Watch the video above and talk about it with your family. Learn more.

Planning a funeral is an emotional experience. Here’s a sample order to help you get your thoughts together.

Key Elements:

  1. Private prayer with family.
  2. Public opening words and prayer. (1 Thessalonians 4:13.)
  3. Song, poem or Scripture reading. (John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:54-57.)
  4. Sharing memories.
  5. Memorial video.
  6. Pastoral thoughts and closing prayer. 

Bible Text:

2 Corinthians 4:18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

See Also: Weddings & Funerals

Talk About It
  1. Who will you invite to the private prayer time before the service?
  2. Who will be the officiant of the memorial service? Do you have any special instructions or requests for him or her?
  3. Which song(s) or scripture reading(s) do you want to use?
  4. Who will you invite to share memories during the ceremony? What time limit will you ask everyone to respect?
  5. Will you be using a memorial video? If so, who is in charge of creating it? How will you display it?
  6. Do you have any other details to talk about as a family?

Grief Support

When a family in your church or community experiences a tragic loss, consider creating a grief support team to help them cope. The grief support team can include these key roles:

Meal coordinator. This is the point person for coordinating meals for the family. Having a coordinator centralizes the church’s efforts to bless the family with meals without stressing them out with the details. The meal coordinator can keep a care calendar and communicate the family’s preferences to those who are bringing meals.

Service planner. Planning for a memorial is time-consuming and emotional. We recommend designating a “planner” from among your friends or family – someone who is willing to take the lead and make some phone calls. Your planner can follow up on the information below.

Care team. These are hand-selected mentors or friends who are committed to reaching out weekly to the family for individualized care. Try assigning a unique “big brother or sister” to kids in the family who are experiencing grief, giving everyone special care and taking pressure off of parents to help their kids grieve a loss. Sensitize your prayer team by going through the Death and Grieving series together.