Worship Resources for Funerals
While funerals have often been seen as family affairs or private activities, death impacts entire communities: both the worshiping community and the community at large. The resources below explore the value and vitality of funeral worship.
Listen to this May 6, 2021, podcast "Letting Grief Come to Church" by Christianity Today with John D. Witvliet, director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, on how the Biblical psalms offer a place to start when designing a service in memory of a loved one.
Navajo Burials and Christian Hope
The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated death-related issues in the Navajo Nation. Even so, affirming all that's good about "walking in beauty" gives Navajos on the Jesus Way a bridge to comfort people bound by fearful Navajo taboos about death.
Article | December 01, 2021
James Abbington on Planning Henry “Hank” Aaron’s Funeral Music
Although news coverage of public figures’ funerals often focuses most on speakers and eulogists, music is crucial. James Abbington thought pastorally while planning music for baseball star Henry Aaron’s homegoing.
Conversation | May 11, 2021
Lucie Eddie Campbell: A Mother of Gospel Music
James Abbington was inspired to insert an old gospel song before the eulogy at the funeral for baseball star Henry “Hank” Aaron. The reaction prompted him to honor the heritage of Lucie E. Campbell, an influential Black gospel musician whom many people have forgotten.
Feature Story | May 11, 2021
J. Todd Billings on Embracing Our Mortality
Unless we are very ill or old, many of us avoid thinking about our deaths. J. Todd Billings’s new book, The End of the Christian Life, explains that remembering our mortality and learning to die well will give us a more profound view of true Christian resurrection hope.
Conversation | January 19, 2021
Funeral Practices during COVID-19: Praying for Wisdom in Pastoral and Liturgical Adaptations
During the COVID-19 pandemic, pastors and churches preparing to conduct funerals face unique challenges, particularly restrictions on public gatherings even for those who grieve.
Reflection | March 19, 2020
Cedar of Lebanon
A visual symbol that can be placed on the cover of service bulletins, within the written liturgy, or on a large screen display.
Image | March 16, 2017
How to Develop a Requiem Choir: A Congregational Ministry for Funerals
In the midst of life, we are in death.” But fewer and fewer of us share in the sad, sometimes openly commercial rituals that surround our final passage in this culture—more and more grieving family and close friends mourn by themselves.
Article | November 19, 2010
Pastoral Undertaking: A Case for Prearranging Funerals
At one of our church member's funeral, we gathered in Christ’s name to proclaim his resurrection as well as hers. Yet something seemed to be missing from this service of worship. This woman had dialogued at length with her own death, and we had heard only part of the conversation.
Article | November 19, 2010
When God Speaks Through Change (Book Excerpt)
Anyone who has preached at a wedding and a funeral in the same week can attest to the power of the occasion to impact the preaching event. Craig Satterlee reflects on how to integrate such significant events into the preaching ministry of the church.
Book Excerpt | October 20, 2010