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.
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
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
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
Reclaiming Funerals as Christian Worship
While funerals have often been seen as family affairs or private activities, the fact is that death impacts entire communities: both the faith community and the community at large.
Audio | January 01, 2008
Christian Funerals: Going to be with God
Thomas Long makes a case for classic Christian funeral traditions. Howard Vanderwell and Leonard VanderZee offer pastoral considerations for planning funerals and memorial services. A feature story exploring the planning for Christian Funerals and Memorial Services.
Feature Story | October 26, 2007
In Times of Death: Resources for Funeral and Memorial Services
Pastoral leaders are often puzzled by the varying expectations and needs that people have at the time of a death. What should a funeral service be like? What are the purposes of such a service? Is it worship? Is a memorial service preferable? What is the difference between a funeral service, a memorial service, and a committal service? Where can I find resources?
Article | May 09, 2004
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