Theology of  the Episcopal Burial Liturgy

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 powers, nor 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, p. 507)

Worship Service Arrangements

A priest on the staff at Saint Luke’s normally presides. Please contact the parish administrator to schedule an appointment with a priest to plan the service. Visiting priests, at the invitation of the family and in consultation with the parish clergy, can assist in the celebration. The priest does not charge a fee for the service. A contribution may be made to St. Luke’s as an honorarium in memory of the deceased or a contribution may be made to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund comparable to the organist’s fee.


The family selects hymns with the priest. Special musical requests should be communicated to the organist. The church office will secure an organist for the service and will forward the name and telephone number of the organist to the family for planning purposes. In the event that a soloist or instrumentalist is requested, the church staff will suggest a musician and forward their name and telephone number to the family for direct negotiation (unless a friend of the family wishes to contribute this service as a memorial to the deceased). All services which include an instrumentalist or soloist require an additional rehearsal with the organist. There is a fee of $200 for the organist.


Altar flowers and/or other floral arrangements in the church are to be under the guidance of the Altar Guild Director, Carol Bloom, (703) 780-7052. Floral arrangements are ordered and paid for by the family. The church customarily uses Sunflower Florist, (703) 768-4594.


A reception following the service in parish hall is offered to members of St. Luke’s. There is a fee of $75/hour to use the parish hall, $25/hour to use the kitchen, and a flat fee of $50 for the sponsor.  We have 10 60-inch round tables, 15 rectangular tables, and 150 chairs. The parish hall is limited to 206 persons with chairs; 96 persons with chairs/tables in compliance with Fairfax County Fire Marshal. Please call the church office for more information.


Saint. Luke’s offers a columbarium for the inurnment of the ashes of the cremated. Each niche has a granite nameplate of uniform size which is engraved with the name of the deceased and the numerical date of birth and death. Each niche is limited to the cremated remains of not more than two persons. The cost for a single niche is $1,000 and for a double niche $1,500.