• The body of the deceased is present in a casket.
  • The casket is closed throughout the service, and the service may be held in a church, funeral home, or cemetery chapel.
  • The service is held usually from one to three days after the day of death. Burial or cremation follows.


  • Is similar to a funeral, but without the body of the deceased present.
  • It may be held at any time after the day of death, but is usually held within a week or so.
  • Cremation or burial may precede or follow the service.


  • Like all worship occasions, a funeral or memorial service includes hymns (optional), prayers, scripture readings, personal rememberings, and a short sermon.
  • Participation by family or friends is welcome.


  • Memorial or funeral services may be held on any day of the week, but usually not on Sunday.
  • The hour of the service varies, but may be from 10:30 a.m. until late afternoon. A common time is 2:00 p.m.
  • Consult with the minister or office administrator and with the funeral director before publishing the day and time in the newspaper.


  • The church will contact the congregation’s music director and ask her to provide appropriate music for the service.
  • Suggestions about the music from the family are invited, and the organist and minister will do their utmost to accommodate the wishes of the family.


  • You are encouraged to choose at least one hymn for the service, especially if it is to be held in the church.
  • Some of the more common ones chosen are:
    • The Lord’s My Shepherd
    • Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
    • Now Thank We All Our God
    • God Our Help In Ages Past
    • How Great Thou Art
    • Amazing Grace
    • Lord Of The Dance
  • Please feel free to look through “Voices United” for other hymns.


  • If a florist is delivering the flowers to the church, please let the church office know which florist and what time the flowers are to arrive.


  • A picture of the deceased, or other meaningful mementoes may be placed next to the flowers in the sanctuary.


  • A guest register may be provided by the funeral home, or alternatively, may be purchased by the family and placed on the desk in the narthex.


  • If you would like the church to provide ushers, please mention this when you meet with the minister(s) in planning the service.


  • For fee information, please contact the church office.


  • For further information regarding reception following the service, please contact the Ethel Wilson Evening Women’s Group. Note that this group will serve food provided by family and offer tea/coffee service.


  • In the obituary that is printed in the paper it is entirely appropriate for the family to invite friends to donate a memorial gift of money to benevolent societies or health care agencies.