The Anglican Burial of the Dead

Recently, the Klang Valley Bible Conference (KVBC) held a conference entitled “Dying Well” by Dr. Peter Jensen. In light of the conference, here is a modernised English snippet of the “Burial of the Dead” of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer because it teaches how Anglicans view death:


Anthem and Prayers at the Grave

MAN that is born of a woman has but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He grows up, and is cut down like a flower; he flees like a shadow, and never continues in one place.

In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for aid but of you, O Lord, who for our sins are justly displeased?

Yet, O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.

You know, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not your merciful ears to our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, most worthy judge eternal, suffer us not at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall from you.

Then, while the earth shall be cast upon the Body by some standing by, the Priest shall say,

FORASMUCH as it has pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile [corruptible] body that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working whereby Christ is able to subdue all things to himself.

Then shall be said or sung,

I HEARD a voice from heaven, saying unto me, “Write!  From henceforth blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.  Even so,” saith the Spirit, “for they rest from their labours.”

Prayer of Thanks and Hope for All Christians Living and Departed

ALMIGHTY God, with whom do live the spirits of those who die in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity: We give you hearty thanks because it has pleased you to deliver this our brother out of the miseries of this sinful world.  We beseech you that it may please you, of your gracious goodness, shortly to accomplish the number of your elect and to hasten [the coming of] your kingdom; that we, with all those that are departed in the true faith of your holy Name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in your eternal and everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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The full Order for the Burial of the Dead according to 1662 BCP can be found here.

This is a blog post that explains the last prayer in the snippet.

For those who are looking for a practical and Biblical way to comfort those who mourn, please go to this blog post and also download the “Prayers for a Vigil” from the 2019 Book of Common Prayer for reference.