How To Host a Funeral at a Church

 Funerals are formal services held when someone dies. Funeral services are part of the grieving process and provide loved ones and friends with an opportunity to pay tribute to the person who died and share their grief.

Memorial services are typically held at a church or funeral home. People who belong to a church may prefer to have their funeral service held at their home church and have their church minister lead the memorial service. Church ministers can host a traditional funeral or an unconventional service planned by the person who died.

Start preparing before your services are needed.

Churches should be equipped to host funeral services. Your church choir should have a suitable repertoire they can perform at a funeral. Work with your choir director to ensure they have an appropriate repertoire. Your church maintenance team should know what steps need to be taken to prepare for a funeral service. You should also promote your memorial services and provide contact information for people who want to hold a memorial service at your church.

Obtain critical resources.


Bible book store will sell crucial church supplies you need to host memorial services. These supplies may include Bibles, hymnals, and communion supplies. You may also benefit from purchasing Christian books, such as curriculum guides, outlining how to host funeral services and help you identify scripture you can use in the service. You may also want to honor the decedent’s memory by using their preferred Bible translation. For example, you could order a New King James Version (NKJV) Bible for the service. Use these resources to prepare devotions for the service.

Have practical information available to help with funeral plans.

Family members may opt for a traditional funeral, purchase a casket, buy a burial plot, pay the burial costs, and order a headstone. Their decisions may also be affected by whether the decedent had final expense insurance. If they can’t afford traditional funeral costs, they may be interested in learning about cremation costs. Google “Are cremations expensive?” to learn about cremation costs and find out how the costs of a cremation and traditional burial compare. The best way to serve the family member’s needs is to have as much information as possible about all relevant costs, including the cost of a traditional burial service, a cremation service, headstones and urns. Work with family members to make decisions about the service and the order of events. When you host the funeral, you’ll follow that schedule.

Families may also need help paying deductibles for medical bills and covering funeral costs. You can provide information about organizations that help with these medical and funeral costs. You may also collect funds to help them cover the cost of property damage if the decedent was killed in an auto accident and didn’t have collision coverage or final expense insurance.

Provide counseling and emotional support.


When a person dies, their family members and friends may be struggling with grief. When a person who’s elderly or ill passes away, it may have been expected, and the family may have had a chance to plan the funeral. When a person dies unexpectedly, such as a person who’s the victim of a hit and run accident, the family may not have arrangements made. They may also need more emotional support because of the shock of the decedent’s sudden death. You may need to refer to information about how to handle a hit-and-run accident to help the family members address the legal, financial, and emotional impact of the car accident that claimed their loved one’s life. The family may wish to visit the scene of the accident as part of the service.

Work with a funeral arranger and provide practical support.

Coordinate with a funeral director to address the family’s needs. Funeral arrangers can help the family handle obtain a death certificate. A funeral arranger can work with the family’s insurance company and help them navigate the claim process. Funeral directors also handle other practical details, such as arranging to transport the body. The family may also opt to let people view the body at the funeral home before holding the memorial service at your church, and it’s a good idea to ensure the family knows this is an option.

Advanced preparation will ensure you’re ready to hold a funeral at your church. Your church team should be aware of the steps they must take to host a funeral. You may also need to purchase supplies and work with a funeral director to help family members make funeral arrangements. Your role will also involve providing emotional support for the family and friends of the decedent.

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