Saying goodbye


On the eve of Prince Philip's funeral, Dean Sue reflects on saying goodbye and the comfort a Christian funeral can bring.

Tomorrow is the funeral service for Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Due to COVID regulations, it will be much smaller than planned, but we are told that Prince Philip wanted no fuss.. A funeral is an opportunity for family and friends to say goodbye to their loved one, for the family and friends to recount and remember the life of the person. From a Christian perspective, the funeral service places the person into God’s hands, through what is called the Commendation.

A funeral is an important part of the grieving process and one of the challenges of the past year has been the way in which funerals have been conducted, with such small numbers. In some instances very close members of the family have not been able to attend because of self-isolating or because they themselves were sick. This may well hamper the grieving process, but technology has allowed us to engage with funerals even if we could not be there to support the bereaved.

Tomorrow many will watch the funeral of Prince Philip through the media which will allow them the opportunity to reflect on the Duke of Edinburgh’s life and his service to this Country.

Here in Merseyside we will have the opportunity to reflect on the life of Prince Philip on Sunday afternoon at 3pm. We will hold a service here in Liverpool Cathedral, which is ticketed due to Covid, you can, however, watch the service on-line.

So as we prepare for Prince Philip’s funeral tomorrow, we give thanks for his life and witness and we pray for those who mourn. We pray especially for the Queen and the family as they prepare to say say goodbye to a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, family member and consort. And today, from the cathedral we will be posting some images from the Duke's visits to our cathedral as a way of remembering and saying goodbye.

Almighty God, Father of all mercies and giver of all comfort: deal graciously, we pray, with all who mourn, the Queen, members of the Royal Family, this Nation and all the Nations of the Commonwealth, that casting all our care on you, we may know the consolation of your love;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory Amen.