Memorial / Funeral Guidelines

POLICY FOR FUNERALS & MEMORIAL SERVICES

WENATCHEE BRETHREN BAPTIST CHURCH

 

The church and its Pastor seek to provide a meaningful service of celebration and commemoration for family members following a death. Remembering a beloved family member or friend is an important time in the life of one's spiritual journey. The way in which we remember and commend to God's hands the deceased helps those left behind to mourn and grieve appropriately, and to bid farewell within the context of the church.

 

THE SERVICE

The Pastor's guidance for the service is found in the Church of the Brethren book, For All Who Minister: A Worship Manual (Brethren Press, 1993). The funeral or memorial is a Christian service of worship. It is way for the church and community to celebrate the life of the deceased, grieve his or her death, and express hope in the resurrection.

The service can be a graveside service and/or a memorial service in the church or a funeral home. The Pastor will assist the family in preparing an appropriate worship service. The Church of the Brethren is an historic peace church. Military ceremonies which involve gun salutes are not allowed on church property. Because of our opposition to taking oaths, and our belief in openness and honesty, we do not allow secret fraternal organizations to conduct services in the church.

The Pastor of the church will officiate at all services which take place at the Wenatchee Brethren Baptist Church. Guest clergy (e.g., relatives or friends who are ministers) may be invited to take a part in the service, but only by invitation of the Pastor.  

   

MUSIC, PROGRAMS, AND USHERS

The organist/pianist is available to play preludes, postludes, congregational songs, and special music.   The family can request special recorded or live music as long as it is appropriate to the church setting. The church will provide a person to operate our sound system. A recording of the service shall be provided to the family.

The church Administrative Assistant can design an attractive program and order of service which includes a picture chosen by the family and information about the deceased. We can provide ushers if the funeral home does not provide this service for funerals/memorials in the church.

 

FLOWERS, PICTURES, AND VIDEOS

Flower arrangements at the front of the sanctuary and tasteful displays of pictures in the narthex are appropriate. It is also possible to display a picture of the deceased or a family picture at the front of the sanctuary.

Tasteful tribute videos prepared by the family or funeral home can be shown during the worship service. The church has a computer and projector, and a person available to operate this system.   However, we are not able to prepare the video/PowerPoint program. 

 

THE RECEPTION

 The congregation's ministry to the bereaved often includes a reception or light meal in the church Fellowship Hall following the service. It is a time to greet friends and enjoy the warmth of church fellowship. A reception with cookies or cake and tea and coffee would be open to all those who attend the service. A light meal (sandwiches, fruit, etc.) can be served to the immediate and extended family, including friends that have travelled from out of town. We are not able to provide a complete meal for large groups. The family usually gives a donation to the church for receptions or light meals prepared at the church. Catered meals prepared by an outside vendor are permissible.

 

MEMORIAL DONATIONS

Memorial donations can be designated in lieu of flowers. Wenatchee Brethren Baptist Church has a memorial fund which purchases items needed by the church. Donations can be made to the Planned Gifts Fund as well. Each year the church uses the interest from this endowment to fund missions, scholarships, and capital improvements.

 

HONORARIA

 Preparing and conducting the memorial service requires time and effort beyond the normal work of church staff. It is customary that honoraria be paid to those members of the church staff who are involved in the service. Suggested honoraria:

  • Pastor - $150 (If the family or deceased are active members of the church, they are not expected to pay an honorarium to the pastor.)
  • Organist/pianist - $50
  • Soloist - $50
  • Administrative Assistant (if she designs and produces the program) - $50
  • Janitor - $50
  • Sound operator - $35
  • PowerPoint operator (if needed) - $35

One check can be written to the church to cover these expenses.

The celebration of a life and the honoring of a death are both personal and corporate. The church seeks to provide services which meet the needs of family and friends, reflect the wishes of the deceased, and are true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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