Anyone who has tried preparing for a funeral service, whether it is a religious or non-religious one, can attest that the task is definitely not that easy. It can be a bit overwhelming especially if the death is a result of a tragic accident. You just won’t know where to begin and what needs to be one.
Also, planning for a funeral for someone you dearly love is a painful process. There will be lots of emotions involved along the way and a lot of decisions have to be made.
Just like with any kind of funeral service, planning for a Christian funeral service for your dearly departed is never an easy thing to do. Saying goodbye to someone who means a lot to you is a painful process.
People mourn in various ways. Sometimes, family tension and conflicts would arise which just add up to the stress to an already emotionally troublesome moment. Hopefully, this guide can help to lessen the stress and the burden involved in planning a funeral service your dear departed.
But first, before you make any plans, ask any of your family members if the deceased has provided them with specific directions on how their funeral service will be like. This can certainly help to ease the load of planning for the funeral service. Also, find out if the person has obtained any funeral or burial insurance.
Perhaps, it is the funeral of your husband, mom, dad, daughter, son, or anyone you love that you are preparing for. It is definitely not going to be easy so you have to be prepared by having the right attitude.
Making plans for the funeral service of your dearly departed would be much easier if you take away all the emotions that come with grieving for the loss of a loved one. You just have to live with the fact that all things will come to an end and that includes the life of someone you love. Once you accepted this fact, everything will be easier for you to deal with and preparing for the funeral mass program will be much easier for you.
Start by thinking that this service that you are preparing for is your way of celebrating your loved one’s journey to an eternal life. Therefore, it should be respectful and highly dignified and not something depressing. While it is normal to grieve at this moment of time, there should also be room for a joyful celebration.
Choose a Funeral Home
The first step when planning a Christian funeral service is to look for a funeral home. This actually applies to other types of funeral services as well, whether it is a religious or non-religious one. If you do not know of any funeral home near you, then ask some of your church members for a recommendation. Sometimes, the minister or your pastor will know of any funeral home that he can recommend to you so you should call if you cannot decide on this matter.
Make sure to choose a highly reputable funeral home for the funeral service of your loved one. They should have a staff that will professionally guide you through the entire process of planning and preparing and this also includes preparing legal documents and other paperwork.
They should also help you with the obituary as well as on choosing a casket for the burial and everything that is involved in the memorial service. A good funeral home should also provide the memorial service invitation cards as part of the package.
Schedule with a Minister
Church ministers are often busy. Thus, for those planning a religious service, whether it is Christian or otherwise, booking the minister should be one of the first things to do. If you are a member of a church, your pastor will most likely volunteer to lead the funeral service. But for bigger churches, the pastor might not be available on the day of the funeral service. Therefore, you should be able to come up with a burial date as early as possible so the minister or the pastor can check their schedule if they will be available on that day.
If in the event that the deceased person has no contact with any local church, the best thing to do is to rely on the funeral home’s recommendation. You can also ask your neighbors or some of your family members in looking for a minister that will lead the funeral service. After you booked a minister, ask for a copy of the funeral order of service layout from the church so you will have an idea on how the program will be like.
As Christians, keep in mind that offering hope to the grieving parties is important. Again, planning a funeral for a loved one is never going to be easy. But just think of this as your loved one’s journey to an eternal life. This moment is the perfect opportunity to give hope to each other and share the faith and the hope for eternity even with non Christian friends and family.
If you are not that close to the deceased, yet you want to offer comfort to the grieving family, send over some in memoriam cards, which contain a message of hope for the family member, along with some verses in the bible that can somehow provide comfort to the grieving family. The card is also the best avenue to share the gospel and offer hope of salvation.
Planning the Funeral Service
Now you are on to the important part of funeral planning and that is to plan the funeral service. The best way to do this is to sit down with your church minister and go over some of the details of the funeral mass program, including the following:
- Find out what religious songs or music need to be played during the program.
- Ask if it is possible to have some poem or story reading as a way to honor the deceased.
- Look for some special speakers who will offer a eulogy.
- Inquire if it is possible to display specific photos of the deceased as well as photos of friends and family members.
- Find out if there are any charities that the deceased was supporting and see if the mourners can send over donations for such charity instead of the usual flowers and guests.
- Ask if guests would be invited to the burial. If so, then send them memorial service invitations.
Working with a Funeral Director
A lot of funeral homes and some churches have funeral directors or coordinators. These people are in charge with the overall planning and preparation of the funeral. They will work closely with the family members in order to organize the Christian funeral service successfully.
If the service will be done in a church, then see the person responsible for coordinating funeral services and go over the details involved. Things like flower arrangements, reception presentations, as well as audio and visual needs might have to be discussed during your meeting.
Preparing the Eulogy
Look for a member in your family who can deliver a eulogy during the funeral service. The eulogy needs not be that long. It should only be about five minutes long. It is also recommended to have the emotional elements to be placed right at the end of the eulogy. If there are any additional tributes that need to be given by some friends, colleagues and relatives, it should only be limited in length so as to keep the service from going too long that could disrupt the church schedule.
Younger family members may want to write down messages to in memoriam cards as a tribute to the deceased. They can also read these messages aloud during the funeral.
A table or a wall in the funeral venue is sometimes provided for the family to display some of their special remembrances with the deceased. It will feature photographs and other memorabilia. Sometimes, memoriam cards are also displayed which later on will be given to visiting guests as their remembrance of the person. The card will sometimes feature a photo of the deceased with a short description about the person as well as the date of the funeral. Make sure to take some time on what you want to display and gather these items and then make arrangements with the funeral director to display them.
Funeral Service Handouts
Since most of the memorial services are being planned in a short time period, the service handouts are often overlooked. If you want the guests to have a memory of the event, then print some special handouts to be given to them. These are pretty much the same with in memoriam cards and you can download templates at FuneralPamphlets.com. The handouts can be in a form of a card that has a simple picture of your dearly departed with his birth date and date of demise. It can also include a verse from the bible or perhaps a quotation that has a significant meaning to the life of the deceased.