Funeral and Memorial Services

The congregation of St. Paul's extends its heartfelt sympathy to you and your family on the death of your loved one. St. Paul writes, "When a member suffers, we all suffer together; when one member is honored, all rejoice together." (1 Corinthians 12:26)

We want you to know that the pastors, staff, and members are here to assist you and your family during this time.

The first step in planning a funeral or memorial service is to contact the church office.  The pastor will meet with you and members of your family to plan the service. Typically, the services are held at the church. Once the pastor is contacted, we will schedule the service at the convenience of the family and availability of the sanctuary, pastor, and organist. If a funeral home is involved, it will be included in the planning.

The Service

A funeral is a worship service. It is a time to give thanks and praise to God for the home that is ours in the Resurrection, for the life which has been given, and to seek God's comfort and strength for those who mourn. The focus of a Christian funeral is not the casket nor the deceased, but God's redeeming love and victory over death.

A typical service includes the following:

  • Affirmation of Faith
  • Prayers
  • Scripture Readings
  • Hymns
  • Sermon / Homily
  • Lord's Prayer
  • Commendation
  • Benediction

The Sacrament of Holy Communion may be celebrated before the Commendation.

Music for the Service

The music shall be selected in consultation with the minister of music, the pastor, and the family. The hymns used should be from the worship material of the United Methodist Hymnal, approved and authorized by the minister of music and the pastor. Music selected should embody high standards of quality and, in general, reflect the spirit of Christian confidence, trust, and hope in the Resurrection, which is characteristic of the spoken parts of the service. Any requests for special music should be approved by the pastors and the minister of music.

The Pall

The pall is a white liturgical cloth symbolizing the hope of resurrection, faith and Christ's righteousness received in baptism. It is provided by the church and designed to cover the coffin or urn of the deceased. It is a visible witness to all in attendance, denoting the equal status of all in the sight of God.

Flowers

Flowers are used in vases behind the altar. An additional arrangement may be placed in front of the casket/urn. Any additional flowers will be placed in the foyer.

Resources for Support in Grief

Please consult with the pastor for information about grief support groups and grief counseling. Our church library has a good selection of books about death and grief, which you are welcome to borrow.