What is a Committal Service?

A guide to committal services and what they can contain.

Last updated: 3 December 2019

People standing at a graveside

Some common committal prayers include those beginning:

  • Because God has chosen to call our brother/sister name from this life to himself, we commit his/her body to the earth/its resting place...
  • In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to Almighty God our brother/sister name, and we commit his/her body to the ground/its resting place…..
  • For a burial at sea - Lord God, by the power of your word you stilled the chaos of the primeval seas, you made the raging waters of the flood subside and calmed the storm on the sea of Galilee. As we commit the body of our brother/sister name to the deep grant him/her peace and tranquillity…

An example of the traditional commendation prayer would be as follows:

Into your hands, Father of mercies,
we commend our brother/sister name,
in the sure and certain hope,
that, together with all who have died in Christ,
he (she) will rise with him on the last day,

The committal service isn’t the only religious rite that might take place at a funeral. For more information about religious funerals, we have a wide range of guides. If you’re curious about the future of funerals then we’ve got that covered as well. We also have a look at some more alternative funeral ideas which people have chosen.