Memorial Services


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Alcuin Liturgy Guide 1

Memorial services are a major growth area today: they are now seen as an appropriate way of giving thanks for the lives of ordinary local people as well as for public figures in central and local government, and in the arts and sciences, and in other walks of life.  In recent years, services provided in response to disaster and tragedies have become a greater part of the ministry of the churches.

This book is based on Donald Gray’s enormous experience of planning and conducting over 150 memorial services, and draws on the wisdom of others.  It is as practical as possible, bearing in mind the very different contexts and conditions of each memorial service.  The author also covers the history and development of memorial services, the pastoral considerations, the planning of a service and the ordering of its various elements.  Together with an introduction and the Common Worship guidelines, the author includes four examples of recent services – those for Eric Heffer MP and Archbishop Robert Runcie, and the ones given for the young people involved in the Marchioness disaster and those who died at Dunblane.

Canon Donald Gray CBE worked in parish ministry in the Diocese of Manchester before becoming Rector of Liverpool and an Honorary Canon of Liverpool Cathedral.  From there, he went on to be a Canon of Westminster, Rector of St Margaret’s and Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons.  For 20 years, Dr Gray was a Chaplain to the Queen.  He is Chairman of the Alcuin Club and President of the Society for Liturgical Study.