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Clergy And Churches

As you think about the best way to honor your loved one, consider what they would want if they haven’t left behind specific instructions. If your loved one attended church regularly then they would likely prefer to have their service at their place of worship.

You’ll need to call the church office and let them know the person has passed away and then determine the availability of one of the ministers in the next few days. The minister will also want to meet with you to discuss the decreased and prepare their thoughts on what to share about the person’s life and legacy. Many times, a Minister will come right over once the news has been received about the passing of your loved one. This visit is often to console the remaining family members and not to discuss the funeral itself. This can also be handled at another time, perhaps as part of the funeral home meeting. Usually a small donation to the presiding minister is appropriate, along with a thank you note.

Music for the funeral and even a singer can be hired to sing a beautiful song like Ave Maria. The church will likely be able to recommend a person to perform for the service. This person will have a few songs they know already and can recommend. There is a small cost to have a singer at a funeral, so be sure to ask about their fee. To find a very complete list of over 200 song ideas, click here. 

Things like transportation of the deceased to the church will be worked out and provided by the funeral home. Once the church service concludes, the casket is then transported to the place of burial and laid to rest. There is usually a much smaller group of immediate family and friends that participate in this final goodbye. The minister will lead a small graveside service before the casket is lowered into the ground. This is another very emotional time because the reality of what has happened starts to set in. You are still very much in shock and yet there is something truly difficult about the finality felt at this service.

Following the graveside service, many people have a small gathering back at the church, funeral home or a family member’s home. It’s a time to visit with old friends and family members that perhaps you haven’t seen for awhile. You can choose to have it catered or, many times, people will host it as a potluck and ask everyone to bring a dish to share. Many find comfort here and spend time talking about their favorite memories of the person that passed. I remember hearing other people laughing about some of my son’s antics over the years and telling stories I had not heard. While I didn’t feel like laughing much, it did bring me some joy knowing he had made other people happy and touched their lives in ways large and small.

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