that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it.
Death cannot kill what never dies. Nor can spirits ever be
divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle, the
root and record of their friendship. If absence be not death,
neither is theirs.
william penn, 1693
is at our hearts, pressing upon our time-torn lives, warming
us with intimations of an astounding destiny, calling
us home unto Itself.
thomas a. kelly, a testament of devotion, 1941
Friends suffer the loss of a loved one there is sustaining strength
in the loving concern and helpfulness of the Meeting and
its members. Friends are urged to make their needs known, and the
Oversight Committee should give whatever specific help may be
necessary when death comes. The committee asks Friends to visit
and counsel with the family or friends of the deceased and to offer
assistance such as notifying relatives and friends, and helping to
plan a Memorial Meeting.
on simplicity, and consideration for the
wishes of the family, should govern the arrangements. Friends
generally feel that a Memorial Meeting should occur following
prompt and simple disposition of the body. The Oversight
Committee oversees the arrangements for the Memorial Meeting.
Meetings may hold Memorial Meetings for non-members.
Memorials “in the manner of Friends” may also be held
Meetinghouse, when the Meeting discerns what type of spiritual
and logistical support it can offer.
Friends, a Memorial Meeting for Worship on the occasion of death
is a time to celebrate in the Light the life of an individual
whose spirit has been released to God. It is a time to draw the living
into the upholding comfort and loving care of the Divine Presence.
Friend may be asked to talk briefly about the manner of the Meeting.
(Some Meetings provide a written explanation of Friends
Memorial Meetings.) A statement about the person may be
prepared ahead of time and read if that is consistent with the spirit
of the Meeting and the desires of the family.†
simple reception may follow the Memorial Meeting. Such an occasion
gives an opportunity to express grief, love and
thanksgiving. For many, it is a helpful reentry into everyday life.
Care of the ashes or burial is often handled at a separate time from
the Memorial Meeting and is usually a family matter.†† This
a particularly poignant moment, and the Meeting needs to be sensitive
to the needs of the family for privacy or for spiritual support.
Oversight Committee oversees the preparation of a Memorial Minute,
which emphasizes the deceased’s life as
so that his or her journey may be a teacher to the Monthly Meeting
and to the Yearly Meeting. The Oversight Committee should
present the Memorial Minute to the Monthly Meeting for Business
for inclusion in the Meeting minutes, and forward it to the Yearly
Meeting Ministry and Oversight Committee. A copy of the Minute
should be included in the membership records of the deceased and
it may also be sent to Friends’ publications.
the Memorial Minute is ready, it may be read at the Memorial Meeting.
However, the status of the minute should not hold up the Memorial
Meeting, which should be timed for the family’s convenience.
of January 1, 1999, it is legal in California to scatter or bury
private property including that owned by Meetings.