THE CHRISTIAN FUNERAL A SUGGESTED GUIDELINE

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1 THE CHRISTIAN FUNERAL A SUGGESTED GUIDELINE FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH 1234 SW FAIRLAWN ROAD TOPEKA, KANSAS (revised August 2011) No one is ever really anxious for the death of a loved one. We always reach that time with anxiety and, understandably, with some confusion. The Ministry Staff of First Lutheran Church would like to suggest that you give some quiet thought to the planning of your own funeral to ensure that your wishes are carried out and to help your loved ones in their time of grieving. We would like to offer you some suggestions which will help, both when faced with the death of a loved one and in planning your own funeral. 1. Call the Pastor immediately! When a loved one dies, whatever the hour of the day or night, the Pastor would like to be at your side. 2. Hold the service in the church. It is not wrong to have a service in a funeral home, but the church is the proper setting for the Christian service of members. There is no fee for the use of the church facilities. 3. Limit the cost of the funeral. Lavish expenditures are not necessary to honor a loved one or the dead. 4. Plan to have the service within three or four days after the death, depending on the circumstances. Arrange for appropriate times of viewing at the funeral home. The casket may also be opened in the Nave Lounge before the service for viewing and be closed as the service begins. 5. Discourage massive display of flowers. Since flowers most certainly can provide a ministry of comfort (and communicate the new life which is promised to Christians), tasteful arrangements from the immediate family will display appropriate honor for the person who has died. In lieu of flowers, suggest that meaningful memorials be given by those who would like to express their gratitude for the life of the deceased. 6. Remember that the funeral service is not just to honor the deceased but to help in the grieving process for the living. It is an occasion which brings glory to God and expresses the joy and thanksgiving of our faith in Jesus Christ, in the resurrection, and in the everlasting life which he has promised to his followers.

2 FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH PLANS FOR THE FUNERAL OF Please fill out this information sheet, and file it with the church office's member records. Give a copy of this document to the person(s) who you believe will be handling your funeral arrangements. It may be advisable to have a copy of this document in your safe deposit box. You may also wish to give a copy to the funeral home you intend to use. If you wish to speak with the Pastor before you complete this form, contact him/her to make arrangements for him/her to visit with you. FUNERAL HOME I have no special preference as to which home handles arrangements. I prefer CEMETERY I have no lot but would prefer I have a lot in I prefer to be cremated. Other: LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT I have made out a will. It may be found My lawyer is I have not made out a will. Remarks: HANDLING FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS I have made final arrangements for my burial with I would like the following persons to handle arrangements for my funeral:

3 MEMORIALS I prefer flowers. In lieu of flowers I would like to have memorials given to the First Lutheran Memorial Fund and specified for In lieu of flowers I would like to have memorials given to VIEWING OF THE BODY I request no one be allowed to view my body. I request that only immediate family be allowed to view my body. I request calling hours with public viewing. I will leave this matter to the discretion of my immediate family. THE SERVICE I request a service in church. I request a service at the funeral home. I request a memorial service at the church without the body. I request a memorial service at the funeral home without the body. THE PALL First Lutheran Church owns a funeral pall. The pall is a beautifully designed and made cloth that is draped over the casket for church funerals and is a reminder of our Christian baptism where the grace of Jesus Christ "covers" us. I prefer not to use the pall. I request use of the church pall.

4 MUSIC AND HYMNS Since a Christian's funeral is a service of praise and thanksgiving, it is very appropriate to sing hymns and have special music at the service. List below desired hymns and special musical requests. You may wish to discuss with the Pastor, Director of Music, or Organist what selections would be appropriate. See the accompanying list for suggestions. _ FAVORITE SCRIPTURES Please list favorite Scripture passages that you would like to be read at your funeral. See the accompanying list for suggestions. OTHER NOTES, COMMENTS, AND WISHES Please have this paper witnessed by some member of your family or a friend. If you remove your membership from First Lutheran to join another church, you may request that this form be forwarded to your new home congregation. Signed Witness Date

5 SOME PERTINENT QUESTIONS 1. Why should I bother to have a funeral? What is the purpose of a Christian funeral? 2. Where should the service be conducted? 3. What about viewing the body? 4. What about the use of flowers? 5. Is there anything wrong with cremation? 6. What about outside organizations at the funeral? 7. How about donating specific organs or the whole body to medical science? 8. What is the value of making funeral arrangements with pastor and funeral home beforehand?

6 RESOURCES FOR A CHRISTIAN FUNERAL SERVICE SCRIPTURE PASSAGES Psalm 23 The Lord is my Shepherd 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 The dead arise when Christ returns 1 Corinthians 15:50-57 O Death, where is your sting Hebrews 11:8-13 By faith, Abraham Psalm 91:1-12 God is my refuge and shelter Revelation 21:1-4 A new heaven and a new earth Ecclesiastes 3:1-12 To everything there is a season a time for John 14:6 I am the Way, the Truth and the Life 2 Timothy 4:6-8 I have fought the good fight and kept the faith Psalm 100 Make a joyful noise 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 These three remain faith, hope and love Philippians 1:19-23 For me to live is Christ and to die is gain Philippians 2:5-11 Every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord Hebrews 9:24-27 It is destined for all to die once, and after that the judgment John 11:17-27 I am the Resurrection and the Life 1 Peter 1:3-5 An inheritance reserved in heaven 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 We shall have heavenly bodies which we will put on like new clothes Romans 8:31-39 Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus Psalm 1 Blessed is the person who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly Job 19:23-27 I know that my Redeemer lives 1 Corinthians 15:35-44 How are the dead raised? HYMN SELECTIONS FROM THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN WORSHIP HYMNAL The Strife is O er the Battle Done Thine is the Glory For All the Saints A Mighty Fortress Love Divine, All Loves Excelling O God, Our Help in Ages Past Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me Jesus, Still Lead On Praise to the Lord, the Almighty Go, My Children, With My Blessing Thy Holy Wings Borning Cry Christ is Alive! Let Christians Sing Lift High the Cross Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound The Lord s My Shepherd If You But Trust in God to Guide You The King of Love My Shepherd Is Let Us Ever Walk with Jesus Now Thank We All Our God When Peace, Like a River I Know that My Redeemer Lives! Children of the Heavenly Father

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