Other considerations and Frequently Asked Questions…
Will any of the family or friends be permitted to speak at the funeral service?
Public speaking is a challenging task even in normal situations. Public speaking at a funeral is even more challenging. The emotions of the day will feel even more powerful than they do now. For this reason, we discourage Eulogies during the Funeral Service. Instead, we suggest that these Eulogies be shared at the reception, as it is a more appropriate time and setting for the free sharing of memories.
As an option, reading scripture during the service is a meaningful way for family or friends to participate in the service.
Can we include our loved one’s favorite songs?
In keeping with the list above, (especially numbers 4 and 5), the function of the songs selected is to remind us of biblical truths. Those songs that do not meet this standard, and yet are important to the family for sentimental reasons, are encouraged to be used at the reception, or during a memorial video that may be played during the reception.
If there are hymns or praise songs that were particularly meaningful to your loved one, or those which are meaningful to your family, can be shared during your Pastoral Appointment. The Pastor can help to guide you with the selection, use, and placement of these songs.
What is the difference between a funeral service and a memorial service?
A funeral service always includes the presence of the deceased’s body. A graveside typically follows for the burial. A memorial service remembers a life while not having the body of the deceased present. Memorial services typically follow a graveside or private family burial.
Can we place a picture of our loved one up front and/or near the entrance during the Funeral/Memorial?
Yes. St. John’s will provide an easel(s) when you indicate that you will be using a picture(s) in the service. In selecting your picture, please remember the points listed above.
Can we show a memorial video in the Funeral/Memorial Service?
Memorial videos can be very special to the family. Many memorial videos do not meet the standards deemed appropriate in a public worship setting. Memorial Videos are encouraged at the reception. Special permission from the pastor must be granted for any memorial video to be shown in the public Funeral/Memorial service.
What other things should we plan for and consider?
Memorials – If you would like to have attendees give financial gifts to a charity or other organization in the name of your loved one, please indicate that information on the Funeral Planner Page. It will be included in the bulletin.
Flowers – All flowers delivered to the church will be set in appropriate places for the Funeral/Memorial service. If there is a graveside to follow the service, the mortuary may assist in transporting flowers for the family. Other times, the family is asked to transport the flowers of their choosing. Your mortuary can advise you about this detail.
All flowers not claimed by the family following the funeral will not be kept or saved.
Guest Book – You are invited to purchase a guestbook which those attending the funeral may sign, indicating their presence. This book can be placed at the entrance to the sanctuary/auditorium and picked up by the family before the graveside. In some cases when the signing of the guestbook is delaying the start of the service the greeters and/or funeral directors may close the book in order to seat everyone more quickly. When this occurs the family will be encouraged to reopen the guestbook at the reception or as people leave the service.
Remembrance Page/Insert/of Folded Card – On occasion, families would like to include a picture of their loved one with a brief obituary write up. St. John’s will not place these inside the bulletin, however families are invited to create this on their own or through the mortuary. Keep in mind the points listed above, showing honor to the sacred aspect of this service.
Receptions – Receptions are a wonderful part of the Funeral/Memorial day. It provides opportunity for friends and families to gather and share special memories of their loved one. It also allows for a strong communication of support for those in grief. The reception often happens in the home of a family member following the service and/or graveside. Other times the reception is held at a nearby restaurant.
Sometimes St. John’s hosts the reception. If this is of interest to you, please discuss this with your funeral coordinator. There are many options including a list of recommended caterers you can employ for the reception at St. John’s.
Thank-You’s – All gifts of memorials, flowers, and food should be acknowledged with a written thank you. Most families have someone who is willing to help with recording these throughout the funeral service day in order that thank you cards might be sent at a later date.
How do we handle Honorariums?
In some cases, the mortuary will collect the Honorarium fees from you and then distribute them for you at the Funeral/Memorial/Graveside. However, other times these Honorariums are paid directly by the family. Please check with your mortuary as to how this will be handled.
For Funeral/Memorial questions and information please contact Jenny McClelland in our church office: