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Funeral Service Guidelines

At the time of death, notify your pastor at the same time that you do your funeral director.  The death of members of the church should be reported immediately to the pastor, and no arrangements for the burial should be made without consultation with him.  It is much better to make arrangements for the funeral in consultation with your pastor and funeral director together.  Do not make arrangements and then notify your pastor.  Let him help you!


The Funeral Service (page 279, ELW) will be used.  Every member should read this service at a time other than when planning a funeral.  A funeral is a Service of Worship in which all who attend should participate.  It is an act of FAITH.  Responsive readings and prayer should be participated in by all present.


Music for the service should always be in keeping with the practice of the church and should have the same relationship as it does in an ordinary Sunday service.  Let your pastor make suggestions or select appropriate music for you.  Two or three hymns are sufficient.  The church choir leads the service in the church.  In the funeral home chapel normally the service and response are all by the pastor, and there is no singing.


It is best to have the pastor of St. Mark’s to conduct the service.  NEVER invite another pastor to take part in the service without consulting your own pastor.


The coffin shall be placed in a lengthwise position.  The coffin shall remain closed.  The congregation shall provide a funeral pall.  The coffin is never opened once it is brought into the church Nave.  If the body lies in state for viewing, this should be done at the funeral home.  The pastor meets the family at the door of the church and they enter the church in procession at the beginning of the service.


The funeral pall is a parament used to cover the casket during the service.  The purpose of the pall is to cover alike the caskets of kings and paupers, and to provide the same burial for those who have received the same baptism.  The pall replaces the casket spray in the Narthex of the church just prior to the processional into the Nave, and is removed after the service at the same place before the casket is placed into the hearse.  St. Mark’s has a beautiful pall.


When death of a member, member’s spouse, parent or child occurs, a meal will be provided for the bereaved family, if desired.  If other assistance or service is needed or desired, please call the church office.