaiming and preaching the Word, in affirming the universal faith, in
prayer, confession and pardon – in the sending forth of the People of God to serve God
and neighbour. (Loosely based on directive of the Diocese of Toronto, March 2011)
2.0 Baptism
1. Baptism is the sacrament given to the Church for initiating membership and making
disciples. Baptismal discipline is the pastoral direction which tries to restore to our
practice of baptism, this central purpose.
2. Because it is the sacrament of discipleship, the Church rejects the notion of baptism as a
magical ceremony, a rite of passage, or merely an event in the life of the infant’s family.
Before agreeing to conduct the baptism of an infant the parish clergy MUST be
approached by the parent(s), requesting baptism – NOT an intermediary.
3. Adult baptism is to be considered a normal feature of the Church’s teaching and practice.
The baptism of adults and older children is to be encouraged. In the case of adult baptism
or of young people of an age to make their own promises, the sponsors will present the
candidate to indicate their support but the candidate will answer the questions for
themself.
4. The baptism liturgy requires that the “witnesses”, the congregation, in which the
baptism occurs, “do all in their power to support these persons in their life in Christ”
This is not a promise we can ask a congregation to undertake lightly. Thus yearly training
for the congregation, around a renewal of Baptismal Vows, with teachings about
baptism, Christian community and baptismal ministry should be part of the liturgical life
of the congregation. It would also be helpful for each congregation to set specific goals
related to what it means for them to support and uphold people in their baptismal
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promises.
5. Baptismal training with parents and godparents is also essential to the Church, if we are
to take baptism seriously and properly fulfill our ministry of making disciples. The
parents and godparents are required to promise to raise the child, trusting in God’s grace,
and with commitment to Jesus Christ. These are not promises we should expect parents
and godparents to lightly undertake, without consideration and without thought to what
these promises require of them. Parents, may serve as godparents and should be
encouraged to do so. Godparents must be baptized themselves (rubrics BCP p. 522;
BAS p. 150) and able to make the promises required. Unbaptized persons may act as
witnesses to the baptism without being sponsors/godparents. They would not be in the
place of godparents/sponsors but in addition to godparents/sponsors.
6. The normal pattern of baptism would be that parents would seek baptism for their
children at a service within the congregation where they are worshipping and for the
grandparents and family members to travel there for the service.
7 If, because of illness or some other extenuating circumstance, the infant is to be
baptized in a congregation where the parents are not worshippers, courtesy requires that
the incumbent of the infant’s home parish be contacted to inform them of the baptism,
to ensure that adequate baptismal preparation has been completed and improve the
likelihood of followup.
8. If the parent(s) have a very limited or no ongoing relationship with a worshipping
community where they live, a major goal of baptismal preparation and follow up would
be to encourage the establishment of such a relationship so that the parents and
godparents can fulfill the promises they make and that the congregation can fulfil the
promise it made.
9. Normally, baptism is administered within a celebration of the Eucharist at the chief
service on a Sunday, ideally on major feast days such as The Epiphany, The Baptism of
the Lord, The Great Vigil of Easter, All Saints’ Day, at Confirmation or any occasion
when the bishop is present. However, from time to time, it may be included with other
liturgies that meet the needs of the congregation. The dates for baptism should be
published well in advance and are to be seen as great occasions in the life of the
congregation/parish.
10. From time to time we receive requests that there be a godparent or sponsor by proxy.
This is acceptable, however, we would hope that no more than one person to be a
godparent/sponsor by proxy.
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11. In cases where parents or godparents/sponsors are not able to meet with the incumbent
prior to the baptism, they should be encouraged to complete baptismal preparation in
their own parish or area.
12. A copy of these Diocesan Baptismal Guidelines should be made available to all who seek
baptism for themselves or their children.
3.0 Confirmation/ Pastoral Visit
1. Each parish shall extend an invitation to confirmation at least every two years. The
service of confirmation is an opportunity for the whole congregation to participate in the
renewal of baptismal vows.
If there is no confirmation planned and the bishop has had no occasion to visit he/she
shall be invited to make a pastoral visit to the parish at least every two years.
2. Candidates will normally be confirmed only in their own parish where they live their
faith. Under special circumstances, such as a candidate’s illness, an incumbent may
request that one of their candidates be confirmed at a regularly scheduled confirmation
service in an adjacent parish. After consulting the incumbent of the parish where the
confirmation is proposed, the Bishop may approve the request.
3. Confirmation is not a requirement for receiving Holy Communion. Parishes may use
“Life in the Eucharist” or some such program in preparing children for early communion.
However, there is no substitute to Sunday School and regular weekly worship with their
family for the spiritual formation of children and preparation to receive communion.
4. Incumbents are responsible for having candidates prepared for confirmation and
properly rehearsed for the confirmation service. Confirmation instruction should include
an understanding of the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments and the
teaching of the Church. It must also stress ongoing Christian commitment within the
Anglican tradition. Confirmation preparation should also include the importance of
family support to faith and, where possible, (in the case of children) parents/guardians
should attend selected sessions with their children.
5. Candidates, of their own accord, must be willing to make a public affirmation of faith.
6. The liturgical colour is white. Candidates should not be segregated by gender. There is no
formal dress code. We would ask that candidates dress as they normally would for
church. Candidates should be supported, at the time of confirmation, by parents,
baptismal sponsors and the church family. Family members and sponsors should come
forward with the candidate for the Laying on of Hands.
7. It should be made clear to congregations that photographs are not permitted to be taken
during the service. Opportunities for the taking of photographs will be given immediately
after the service.
8. Where possible, one parish confirmation service is recommended.
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9. A Parish Confirmation Register shall be kept. The date of the confirmation service, along
with full Christian names and surnames, are to be entered and the correct spelling
ensured. The Bishop will sign the confirmation register.
10. Immediately following the confirmation service Incumbents are to email to the Bishop the
names and full mailing addresses of those confirmed.
4.0 Reception of Members of other Communions
1. Candidates from other communions will be received by the Bishop at the time of
Confirmation, unless special permission has been obtained from the Bishop, in writing,
on each separate occasion, for the Rector to perform this office at a regularly scheduled
service in the parish. The form to be used is the form within the BAS Confirmation
service on p. 629, or, if there is no Confirmation service, the BAS form on p. 161.
5. 1 The Holy Eucharist
1. The Holy Eucharist represents the core theology of our faith and as individual clergy and
congregations we cannot act alone to change doctrine or Eucharistic practice. It is expected
that clergy would follow the rubrics carefully, paying particular attention to when we “may”
use specific words and sentences and when we “shall”, or, as in the case of the
administration where direction is clear and specific, “The sacrament is given with the
following words …
As well, we need to accurately represent what the Church actually teaches regarding the
reception of communion. The final rubric in the BCP Confirmation Service (p 561) requires
that “none be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as he be confirmed, or be ready
and desirous to be confirmed.” In 1966 the House of Bishops approved a policy allowing
the Diocesan Bishop, as chief liturgical officer of the Church in their own Diocese, to allow
for exceptions and to administer communion to a person of another communion who has been
duly baptized with water, in the Name of the Holy Trinity and holds communicant status in
their own church. The invitation to communion may be framed “ all those baptised in the
name of the Trinity and communicant in their own church are invited to the table”.
We do not expect clergy to be police and withhold communion from those coming forward,
who may not meet that requirement, however, we would expect that the invitation which is
given, accurately reflect Anglican Church of Canada policy and practice. We leave it up the
conscience of congregants as to what they decide to do.
2. Holy Eucharist is normally celebrated as the main service of the day in each congregation in
the Diocese where there is a priest.
3. Anglicans are encouraged to receive communion regularly. Children may be prepared to
receive communion before Confirmation using a program approved by the Bishop. However,
children who, from an early age, attend church, more or less weekly with their families,
may receive communion at an age which the parents and incumbent deem appropriate,
without any formal instruction other than their participation in the life of the
congregation.
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4. Communion in “both kinds” and reception from the “common cup” are the normative
method for the administration of communion in the Diocese and other forms of
administration need to be approved by the Bishop. Intinction, or dipping from the
common cup should be discouraged. However, with the Bishop’s approval, parishes
may use properly designed “intinction cups”, or a small home communion chalice, used
as an intinction cup.
5. Ablutions are to be conducted with reverence, preferably at the Credence Table. The
consumption of remaining elements should be done by the priest or with the help of the
Eucharistic Assistants with the priest reciting the administration sentences.
6. Members of the Anglican Church of Canada may, in accordance with their conscience,
receive Holy Communion in non-Anglican Churches where they are welcome.
5. 2 Lay Administration of the Holy Eucharist
1. Lay people may be licenced as Eucharistic Assistants. They will assist the clergy in the
administration of Holy Communion in their home church as part of regular
congregational worship.
2 To become licenced as a Eucharistic Assistant a person must be recommended by the
incumbent to the Vestry and/or to the Parish Council. The proper application form,
indicating approval of Vestry/Parish Council, signed by the Rector and Wardens is
submitted to the Bishop. Upon approval, the person may hold a licence as a Eucharistic
Assistant, at the discretion of the Bishop.
3. Eucharistic Assistants should be recommended with care. They should be well known and
respected by the clergy and people of the parish, and be deeply involved in the worship
and fellowship of the parish.
4. Eucharistic Assistants are licensed for their own parish only. However, on special
occasions, they may be asked to assist outside their parish at Deanery or Diocesan events.
5.3 Home Communions
1. It is the policy of the Diocese that Home Communions be celebrated at least four times a
year; Christmas, Easter, and at least two other times during the year. Some individuals
who have been regular communicants may desire communion on a more regular basis.
Where this is so, and is reasonably possible, this should be accommodated as this is a
very important part of the priestly ministry. Home Communions are to be done normally
by a priest, however, a deacon who is so licenced, may, administer Home Communion
from the reserved sacrament. Licensed Lay Ministers and Eucharistic Assistants are not
permitted to administer Home Communions, without the presence of a priest or deacon.
2. Home Communions are to be recorded in the Vestry Register of the church in the
community where the home communicant lives.
3. It should be noted that, from time to time, and with the prior permission of the home
communicant, it may be appropriate that choir members or a Licenced Lay Minister
attend the Home Communion. However, Home Communion is an opportunity for a
pastoral visit which may be impeded by the continual presence of other people.
Nevertheless, the Home communicant’s family or caregiver should be informed prior to
the visit and care taken that both the communicant and clergy feel comfortable in a
private setting.
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5. 4 Communicant Status
1. The House of Bishops has adopted the following resolution:
“This House affirms that admission to communicant status in any part of the
Anglican Communion conveys communicant status in all parts of the Anglican
Church of Canada.”
2. Following the General Synod of 2001 Evangelical Lutherans are in full Communicant
status with the Anglican Church of Canada.
6. 1 Christian Marriage
3. All marriages in the Diocese must be performed in accordance with Canon XXI of the
Anglican Church of Canada. (Included as Appendix E)
4. A request for marriage should be made to the clergy of the parish where the wedding is to
occur at least sixty days before the proposed wedding date. The clergy will inform the
couple that they are expected to participate in a Marriage Preparation Program. Marriage
preparation may be defined as a pastoral process between the couple and the clergy who
will be performing the ceremony or couple’s parish clergy. It may also be a formal
Diocesan or Deanery sponsored program approved by the clergy performing the
ceremony.
5. When a couple is not living in the parish where they will be married, that couple will be
responsible for completing a marriage preparation in the parish where they reside. A letter
of recommendation indicating that they have completed marriage preparation will be
forwarded to the host parish.
6. A couple requesting marriage must meet the civil requirements of the Province of
Newfoundland and Labrador and the Canons of the Anglican Church of Canada.
7. Marriage must be solemnized in the presence of two witnesses (at least 16 years of age) in
addition to the officiating clergy.
8. There are two official marriage services to choose from, The Book of Common Prayer (p.
563) or the Book of Alternative Services (pp. 528 or 541).
9. The Form of Service for the Blessing of a Civil Marriage, as published in the Canadian
Book of Occasional Offices, should be used for those who were not married in a church,
and who, at a later date, desire the blessing of the church on their marriage.
10. Selected scripture readings, hymns or musical selections must be chosen in consultation
with the officiating clergy. Any song which is sung must reflect the presence of God’s
love and grace in marriage and in the life of the couple.
11. In consultation with the clergy of the host parish, another Anglican clergy may officiate
and clergy of another denomination may participate in the marriage ceremony. The Rector
of the host parish shall extend the invitation. In the case of a service from the BCP, the
marriage from the espousals (“Wilt thou, etc.”) , to the blessing (“God the Father, etc.”) must
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be conducted by the Anglican clergy. In the case of a service from the BAS “The Wedding”
section and the “Blessing of the Marriage” must be conducted by the Anglican clergy. If there
is a celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the presider must be a bishop or priest duly
licensed/qualified to preside at the Holy Eucharist in the Anglican Church of Canada.
12. A marriage service is a service of worship and nothing should distract anyone from
concentrating on the promises the couple are making before God. The taking of pictures
and videos should not impede the flow or atmosphere of the wedding service.
13. No ornament or decoration shall hide the altar or alter the view of the chancel in any
fundamental way.
14. During the Lenten Season, prior to Palm Sunday, weddings may be performed, although
not encouraged. During Holy Week, weddings will only be permitted after consultation
with the Bishop.
15. At least one of the persons desiring marriage must be baptized.
6. 2 Location of Marriage Ceremonies
The body of the church is the appropriate place for the solemnization of a marriage but a
marriage may be solemnized in another location if the incumbent, after consultation with
the bishop, is satisfied that the solemnity and public nature of the occasion will be
preserved and that the service will be conducted with dignity in godly and decent order
The paragraph above was included in Canon XXI , Canon on Marriage of the National
Church, by General Synod of 2004.
The following is a set of guidelines for performing marriage ceremonies outside the
Church building. It is to be assumed that all other regulations in the Handbook,
concerning the
performance of marriage services will be followed.
1. The location of the ceremony must be approved by the incumbent, in consultation with
the bishop, as one of the first elements of the marriage planning process.
2. In the event of inclement weather it will be the couple’s responsibility to have arranged
for an alternate acceptable site, approved by the incumbent, in consultation with the
bishop.
3. The location must be public, however, it must be a place where the solemnity and
dignity of the service can be ensured.
4. The couple must assume responsibility for the deportment of guests and the general
dignity of the occasion.
5. There is to be no serving or consumption of beverages or food, no smoking, etc. at the
site of the ceremony, until after the religious ceremony is concluded.
6. The marriage service must be conducted in full, from the Book of Alternative Services or
the Book of Common Prayer, following all other marriage guidelines regarding, but not
limited to, music, attendants, readings etc.
7. The wedding is primarily an act of worship by the whole congregation. The couple will
be responsible for providing bibles or bible texts from approved translations for scripture
readings, as well as an adequate number of service booklets for the congregation. In
addition, the couple will be responsible for providing an appropriate place for the safe
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keeping and the signing of the register, for candles, kneelers, chairs etc., if the couple
wishes to use them.
8. The church is willing to assume certain liabilities and takes steps to insure safety in our
own buildings, however, we are unwilling to assume legal liability for accidents and
injuries on other properties, over which we have very limited control. The safety of
guests and of congregation members, as well as legal liability in event of accident or
injury, must be assumed by the property owners or the couple and they should be
encouraged to purchase liability insurance in planning their wedding ceremony.
9. The incumbent of the parish in which the wedding is to take place will be responsible for
performing the ceremony or for inviting another to assist or perform the ceremony as if it
were taking place in the parish church and the record is to be kept in the parish register.
10. When the ceremony is to be performed in an area not directly within a parish community
boundary, the incumbent who is requested to perform the wedding, may do so with the
bishop’s permission and the record of the marriage kept in the register of a nearby
parish, at the bishop’s request.
6.3 The Re-marriage of Divorced Persons in Church
For persons divorced by a superior court in Canada, the couple is to provide the
Certificate of Decree Absolute for each divorce finalized before September 1986 or the
Certificate of Divorce for each divorce finalized after September 1986.
If one or both persons seeking to be married were divorced outside of Canada, they would
need to provide the marriage license issuer with the original equivalent of a Certificate of
Divorce from the appropriate court plus a notarized translation of the document if it is not
in English.
If the divorce took place outside of Canada, the couple would also be required to provide
a letter from a practicing lawyer in Newfoundland and Labrador stating that the couple is
eligible to marry in Newfoundland and Labrador. The lawyer would need to review the
documentation needed to obtain a marriage license in this province, the divorce
documentation from the foreign country and give reasons why the divorce should be
recognized in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Clergy are encouraged to follow a pattern of pastoral care to review the cause of the
marriage breakup as well as to ensure that obligations from previous marriages are being
fulfilled. The purpose of such an examination is not simply to delve into the cause of the
break-up of a former marriage, but to enable the couple to reflect on what actually
happened and to seriously look at the steps they plan to take in the future marriage so that
their marriage can be a meaningful and lasting one.
7.0 Ordinations
1. The Ordination of Deacons and Priests is a prerogative of the Diocesan Bishop, who may
consult with a Diocesan Postulancy Committee, the ACPO of the Ecclesiastical Province
and the seminary of the candidate.
2. Ordinations, are Diocesan occasions; and the ordination of deacons, and, when
possible, priests, will be held at the Cathedral or at a Diocesan event such as a Synod. The
Bishop may decide, from time to time to conduct ordinations in other locations, as he/she
feels necessary.
3. The Liturgical planning for Ordinations may be delegated by the Bishop to a Committee
comprised of the Cathedral Rector or designate, a member of Synod Office, and any other
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person whom the Bishop may deem helpful to the process. Ordinands will usually be
consulted as to the choice of, hymns, readers and other participants.
4. The preacher for ordinations is selected by the Bishop.
5. Ordinations will normally be held on Festival days and the liturgical colour will normally
be white although red may be used when appropriate to the festival.
6. The Bishop will appoint the presenters, who will normally include the Executive Officer,
the Examining Chaplain, and representative of Queen’s College or of the ordinand’s
seminary. However, each ordinand may nominate two additional presenters.
7. It is the responsibility of clergy to attend ordinations whenever possible, as a sign of
collegiality and (at the ordination of priests) for priests to participate in the Laying on of
Hands. All Diocesan Clergy should robe and walk in the procession.
8. It is appropriate for Licenced Lay Ministers who are present at ordinations to robe and
participate in the procession.
v 8.0 Inductions
16. The form of service used may be either;
i The Celebration of a New Ministry in Occasional Celebrations
ii A rite approved by the Bishop for the occasion
The liturgical colour for the service of induction is white.
2. The decision to induct a priest is the Bishop’s alone. However, inductions shall be
conducted by the Regional Deans upon instruction from the Bishop.
3. Persons being inducted should plan the arrangements for the service in consultation with
the Regional Dean, and, at a time, where possible, when Deanery clergy can attend.
Inductions will be conducted, upon receiving the approval of the Bishop and as soon
after the appointment as can be arranged.
4. The decision as to which service will be used may be made by the person being inducted,
in consultation with the Regional Dean and the approval of the Bishop. The new clergy
will select the preacher. However, any travel expenses incurred, especially if the preacher
comes from outside the Diocese, will be the responsibility of the person being inducted.
5. Rehearsals should be held for those taking part, and duties assigned, prior to the service.
It is expected that a number of lay people, as well as the visiting clergy, will be given
significant parts.
6. The decision as to the use of the offering at the service is made by the clergy. The
Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, Queen’s College or Mint Brook are
commended as worthy causes.
9. 1 Christian Burial
17. Christian Burial is a ceremony marking the end of earthly life. It is an opportunity for
family and friends to express their grief, to offer thanks to God for the life now ended, to
commend the person into God’s keeping, and to express our faith and hope in the
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resurrection. As part of the bereavement process, it is the responsibility of the family to
make all funeral arrangements, after consultation with the priest. The liturgical colour is
white.
18. There can be no burial unless the clergy of the church in which the funeral takes place
has a Burial Permit, issued by the funeral home, in their possession at the time of the
burial. If ashes are to be buried in a cemetery, a Burial Permit will also be issued. Burial
permits are to be kept on record by the church. If ashes are to be taken by the family
following the funeral, no Burial Permit will be issued.
19. It is appropriate that the bereaved family participate fully in the service; standing, sitting
and kneeling at the appropriate places in the service.
20. The parish clergy is in charge of the service. The clergy, at the family’s request, may
invite other Anglican clergy or clergy of other denominations. The role of invited clergy
at the service is assigned by the officiant.
21. Clergy from other denominations, who have been invited to participate in a funeral,
should be asked to read a scripture passage chosen by the officiant, in consultation with
the family. The suggested readings are those provided in the BCP service or the BAS
order. The scripture passages should be read from the BCP (if used), from the lectern
Bible or from a Bible text approved by the officiant, without extraneous introduction or
comment by the reader.
22. The Order of Service can be from the BCP or the BAS with accompanying hymns,
scripture readings, a homily and prayers. The funeral may take place in the context of
Holy Eucharist. Hymns are chosen by the officiant, in consultation with the family.
23. The officiant may provide some material from the life of the deceased in the homily. This
material is not meant as a eulogy, in praise of the deceased , but rather a praise of how
God has worked in and through the deceased.
24. Messages of sympathy, story telling, secular readings, eulogies and songs, being an
important aspect in the expression of grief, are most appropriately shared at the funeral
home or in a social setting following the service.
25. In most cases, the body will be present in the church. The casket must be closed before
the service begins. In the cases of cremation, the body being donated to science or a body
not being recovered, the family may request that the priest preside at a memorial
service without the remains.
26. The committal takes place either at the grave side, or sometimes in the case of cremation,
in the church before the hearse leaves for the crematorium.
27. Policies for cemeteries and grave markers are usually set by local churches. However, the
symbols on grave markers should reflect Christian hope. New cemeteries or new sections
of old cemeteries should not permit the erection of forms or fences around plots. Where
possible and as restoration work is done in older cemeteries, with sensitivity, fences and
forms should be removed from around individual graves or family plots.
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28. Where applicable, fees for gravediggers, organist and caretaker are the responsibility of
the funeral home.
29. The services of lodges and other organizations should not be confused or combined with
the burial office and committal. Such rites should take place before or after the service
either in the church, the cemetery or the funeral home.
30. The Church believes in the equality of all God’s children. It is an ancient custom to cover
the casket with a funeral pall for the service in the church. Care and restraint should be
taken in the design and colour of the funeral pall. At military funerals, a flag replaces the
pall. In any case, the casket should be closed before the funeral service.
31. The normal place for a funeral will remain the parish church, however, at the discretion of
the clergy, they are permitted to conduct funerals in funeral homes when they judge
that it is the appropriate pastoral response. However, the funeral in the funeral home must
be the complete service from the Book of Common Prayer or the Book of Alternative
Services and must follow the other Diocesan guidelines for funeral services.
16. Notwithstanding the above, the family may, in consultation with the officiant, prior to the
start of the funeral liturgy, or at the end of the liturgy, following the Blessing have a
person appointed, to offer a single, short reflection on the life, talents and graces of the
deceased, appropriate for delivery in the sanctuary of the church at a time of worship.
9. 2 Disposition of Ashes
1. A funeral can be held with the body present, prior to cremation, or with the cremated
remains in an urn on a table near the chancel steps (never on the altar). A memorial
service can be held, using the BAS or BCP funeral liturgy, without a body if a body has
not been recovered, if the ashes are not available, or if the body has been donated to
science.
2. The disposal of cremated remains should be done in the same manner as if a cremation
had not taken place. Therefore, burial in consecrated ground is the preferred option and
should be encouraged.
3. The urn should be placed in the grave before the committal commences.
4. The urn may be in an already existing grave, in accordance with the policy of the local
Cemetery Committee. The position of the urn on the grave with the name of the person
whose ashes are interred are to be recorded in the cemetery plot plan.
5. In Canada the disposal of human remains at sea is regulated under the Canadian
Environmental Protection Act, Part VI. In 1992, A great deal of distress can be caused by
the remains, once committed for burial, being yielded up or trawled up by a fishing
vessel. Therefore, burial at sea will consist of the scattering the cremated remains at sea. It
should be noted this is the preferred option suggested by government directives.
6. Other than at sea, the scattering of ashes is not an option in the context of the Burial
Office.
7. If a family chooses not to bury cremated remains in consecrated ground and, in a “family
time” following the funeral, wishes to scatter or bury the ashes, a priest is not required
to be present, but may out of pastoral consideration accept an invitation to participate.
9. 3 Cemeteries
1. Administration
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a. As with all Anglican Church property in the Diocese, cemeteries are the property
of the Diocese
b. Usage policy and upkeep of congregational cemeteries are the responsibility of the
Rector and Wardens, in consultation with Vestry and subject to Diocesan
regulations.
c. Where we have established Anglican cemeteries we do not normally enter into
co-sharing arrangements with other groups or denominations.
d. In establishing new cemeteries, where feasible, we would encourage
interdenominational/inter faith cooperation.
e. A congregation may establish a standard fee to help with cemetery upkeep and
improvements. However, any fee must be “across the board” and charged equally
to everyone using the cemetery. Fees must not be based on congregational
membership or the level of a person’s yearly offering.
f. Copies of all cemetery regulations must be submitted to the Bishop.
g. Donations made to Cemetery Committees must be recorded in the
Congregational books, otherwise tax receipts cannot be issued.
2. Interdenominational/Interfaith use of Diocesan cemeteries.
a. All committals in an Anglican cemetery must be in accordance with the
congregational and diocesan regulations for the cemetery.
b. At the time of an interdenominational/interfaith funeral in an Anglican
cemetery, it would be prudent for the Rector, a Warden or their designate to be
present at the committal.
c. If a small congregation of another denomination has not yet established a
cemetery in the community, or if a person has no church affiliation, we will, out of
pastoral concern, extend them the courtesy of using our cemetery, if space is
available.
d. We will extend the courtesy of permitting other denominations the use of our
cemeteries while they are establishing their own. But, if a denomination becomes
established in a community, as part of their establishment, we would expect them
to provide a cemetery for their congregants, and the use of our cemetery must be
viewed as a temporary measure and not a permanent arrangement.
e. In the case of the death of a person belonging to a denomination which has no
formal church presence in the community, we will permit the family the use of our
cemetery to bury their loved one in their own denominational tradition, following
any guidelines established by the Diocese or Congregation for committals in the
cemetery.
f. In the case of an interdenominational/interfaith marriage where the Anglican
spouse predeceases the other and is buried in an Anglican cemetery, the other
spouse may be buried in the Anglican cemetery in accordance with their
tradition, following any guidelines established by the Diocese or Congregation for
committals in the cemetery.
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g. Congregational treasurers can issue tax receipts only for donations to cemeteries
which are recorded in congregational books.
10.0 Ministry to the Sick
1. As the Prayer Book directs, it is the responsibility of the family to call the priest in cases
of sickness and emergency. (BCP. p. 576 and elsewhere)
2. The Diocese of Central Newfoundland provides for chaplaincy services in Regional
Hospitals at Clarenville, Gander, and Grand Falls. The Diocese of Eastern
Newfoundland and Labrador provides chaplaincy in the hospitals in St. John’s. The
Diocese of Western Newfoundland provides chaplaincy in Corner Brook. Anglicans,
from around the province, in any of these institutions will receive pastoral care from the
chaplains, thus parish priests are not required, nor expected, to visit parishioners in these
institutions.
3. Holy Unction is administered not only to the dying but to all who desire healing. The
Holy Oil is consecrated by the Bishop during Holy Week at the Cathedral and is kept
there for the use of the priests of the Diocese.
11.0 Visiting Clergy
1. Colleagues from the other two Newfoundland Dioceses have full privileges in this
Diocese, which include licences to perform marriages. However, to officiate at such
services, they must be invited by the incumbent, even when the ceremony is to be
conducted in a place other than a church.
2. Clergy from dioceses, outside of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, may, with
the bishop’s consent, be invited to offer ministry by an incumbent. However, if the
invitation is for the purpose of conducting a marriage in the Diocese, in addition to the
bishop’s consent that cleric must obtain a temporary license to perform marriages in
Newfoundland and Labrador. Application for such a license must be made through Synod
Office.
3. Invitations to a visitor for Parish Mission, retreats etc., should not be issued before
consulting the Bishop.
12.0 Clergy Under Discipline
A clergy who is guilty of an ecclesiastical offence with penalty imposed; admonition,
suspension , deprivation or deposition or who is under inhibition while an alleged offence
is investigated and who is “not in good standing”, may not preside at the sacraments of
the Church, or public Services of the Word, or preach or teach in any corporate worship
setting until such inhibition is removed by the appropriate authority.
13.0 Employee Assistance Program
8. The position of Wellness Coordinator in no way negates a clergy’s ability to have a
pastoral relationship with the Bishop and any clergy who wishes to approach the Bishop