Saturday, August 18, 2018

Funerals

A SERVICE OF WORSHIP

The Christian funeral is a service of worship and should involve all those present. The funeral serves a support function such that the religious, social, and emotional needs of the mourners are met.

 

LOCATION OF WORSHIP SERVICE

The funerals of practicing Christians should be in the church, the place where their lives of worship have centered. In this setting, congregational singing should be encouraged and participation in the prayers should be taken for granted certainly to the extent of saying "Amen" and joining in the Lord's Prayer.

 

LOCATION OF THE VISITATION

The opportunity for friends and family to share in the grief process is necessary. This is a time for loved ones to gather and share in their tears, laughter and memories. Visitations may be done at the funeral home or at St. John’s. It may be held the day/evening before the service or immediately preceding the service. If held at St. John’s, the visitation may be held in the Fellowship Hall. For shorter visitations, the deceased may be placed under the Luther Window in the Sanctuary.

 

THE MINISTRY OF THE PASTOR

The pastor's ministry is to lead the bereaved into and through the rites of the church where the voice of the Gospel can be heard with healing power and clarity. In an effort to be positive and to emphasize the victory of the resurrection, the pain and loss of death must not be minimized or ignored. Both must be held in balance. The bereaved need to confront and accept the loss of the deceased as well as be given hope. Moreover, the congregation needs to be encouraged to support the bereaved not only at the time of the funeral but also as the bereaved return to the duties of their lives.

 

THE SERVICE OF THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD

The service is intended primarily for use in the church with the body of the deceased present. The service may be modified for use in other locations -- crematory chapel, private house, funeral home, and even grave side -- where processions and other liturgical actions are not feasible.

The service may be used as a Memorial Service, following interment, cremation or when the body has been destroyed in an accident or natural catastrophe by omitting certain portions of the liturgy.

 

FUNERALS FOR NON-MEMBERS

Conducting funerals for people who have no connection with any church is a normal part of the ministerial obligation. It is usually inappropriate to hold such a service in the church and not all the parts of the service may be appropriate. By certain omissions and choices of alternate selections this service may be adapted for such funerals.

 

MUSIC SELECTIONS

Music selected for use at a funeral should embody high standards of quality, and in general reflect the spirit of Christian confidence, trust, and hope in the resurrection. The hymns should reflect such themes as the invocation of the Holy Spirit, the communion of saints, hope in the resurrection. Hymn versions of appropriate psalms may be sung also.

 

THE MOOD OF THE LITURGY

The Burial of the Dead is an Easter liturgy. It has its focus in Baptism by which one is made a child of God forever and is dramatized in the Easter Vigil and its celebration of the passage through death to new life, where Christ has led the way.

The mood of the Burial of the Dead is richer than the older practice that developed in medieval times and emphasized the loss, the sorrow, and the fear that death evokes. In this service, both the sadness and the joy must be seen together -- one tempered by the other. Fraternal and other rites will not be a part of the church’s liturgy.

 

THE FUNERAL DINNER COMMITTEE AND ITS ROLE

The Funeral Dinner Committee is the designated group in the church who will be responsible for the serving of funeral meals.  There may be a family obligation for the cost of food purchased at Hogue’s IGA.  Please make check payable to St. John’s Lutheran Church and give it to the Luncheon Coordinator the day of the funeral.

Should the family wish to make a financial gift, they are received graciously and placed in a designated account to assist with future funeral luncheons.

The Pastor will discuss with the bereaved family regarding whether or not they wished to have a meal served. If so, a member of the Funeral Dinner Team will be in contact to discuss menu options, estimated numbers etc.

 

VISITING CLERGY

Visiting clergy may participate in the service upon the consent of this congregation's pastor.

 

FLOWERS

After the funeral, flowers may be left at the church, buried at the grave site, or taken by family members.

 

BULLETINS

Bulletins outlining the service and containing information about the deceased will be made available at no cost.

 

MEMORIALS

Memorials may be Undesignated or Designated.  If they are designated for a specific ministry, they will only be used for that project or need.  Undesignated Memorials are placed in a specific line item and used at the discretion of the Council for special projects above and beyond daily operating expenses.  The Church Office will compile a list and send tax donation letters to individuals who give. 

 

FUNERAL PREPLANNING

As a final gift to loved ones, individuals are encouraged to meet with the Pastor to begin preplanning their funeral service. Information such as location of the visitation/service, Holy Communion, favorite hymns, Scripture readings, and other special readings are recorded. Preplanning Forms are available by contacting the Church Office or click here. When completed, they are notarized and placed in a confidential file. It is recommended that these forms be copied and shared with family members. Forms may be changed and updated by contacting the Church Office.