At a person’s death, the church shares the grief of those who mourn and remembers the brevity of life on earth. At the funeral we give voice to sorrow, thank God for our loved one, and entrust this companion of ours into the hands of God. Trusting in God’s promise in baptism that we are claimed by Christ forever, we rest in the sure hope of the resurrection. When the church gathers to mark the end of life, Christ crucified and risen is the witness of worship, the strength of mutual consolation, and the hope of healing. – Evangelical Worship p. 279
When a loved one dies it can leave us feeling empty, sad, numb, or even angry. Grieving is a lifelong process and you may feel several of these emotions at once, or they may come on later in life as you remember your loved one. Whatever you are feeling, the community of faith at Hope Lutheran is here to support and help you.
A funeral is first and foremost a worship service. During this service we remember the promise and hope of the resurrection that we are given in Jesus Christ. For this reason, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) a funeral service is referred to as a Service of Witness to the Resurrection.
FOR YOUR HELP PLANNING
- Because of the nature of a funeral as a worship service stories and memories of the deceased are best shared at a gathering or meal before and/or following the service.
- No pets or animals, except for service animals*, are permitted in the church building.
- Any decorations used should be tasteful and appropriate for worship. They should not block any movement down the aisles, around the baptismal font, or in the entryway.
- Flowers, photographs, etc. are not permitted in the altar area.
- No flash photography or video recording during the service (opening greeting to dismissal).
- No smoking is permitted in any part of the church building. This includes electronic cigarettes, vaping, and marijuana.
- Smoking (cigarettes only) is permitted outside at least 10 feet from the building. Cigarette butts should be properly disposed of and not left on church property.
- Our fellowship hall is available for a lunch or reception before or following the service.
- Beverages or food items are to be brought into the fellowship hall before the service.
- Food and beverages are not permitted outside the fellowship hall.
- Funeral services for members of Hope Lutheran shall be officiated by the pastor unless other arrangements are made.
- Hope’s sound system is not Bluetooth capable and is not able to play recorded music.
- Due to copyright legalities all music for the service must come from Hope’s available hymnals, music books, or through our available licensing.
- Music should be tasteful and appropriate for the context of Christian worship. The pastor has final say on all music for the service.
- If music is played during the viewing, luncheon, etc. it should be family appropriate.
ARRANGMENTS FOR WHICH YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE
- If you would like a printed bulletin you must inform the pastor so copies can be made and printed in a timely manner before the service.
- If you would like a guest book please speak with the funeral home you are using as one is often included in your funeral package. If you are not using a funeral home there are many styles of guest book available on Amazon.
- If you would like an obituary handout please speak with the funeral home you are using.
- You are responsible for engaging a pianist, or other musicians. Don’t put this off—musicians are in high demand! If you would like Hope’s musician to play please make arrangements with her as soon as possible.
- You are responsible for engaging the church custodian to assist with cleaning following the service and / or luncheon. Please make arrangements with her as soon as possible.
- If you would like Holy Communion during the service please let the pastor know ahead of time so arrangements can be made for set up and clean up.
- You are responsible for making arrangements with the church custodian or Hope representative to get into the building for any preparation before the service.
- You are responsible for engaging the funeral luncheon committee if you would like a meal before or after the service.
Use of the Church Building
There are no fees charged for the use of the church to members. The church should be returned to its normal arrangement for worship following the service/reception. For all others a donation is requested for use of the church. This shall be paid prior to the service.
Luncheon / Meals
Hope’s fellowship room is available for meals before or following the funeral service. Hope does have a funeral luncheon group that is available to purchase food, set up, and clean up following the meal. The cost of the meal is covered by the family. The cost should be paid to the funeral luncheon group before the funeral service. Desserts and coffee / hot tea are provided by Hope members. If you would like Hope’s funeral lunch group to handle the luncheon / reception for you please contact them no later than one week before the service.
In order to ensure that the church is clean and ready for worship / faith activities there is a $100 fee to cover our custodian cleaning the building following the service. This shall be paid to the custodian prior to the funeral.
The Hope pianist is available to play funeral services, please make arrangements with her as soon as possible. If you would like another musician to play, or if you have other musicians you would like to incorporate into the service, please speak with the pastor as soon as possible. There is a fee of $100 to be paid to the pianist before the service.
The pastor of Hope will officiate at the funeral services of church members unless other arrangements are made. Other clergy may participate at the discretion of Hope’s pastor. There is no fee assessed by the pastor for officiating for members of Hope. For all others there is an honorarium of $150.
If you will have other clergy/officiant leading the funeral service you should speak with them in advance regarding any honorarium policies they have.
*A service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals. – From the Americans with Disabilities National Network (https://adata.org/factsheet/service-animals)
The following are suggestions that are readily available in our worship materials / hymnals. If you would like to view any of these when considering music please inform the pastor and copies can be provided to you.
- Abide with Me
- All of Us Go Down to the Dust
- Amazing Grace
- Around You, O Lord Jesus
- At the Lamb’s High Feast
- Beautiful Savior
- Behold the Host Arrayed in White
- Blest Are They
- Blest Be the Tie That Binds
- Borning Cry
- Children of the Heavenly Father
- Come, Ye Disconsolate
- Crown Him with Many Crowns
- Day by Day
- For All the Saints
- For All Your Saints, O Lord
- For the Beauty of the Earth
- Give Me Jesus
- Give Thanks for Saints
- Go, My Children, with My Blessing
- God, Who Made the Earth and Heaven
- Holy God, Holy and Glorious
- Holy God, We Praise Your Name
- Holy, Holy, Holy
- How Small Our Span of Life
- I Am the Bread of Life
- I Know That My Redeemer Lives!
- If You But Trust in God to Guide You
- In Heaven Above
- In Thee Is Gladness
- Jerusalem, My Happy Home
- Just a Closer Walk with Thee
- Lift High the Cross
- Lord of All Hopefulness
- Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me
- Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart
- Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
- My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
- My Life Flows On in Endless Song
- My Shepherd, You Supply My Need (Psalm 23)
- Neither Death nor Life
- Now Thank We All Our God
- Now We Remain
- Blessed Spring
- Christ the Same
- Day Full of Grace
- God beyond All Praising
- God, Our Help in Ages Past (Psalm 90)
- How Great Thou Art
- Living Bread from Heaven
- Lord, Now Let Your Servant
- Oh, Happy Day When We Shall Stand
- Old Rugged Cross
- On Eagle’s Wings (Psalm 91)
- Precious Lord, Take My Hand
- Rejoice in God’s Saints
- Shall We Gather at the River
- Sing with All the Saints in Glory
- Soli Deo Gloria
- Soul, Adorn Yourself with Gladness
- The Church’s One Foundation
- The King of Love My Shepherd Is (Psalm 23)
- The Lord’s My Shepherd (Psalm 23)
- The Trumpets Sound, the Angels Sing
- There in God’s Garden
- Thine Is the Glory
- Thine the Amen, Thine the Praise
- Through the Night of Doubt and Sorrow
- Thy Holy Wings
- We Are Baptized in Christ Jesus
- We Know That Christ Is Raised
- What Feast of Love
- What Wondrous Love Is This
- When Peace like a River
- When We Are Living
- You Are Mine
The following are suggestions that are readily available in our worship materials / hymnals. You are not limited to these options so please feel free to speak with the pastor when discussing / choosing scripture suggestions for the service.
- Job 19:1, 23-27a
- Wisdom 3:1-9
- Wisdom 4:7-15
- Isaiah 25:6a, 7-9
- Lamentations 3:17-26
- Daniel 12:1-3
- Psalm 23
- Psalm 25:17-21
- Psalm 27: 1, 13-14
- Psalm 62:5-9
- Psalm 63:3-8
- Psalm 103:15-22
- Romans 5:5-11
- Romans 6:3-9
- Romans 8:14-23
- Romans 14:7-9
- 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
- 1 Corinthians 15:51-57
- 2 Corinthians 4:14—5:1
- 2 Corinthians 5:6-10
- Philippians 3:20-21
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
- 2 Timothy 2:8-13
- 1 John 3:1-2
- 1 John 3:14-16
- Matthew 5:1-12
- Matthew 11:25-30
- Matthew 25:1-13
- Luke 7:11-17
- Luke 12:35-40
- Luke 24:13-31
- John 5:24-28
- John 6:37-40
- John 6:51-58
- John 11:17-27
- John 12:23-26
- John 14:1-6
- John 17:24-26
If you would like to view any of these and do not have a Bible at home consider using the website: www.biblegateway.com. You can view the passages in a variety of translations. Please note the translation used by Hope is the New Revised Standard Version unless other arrangements with the pastor are made.