Funeral Planning

No one, it seems, wants to think about their dying, yet it is one of the few things we can be assured of in life. For Christians, it should not be something scary or morose. God has promised that death in this life leads to life eternal with him. Thus a life well lived is something to be celebrated.

Celebration of life, memorial services or funerals, are things that take planning. We want to help you in that planning. We have put together this some materials that will assist you in shaping the celebration of your own or your loved one’s life.

Here, you will find:

As you think about shaping the service, it would be helpful if you and your family would pick the Psalm(s), Old Testament reading(s), New Testament reading(s), and Gospel reading(s) that you would like read. If you would like a family member or friend to read one or more of the Old Testament and New Testament readings, please let us know. The pastor normally reads the Gospel.

Also, consider some hymns that might be sung, and where you would like them sung in the service.

Holy Communion at a funeral or memorial service is very appropriate, for it connects us with all saints of every time and every place. It also helps to connect your loved ones with the other worshipers, so that you can benefit from their strength and support.

As a congregation we can provide food for a reception after the ceremony. If you would like us to host a reception, please make that desire known to the Pastor or the Administrator.

If there is anything else we can do for you, please don’t hesitate to ask. The pastor would be glad to meet with you at any time to help you plan your memorial service.

Planning Faithfully, Choosing Wisely

Things to Consider: Funeral Q&A's

  • Making the decision to pre-arrange some aspects of your funeral and/or burial is helpful. An appointment with a Funeral Director in advance of death is a wise step to help you decide what you and your family need from the many services available. If you are a family member caring for a dying loved one, making an initial contact now with a Funeral Director can be very helpful and will lessen the decisions and demands you’ll face upon death.

  • Simply put, at a funeral service the body of the deceased is present, whereas at a memorial service either the deceased’s ashes or no remains are present. Both services provide an opportunity to proclaim God’s death defeating acts in Christ as we remember all that God has given us in the life of our loved one.

  • Cremation is an acceptable way for Christians to deal with one’s earthly remains. The Scriptures tell us that we are formed “of the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7) and, after death, we shall return “again to dust.” (Job 34:15)

  • When you have a need, the process is quite simple. Please contact the administrator by calling the church to begin your inquiry.

  • Funeral services are generally held within five to ten days following death, thereby allowing appropriate time for family members and friends to gather for the service. Memorial services can be held at any time. However, waiting for weeks or even months after a death will have a bearing on finding a sense of closure, and this will impact the grief work that follows the death of a loved one. Therefore, it is recommended that a memorial service be held within a few weeks after death.

    If a funeral or memorial service is to be followed by a burial that same day, the schedule of the cemetery workers dictates that burials be held during normal business hours for most cemeteries. Surcharges apply for weekend burials, and often burials are not available on holidays. It is also possible to have the burial in the morning, before the service, which allows for a late morning or afternoon service.

  • In cases where no explicit plans have been made in advance, the immediate family of the deceased plan the liturgy in conjunction with the clergy. For those who wish to make known their wishes for their own eventual funeral, a guide is available on our website. The pastor is also ready to meet you with in person, if that is helpful.

  • We use the order of worship in the ELCA’s Evangelical Lutheran Worship, which provides a number of options. Here are some decisions that are up to you: whether the body will be present or not, whether we will celebrate Holy Communion or not, and what hymns and readings we will use.  

  • It is utterly appropriate to celebrate the Lord's Supper at a funeral. Communion was given to us by our Lord to strengthen our faith in ways that mere words cannot. It is in times of grief, loss, and crisis that we especially need the "visible sign and seal" of the sacrament. Also, the Lord's Supper is clearly an eschatological meal that directs our attention not just backward to the death and resurrection of the Lord, but ahead to the consummation of all things. In the context of a funeral, this aspect of the Lord's Supper would shine with special brilliance and comfort.

  • Our Director of Music ordinarily plays for all services held in the church, and our clergy will officiate. The clergy and musician will help you in selecting music and Scripture readings. If desired, a vocalist may be selected by you or your family, or a vocalist can be arranged by the Director of Music.

  • The visitation on the evening before generally occurs at the Funeral Home.

    The casket may be open before the service at the church for the sake of people who have traveled far and have not yet been able to view the body. But once the service begins, the casket ought to be closed

    The church also provides a funeral pall, a covering for the casket, white and decorated with the chi-rho Cross. A pall is important because it emphasizes that the casket comes into the arena of Christian worship. The white cloth beckons us to reflect on the deceased as a baptized saint, now with the Lord in glory. The pall also equalizes all caskets. It makes no difference whether the casket underneath is made of polished oak with brass handles, or is covered with a plain gray cloth; in Christ there are no rich or poor.

  • After the service has been planned with the Pastor, the church office produces the service bulletin.

  • The Funeral Director can take care of this for you. A full obituary normally appears 2-3 days before the visitation and funeral. There is a cost for this, and the Funeral Director can assist you. Notices to other newspapers can also be handled by the Funeral Director at your request. We will typically include the obituary in the worship bulletin.

  • Resurrection provides a luncheon or reception, depending on the time of the service, for the friends and families of church members in Fellowship Hall. Other arrangements may be made by the family, if desired.

  • We welcome flowers from your florist or a funeral home. Those floral arrangements belong to the family. It is the family’s responsibility to remove the flowers from the church. They may choose to take arrangements to their home or to nursing homes, or other places where others may enjoy the beauty.

  • This is an honorable thing to do. Resurrection and any other organizations you choose are blessed when memorials are directed to support their ministries and missions. The Funeral Director will be happy to include any memorial designation(s) in the notices about the funeral service. All memorial gifts received directly by Resurrection will generate an acknowledgment to you.

  • Burial of the Dead is a rite of the Church and therefore there are no fees, as such, for the service or for the use of the building.  However, amongst Lutherans, it has been customary to provide honoraria for those who provide the service in recognition of the time and care spent in its preparation. 

    Typical honoraria include:

         Pastor.............................................................. $150-250

         Organist..........................................................  $150-250

         Soloists...........................................................    $50-100

         A/V Tech who streams the service....................  $50-100