Funerals

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Jeff Weaver, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Some of you may know that I am not the healthiest character on the keyboard. I have had four funerals in the last month. Three of these funerals were members of one family, two were fellow ministers. These two men were brothers in the flesh (their sister also died in the month). The fourth funeral was for one of my best friends, but he wasn't a member of my denomination. I am exhausted, didn't think I would make it through the one yesterday, but I did. Ended up in the Emergency room last night, blood sugars way off. (I am diabetic anyway).

    Do you other brethern find that funerals are more tiring that other ministerial duties? How do you deal with the stresses of the body, when you are needed perhaps more than any other time? Three of these funerals were members of one family, two were fellow ministers. These two men were brothers in the flesh (their sister also died in the month). What works for you to recover your normally perky attitudes?

    Thanks for any thing you might suggest.

    Jeff.
     
  2. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Jeff, I don't think I can be of much help. I don't like the event of funerals, but do want to be available to help in any way that I can, and don't mind being called upon. I guess I would have to say that I haven't found them exceptionally stressful, so I don't have a substantial suggestion as to how to avoid or recover from the stress. I must say that I much prefer preaching funerals over performing weddings. That because at a funeral one is usually allowed to preach, whereas the wedding is a "staged" event which some family members think should come off perfectly. I have never found a grieving family to be critical of a preacher's mistakes. Can't say the same for the "happy" families of the bride and groom.

    No doubt your health problems put you in a vulnerable position in these situations. May the Lord bless you, my brother.
     
  3. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Jeff,

    In my experience, the expectations on clergy at funerals are exponentially higher than at any other time. Doing more than one back-to-back can be very draining.

    One thing that I do to try and burn off some of the physical stress is run regularly or do something else that is purely physical. I also find it helps to spend some time with people who don't think of me as "the minister" (particularly friends who knew me before I went to seminary).

    Perhaps most importantly, I don't try to hide my own grief and sense of loss. I think it's a common mistake to try and act like we're in control of ourselves or the situations. Losing someone we love, regardless of their eternal destination, leaves a gaping hole in our lives. Dealing with that honestly (and from the pulpit) keeps it from festering inside and it also helps others deal with their grief.

    You have my support and prayers.

    Joshua
     
  4. rufus

    rufus
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    I am a pastor and a part-time funeral director at a local funeral home.

    At one church, as pastor, I performed 22 funerals in one year. That was emotional draining.

    As a funeral director, I help do as many as 50 or 60 funerals a year. For some reason, that is not as draining.

    Funerals are a good time to gently share the hope of Christ.

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  5. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    I consider it a privilege to preach salvation through Jesus Christ in all the funerals I have done.

    First funeral was a suicide - second was a child of just a few days old - tough way to start!!

    But God was and is able - to Him be the glory.
     

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