Leading Multi-site

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Brent Davis, Campus Pastor of The Chapel's Grayslake campus, talks about how to officate a funeral. Includes helpful tips of what to do when the family is unsure about the deceased eternal future.

Officiating a Funeral/Memorial Service


Read 2 Samuel 1. What can we learn from how David chose to honor Saul in his death, even when Saul was living a life that was not pleasing to God?

Do you find funerals intimidating? If so, why? What’s at stake?


Write a sample funeral message.

Have someone role play a grieving family member who has just lost a loved one and do the “Before” components with them.

Go to a funeral service officiated by someone else. Take notes on what went well and what could have gone better.


What are the strengths of your funeral message? What are areas of growth?

What are the strengths of your interaction with the grieving family member? What are areas of growth?

Module Outline for Officiating a Funeral/Memorial Service

1. Before
 Connect with the family
o Barge in
o Minister to them (ask how they’re doing, pray with them)
o Descriptive portrait of deceased
o Plan the service (see outline)
o Offer to help, what else can I do
 Connect with the funeral director
 Connect with the church office (info)

2. During
 Arrival
o Look pastoral
o Get there early, engage family
o Connect with funeral director (clarify role, transitions)

 Order of service
o Welcome
o Opening prayer (invocation)
o Scripture reading/poem (optional)
o Eulogy (optional)
o Songs (optional)
o Memorial Message
 Memorial to the deceased
 Thoughts about death, loss and grief
 Thoughts on eternal life
 Call to follow Jesus
o Closing Prayer
o Statement that concludes the memorial service
o Recessional
o Ride to Graveside
o Committal Message
 Devotional thought
 Pronouncement of committal (“We now, in the presence of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and many loved ones commit ________ earthly body to the ground and his soul into the hands of God.”)
 Prayer
o Internment

3. After
 Meal with the family
 Follow up call in coming weeks

4. 2 helpful tips for difficult situations

 How to handle it if you don’t have evidence the person was a believer.
 How to handle it if you the person’s life was an absolute wreck.

Funeral/Memorial Service Planning Outline

 Welcome

 Opening prayer

 Scripture reading/poem (optional)

 Eulogy (optional)

 Song (optional)

 Memorial message

 Closing prayer

 Statement that concludes the memorial service

 Recessional

 Ride to graveside

 Committal message

 Internment

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