Swarthmore Friends Meeting
This section is divided into several parts:
Make your advance decisions known
Experience teaches us that it is very important that we plan for the time of our death. Although this reality becomes more clear as we grow older, we know that we cannot predict the time of our passing, and we owe it to our families and friends to have our financial and personal affairs in good order and to make our final wishes known.
The Meeting is called upon to assist families with memorial services for members and attenders. Members of the Memorial Services Committee provide this assistance. Based upon their experience, they offer the following checklist of matters to be considered and decided in advance, if possible:
The Meeting does not wish to intrude on your personal affairs and arrangements. However, if you provide the Meeting with the above information, it will be kept in a confidential folder in the Meeting Office until needed or retrieved by you. The Meeting Secretary will maintain a list of Committee members; upon receiving notice of a family’s desire to have a memorial service under the care of the Meeting, the Secretary will promptly notify the Clerk/Clerks of the Memorial Committee. The Clerk will find a coordinator and ushers for the service.
In the Meeting Office there is further information about the Anna T. Jeanes Cremation fund and the Eastlawn Cemetery in Swarthmore. A brief description of each is below:
The Anna T. Jeanes Cremation Fund was established by her Will leaving $20,000 to the Trustees of Fair Hill Burial Ground, Green Street Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia, to “encourage and aid the practice of cremating the dead to be interred in the said intramural burying ground.”
Income from this fund is used as follows:
1. Full reimbursement for cremation costs of those who are buried at Fair Hill Burial Ground
2. Reimbursement for cremation costs, up to $350, for any member of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends.
Application forms are available in the Meeting Office, but should not be used until after cremation has actually taken place. The application form should be accompanied with a copy of the death certificate and the list of costs of the cremation from a funeral director or a crematorium.
Eastlawn Cemetery is located in a residential neighborhood at the corner of Seventh and Girard Avenues in Ridley Township. (Girard Avenue is an extension of Park Avenue.) There are mature trees and shrubs on the property. Prices for gravesites and burials are modest and perpetual care is provided. However, monuments, decorations, and plantings are the responsibility of the individual lot holders.
Friends Memorial Meeting for Worship
Revised by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Publications Service Group, originally printed with permission of Wooster (Ohio) Monthly Meeting
The Religious Society of Friends holds as the basis of its faith the belief that every human being is endowed with a measure of the Divine Sprit which may be directly experienced. Our manner of worship embodies this belief. We gather in quiet assemblies, mindful of the words: "Be still, and know that I am God." We come together in reverent silence with the desire to draw nearer to God and to understand God's will.
For Friends a Memorial Meeting is similar in many ways to a Meeting for Worship. It is not only a time for sharing feelings of loss, but a time for celebrating the life of the departed person. We reflect on the value of that life as it relates to the lives of all of us.
All present share in this process. We sit quietly; at times an individual may be moved to speak, to offer a prayer or a message that has come out of the silence. All are welcome to do this.
The responsibility for the spiritual depth of the Meeting rests with each attender. Those who keep silence as well as those who give a vocal message do their part when they yield their minds and hearts to the guidance of the Spirit.
Friends hope that in the Meeting for Worship a consciousness of the Divine Presence will be felt by every attender, and will be a source of direction, strength, and comfort after leaving the Meeting.