Advertisements

How to Respond to a Funeral

A new pastor wrote me a letter who heard a letter I had sent to a family at a funeral lately and asked me “how do I (as a pastor) respond in writing to a funeral?”  It’s a legitimate question and please allow me to respond based upon my training:

IF IT IS A MEMBER OF YOUR CONGREGATION

Normally, a resolution would be in order. It should contact facts about the deceased, when they united with the congregation and other pertinent information. It should be signed by the Pastor and the Church Clerk. A copy should be given to the family at the service and a copy should be retained in the church records.

IF IT IS A FAMILY MEMBER OF A MEMBER OF A CONGREGATION

It is NEVER APPROPRIATE to send a resolution from the church. Resolutions are canon in church records and if it is a family member of a member, a letter from the Pastor, brief in nature is appropriate. That letter should be concise, encouraging and can be faxed or emailed to the funeral home with a note to “have read at the funeral of Sis. XYZ” – but it is to the pastor’s discretion whether to have it read at the service.

You never, ever make a resolution to another Pastor’s member. Even if its a former member. It is inappropriate.
IF IT IS A CLOSE FRIEND OF THE PASTOR

Again, IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE to send a resolution from the church. The pastor should write a personal letter, understanding that it may  be read in the service, and it should be concise, to the point, uplifting and to the point (get the idea). General rule of thumb is that it should not exceeded one page (including letterhead).

 

General advice – spell check, make sure spree grammar, and be wise in your writing.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

THE WIRE

by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

About life, preaching, church, books, and other stuff.

%d bloggers like this: