Making decisions in the midst of grief is quite challenging, and when a loved one dies, there are so many decisions to make facing those who love and care for you. One of the best ways to care for your family and loved ones is to make your plans and share them with your family before the time comes for them to make those decisions for you. Those details include:

  • Plan for your medical care decisions and share your desires with your family. This includes designating a healthcare proxy and advanced directives.
  • Work to make sure any assets you have are included in your will or trust and communicate that information to your family or designee.
  • Plan what’s important to you about your funeral service. We encourage you to use this funeral planning worksheet. When you submit this worksheet, your wishes will be on file with Good Shepherd. This worksheet will also generate a copy of your plans for you. Please share these plans with your family.


The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all its meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too, shall be raised.

The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, not height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.

—Book of Common Prayer, pg. 507