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Featured Does your church have funeral guidelines?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by annsni, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. annsni

    annsni Well-Known Member
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    I am going to be putting together our funeral guidelines in a brochure format for our congregation. Do any of your churches have something like this put together? Would it be possible to post it so I could get some ideas of what to include in ours? Thanks!
     
  2. TCassidy

    TCassidy Late-Administator Emeritus
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    Yes. #1. You have to be dead. :D
     
  3. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    Are there particular concerns that you believe your church needs to address?

    One of my personal policies is that I do not charge for performing a funeral. I consider it a ministry of compassion. However, I have never been able to get away from doing a funeral without a gift from the family - large or small - for being with them during that time, but I would be just fine without it.

    As a corollary to that personal principle, I would hope that any church of which I am a member would provide a place for a funeral at no cost (or bare bones costs if there is a specific issue) to those who grieve. It is Kingdom work.
     
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  4. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    LOL!
     
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    God bless you!
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    I have been to many churches & operations were funeriel but .....:Cautious :(
     
  7. annsni

    annsni Well-Known Member
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    Oh absolutely! I think our only charge is $50 for the custodial staff since usually it's a "not scheduled" kind of a thing and it's extra time on the part of the staff - most of whom are volunteer. But otherwise, there is no cost.

    No, what I'm thinking of is do you have any guidelines set up for service order, whether you allow other pastors to do the service in your church, having picture slideshows, specific music and things like that. I spent over 6 hours yesterday working on the funeral service to set it up, make a slideshow out of 520 slides (OH MY GOSH!!!) and then actually do the lyrics and visuals for the service. I found this online and am thinking of modifying it for our needs. There are definitely things we do differently but it would probably be helpful for a family to have all of the information in one place. http://crossroadschristiancenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/CCC-Funeral-Handout1.pdf
     
  8. padredurand

    padredurand Well-Known Member
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    I stopped counting after I officiated my 300th funeral. That was several years ago. I have to say no church I've pastored has ever had a funeral policy. After 300+ funerals there has never been a demonstrated need for one.

    If the family wants a video presentation let them produce their own. There are apps that a ten year old could run and produce a credible presentation.

    Stand up, present the Gospel, wipe the tears and save the extra hours for a few months down the road when everyone has gone back to the business of living.
     
  9. annsni

    annsni Well-Known Member
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    See, I'm just thinking of something to help them think things through, kind of like we do for weddings. "Here is a sample memorial service order with some ideas for songs/hymns that you might want to sing." kind of thing. We usually do the slideshow/video (well, I do it) and I'm thinking of putting together some ideas for that too - approximately 50-60 pictures and some ideas for songs. It might be nice to have a hand-out to give a grieving family to take home for them to think through it a little bit. :)
     
  10. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Usually guidelines are established due to problems in the past.- in order to avoid them in the future.
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    Touching! You know...those things should be a celebration.
     
  12. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    I wrote a long post about my personal experiences with funerals. Cathartic, but more than anyone needs to know. Unless you're overwhelmed with services, leave it to the pastor — or whomever the church designates — to decide. But I would say that I would not expect the church to develop the slide show. (520 photos? Really? Let the funeral home take care of that; mine gave me a limit and I was glad, and glad to pay for the service.)

    Funerals are an excellent opportunity to minister to the family and its friends. Don't spoil it by imposing rules, but don't let them take advantage. I was very aware that the people who were helping were exercising true Christian charity; they weren't "hired help." We were grateful they cared enough to offer whatever they could.

    When someone wants too much, and considers it some kind of right, just say "We can't take care of that."
     
  13. annsni

    annsni Well-Known Member
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    See - It's not so much "rules" but suggestions and a guide to help the family put the funeral together. Usually the planning is done with very little notice and I think having a paper is handy to be able to help plan. I know that usually the family will meet with one of the pastors and the pastor will work through it with them but I think being able to take a brochure or something would be good too. Yeah - the 520 photos was excessive and I was really surprised that someone even has that many photos of someone but then again, she was 84 and lived a good long life. :) In this funeral, there was no funeral home involved other than handling the body and casket and stuff - everything was done at the church. We had afternoon and evening visitation, an 8 pm service and then the body stayed at the church until the morning when they did a short 15 minute prayer time before they headed to the cemetery. That is pretty typical for us around here although definitely there are times that the visitation is at the funeral home and then the service is at our church.

    For each of our funeral services, there are times of worship in song, eulogies and a message of salvation for those who are behind. No one leaves one of our funerals without finding out the hope that is in Jesus Christ. :)
     
  14. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    I see your point. What you have described is totally different from things in my neck of the woods. Minister to those in need, within reasonable bounds of Christian charity, make allowances for the foreseeable things and thank God for the opportunity to be a witness of God's grace and mercy. So perhaps a general guideline can be drafted to guide the church without being so specific that it becomes legalistic. God bless.
     
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  15. annsni

    annsni Well-Known Member
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    Definitely don't want to be legalistic at all but want to help the family during a very stressful and disorienting time. :)
     
  16. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    Without being too personal, my church and pastor were very gracious to me when my wife died. I was not a member (long, sad story) but a regular attender and faithful member of the worship team; my wife had attended only a few times. The pastor, using scriptures that I had suggested, preached a beautiful sermon and read the eulogy that I had written but could not present without choking up. I am bonded to the church because of its outpouring of charity.
     
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  17. annsni

    annsni Well-Known Member
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    RSR - That sounds like my church. The messages at funerals are always wonderful and God honoring and addressing the needs of the congregation there. It's not an easy job but when done well, it is such a blessing to the family.
     
  18. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Annsni, this is not specifically a church draft of funeral guidelines, but you might like to read my posts on "Thaptology," a theology of funeralizing. I do talk about building use in one of the posts. From that first post, you should be able to maneuver to all of the rest. May you find something useful there.
     
  19. JPPT1974

    JPPT1974 Active Member
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    All funerals and churches are different. And that you need to talk to the pastor first. And foremost and see the costs. As well as the conditions you have to abide by. As they all just depend on the guidelines.
     
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