A funeral in the St. Luke’s chapel

Preparing for a Funeral Booklet

At the time of death, when families are in deepest shock, there are so many arrangements to be made.  This information is provided to help our members plan for a funeral. 

When a death occurs contact one of our Pastors

When somebody dies, it is very appropriate to call the pastor to come to the place of the death to be with the bereaved.  Your pastor will offer prayers of comfort and thanksgiving, prayers of lament and grief, and scripture that reminds us of God’s love.  S/He will also help you make arrangements with the funeral home and provide other care as needed.  Your pastors are available to accompany you to the funeral home to make arrangements with the funeral director.

Selecting the funeral date and time

When selecting a date and time for a funeral, it is extremely important to check with the pastor prior to finalizing plans with the funeral home.  While funerals are a priority in the congregation, there are situations that may arise that could affect the date and time of a funeral: conflicts in scheduling of pastor and/or church, etc.

Location for the funeral

Funerals for baptized members of the church are generally held in the church.  Typically, non-member funerals are held outside of the church.  Exceptions for baptized non-members may be made, especially if they are active in their faith.  It is inappropriate for funerals of the non-baptized to be held in the church.

Funeral Luncheons

Following funerals at the church, the funeral committee of the church are available to provide a luncheon.  The family of the deceased will billed for food purchased.  Often, the funeral director will pay the women on behalf of the family and then include the bill on the final statement he/she issues from the funeral home.  He/she may include an additional donation to the women of the church if the family so desires.  If the funeral home does not cover the costs associated with the luncheon, the funeral committee will contact the family for reimbursement for food covered.  As you make these arrangements, please be prepared to tell how many people you wish to prepare for. 

Planning the Funeral Service

Funeral services are for the living.  They provide comfort for the ones who mourn and remind the faithful of the promised resurrection.  For this reason, Easter scripture and hymns are the most appropriate selections.  One of our pastors will work with the family to select hymns and scripture.

Holy Communion at Funerals

It is appropriate to celebrate Holy Communion at funerals, especially if those gathered are people of faith.  Such a celebration reminds us that we belong to a larger cloud of witnesses that is already sharing in the great heavenly banquet.  Sharing the sacrament during funerals nourishes us for our journey of grief by giving God’s presence through the body and blood of the risen Jesus Christ.  If you wish to have Holy Communion, please let the pastor know.

Making Advance Funeral Plans

Our pastors are available to help anybody (healthy or sick) to make funeral plans in advance.  You will work together to write out plans you wish to share and put them in a file in the church office for future reference.