How to Officiate at a Nondenominational Funeral Service

How to Officiate at a Nondenominational Funeral Service

There is no need to be a minister appointed in a funeral. In this event that you are asked to work in a funeral or memorial service, here is a simple way to help the family and friends get a sense of closure.

Talk to family. Call the family and arrange to meet them, preferably in their home. Meeting with them in public is okay in a bond, but if this is the arrangement, then try not to get more than two to three people. If a funeral home is taking care of other arrangements, funeral directors may have a place in the house where you can meet. Invite other family members and close friends if they wish, but be sensitive to their needs and thoughts about space.

Discuss the plans for the service. When you meet the family, tell them what is in your mind for the service. If they have their own thoughts that they do not want to see or do not, then do everything possible to include those thoughts. However, they should not leave them with many open questions which they need to do. You have to help them guide them, not to complicate the process further.

Take notes. Bring a notebook and be prepared to take several notes about that lover who has passed. You can get as much information as you can, so that you can present a story of a person’s life from birth to death. Be sure to get details such as birthdays, school information, marriage, work history, children and grandchildren, and achievements. Pay special attention to those special memories, which the family shares, especially the stories that bring smile. Ask them whether there is any music or any special readings they want to include in the service. Encourage them not to take two or more songs because they can be an emotional overload. Tell them also that you are available to read the poems or letters which they have written that they can not share on the day of service.

Get family addresses and contact information. Thank the family and arrange to send a copy of your eulogy so that they can review it and make sure it is accurate. Obviously, sending e-mails by e-mail is the easiest way to complete it, but there are other possibilities to get it in person or to fax it. Ask them if there is a meeting later that they would like to announce you.

Write a eulogy using your notes. Make it positive in the tone, but if they contribute to the person’s life then do not be afraid to mention the less happy things. Make sure you read the eulogy word to distribute it and to make sure you take the time to establish your rhythm. Two to three pages of written text should be sufficient.

Come early for the service. On the day of service, arrive at least half an hour before the last draft of the eulogy. Be available for any last minute words or arrangements that the family may have, but give them a place to mourn. It can be a very hard day for them.

Operate the service. You want to open one of the pieces of music that they have chosen. Then, welcome the family and open with the word of prayer or remembrance. After the prayer, read obesity as a way to accept members of the family involved. Distribute eulogy. After the eulogy, invite friends and family to come forward and share your own thoughts. This is an ideal place to insert a song to give time to think about them. If, after about half an hour, no one comes forward, then make some slight comment that it can be difficult to speak in the funeral, and can end with the service by ceasing the service.

Be later. Make yourself available to family and friends later, but unless you know the family individually, you want to excuse yourself and place them as soon as possible.

Leave a Reply