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First Funeral

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by USN2Pulpit, Nov 27, 2003.

  1. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit New Member

    Mar 19, 2003
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    Alright, I've been pastoring all of 4 months now, and I knew it had to happen sooner or later. An older brother in my congregation just died, and I'll be preaching his funeral on Saturday, as well as a graveside service. He was a faithful and active believer. There are many positives to speak about.

    I would like some pastoral insight on the rules or procedures of a graveside service. How have you pastors done it? Please advise this rookie...I want to honor this individual properly.

  2. Jim1999

    Jim1999 <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Aug 10, 2002
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    My advice, after 57 years of ministry, it to keep the graveside service brief and to the point. You are there to lead the people in prayerful thought and to bid the brother/sister farewell in the Lord. Your opportunities to preach is at the service itself.

    A word of scripture, a brief prayer and a moment of silent prayer.

    Another word, the family are often numb at a service. I always typed out my funeral message and gave a copy to the family (wife or husband) for them to read at a later date.

    All the very best.


  3. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator

    Jun 30, 2000
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    Is the graveside the ONLY Service? If so, you can "preach" a little.

    If it is just a committal, then make it such. Scripture, prayer, few personal words of comfort.

    Maybe have any join in Psalm 23 which is always a blessing.
  4. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Jun 26, 2003
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    One of the things I always do is to ask to meet with the family&gt; when I meet with them I ask them to tell me about what they remember. Ask them to tell you some funny things and maybe some serious things they would want said. You will learn a lot about the family and the person who died. I have used fuunerals as a time for healing and it can also be a time for others to hear thjngs they didn't know. I am honest about the source of my information. If it is something I know peersonally I make it personal. If not you can say some have mentioned.

    One time I met with a family and I asked the family to tell me about their mother. The strangest thing happened. All at once every person at the table said exactly the same thing. I used that in the sermon.

    Always take a funeral seriously. It is a time when they are totally focused on what you say and do. On one occasion one of the daughters of the deceased left as a wayward childearlier in life but attended the funeral. After she left both her and her dad became Christians. She did not even know her dad had become a Christian. But at the funeral it weas a time of healing for her and it brought the family together again. The wayward daughter had come home to see her family. It happened at a funeral.

    When you do a wedding the eyes are on the bride. When you give a sermon their mind is who knows where. But when you do a funeral al eyes are on the you.

    I always continue to follow up on the spouse or family of the person who died.

    One funeral I did was followed up by the church helping the wife to take care of her yard. A wealthy couple helped to provide for her as well. For a long time we kept up with her and visited her. Eventually she married a great man whose wife had died.

    Do not get any facts wrong. If you are unsure ask before you stand up to preach or do the funeral. Often if I can I go over with at least one of the family memebers about what I plan to say.

    The funeral is a time to communicate the importance of the good news of Jesus Christ. It can be done in a way that everyone will know that all of us will be accountable to God someday. Then I tell them how they can be saved in terms that the unchurched will understand.

    When you preach a funeral ... TAKE IT SERIOUSLY; MAKE IT PERSONAL, because you must minister comfort and answer critical questions; and COMMUNICATE THE GOSPEL.