How To Write A Funeral Message
How To Write a Funeral Message provides some ideas and resources to help you build a repertoire of funeral and memorial messages.
As obvious as this may sound, we need to remember that funerals are for the living.
When we plan funeral or memorial services, we have a great privilege as ministers or funeral directors to give mourners an opportunity to say goodbye to a loved one, to express their feelings of loss, to commemorate a unique and precious life and to begin the healing process of being separated from a dearly beloved one.
Although every funeral is unique; neverthless, there are many commonalities to keep in mind, such as, tributes, eulogy, prayers, readings, poems and message.
In many ways, the funeral message is only a small part of the funeral service; however, it is an important part and it needs to be planned well. The following are some things I keep in mind when I plan a funeral message for a funeral or memorial service.
1. Collect Funeral Details
Before I do anything, I first meet with the family who have asked me to officiate at the funeral service. I have a form, which I call the Funeral Report, that I use to gather information for the funeral or memorial service.
If you haven't got a form for collecting information, then I suggest you create one straight away.
The form or report gathers information like: funeral date and time, name, address, date of birth, cause of death, next to kin, family members, general history of person, hobbies, occupation, favourite poem and special readings, music, stories, etc.
There is a section on the form or report where I asked the family about the funeral service. Do you want a religious service or a non-religious service? Who do you want to speak? Are there any special requests?
The information I collect on this form or report helps with the planning of the whole funeral or memorial service, but also it gives direction for what I include in the funeral message.
This information collected from the family of the deceased allows the funeral message to be personal and the impact of that message is much greater and benefical to the family and friends who are gathered to commemorate the loss of a loved one.
2. Plan The Service
Once you have gathered the information from the family of the deceased, you can begin to plan the funeral service.
If the deceased person was a Christian and the family wanted a church funeral, then you would plan your service accordingly. Of course, this would influenced you in how you write the funeral message for the service.
If the deceased person was a non-Christian and the family wanted a funeral home or chapel service, then you would plan the service in relation to their requirements. Again, your funeral message will be influenced by the fact that the deceased person was a non-Christian.
By the way, I do get asked to take non-Christian funerals quite frequently. I believe it is a privilege to officiate at these services. I do not give false hope to the family of the deceased person but I do seek to minister to them in God-honoring way.
A Christian funeral usually has a Christian message of hope in Jesus Christ. However, your approach to a non-Christian funeral must be sensitive and respectful.
I usually weave a message through the whole funeral service. Nevertheless, I still have a time in the funeral service to focus people on a message of hope.
From my experience, it is best to plan the service before you write your funeral message. Regardless of whether the service is for a Christian or not, there are common procedures to put into place; such as, an introduction which acknowledges family, friends and attendees, tributes, eulogy, reflections, message and conclusions.
Once you have the order of service in place, you can then concentrate on the funeral message itself.
3. Write The Funeral Message
I must admit that writing a funeral message for a Christian is must easier than writing a message for a non-Christian.
I officiated at a funeral of a Christian friend who was a member of my congregation. This person requested that I preach a message about heaven. He wanted me to reassure his family and friends that he was with Jesus and in heaven. Therefore, I preached a message on the wonders of heaven. There were four wonders of heaven. Heaven is a real place. Heaven is a beautiful place. Heaven is a populated place and heaven is a personal place. I used this funeral message outline and made it personal to the deceased person.
I officiated at a funeral of a non-Christian where the family requested a non-Christian funeral. The family requested that I share a message from a poem that their mother found comforting in her ill-health. Therefore, I constructed a message around the inspirational poem.
However you prepare your funeral message, it is advantageous to have a collection of resources to help you write your funeral message. I have a number of books that help in the writing of funeral sermons. I have placed those resources below.
With all that I have said, it is absolutely important that the message you write is your funeral message. Yes, you can get ideas from other resources but you need to write the message in your words. This will give you confidence when you lead the service and give the funeral message.
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep is a collection of Funeral Memorial Poems, quotations and readings compiled to help people prepare tributes, eulogies and funeral or memorial messages.
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep is a resource that is easy to use and navigate. It has a table of content. The themes have been indexed. The poems, quotations and readings are in alphabetical order. In other words, everything is at your finger tips.
When you purchase this product, you will also get Bereavement For Beginners FREE. Bereavement For Beginners is a practical, comforting guide for the bereaved and those who wish to help people through the process of bereavement.
We are all unique in the way we compile information and present that information to the public. In other words, it is very difficult to preach someone else's funeral message. However, we can get ideas from other resources that people have made available.
During my seminary years, my professor gave me a dozen or so funeral messages so that I could have at least an idea of what to expect in preparing funeral message. These funeral sermons were helpful in that they gave my ideas in compiling funeral messages.
Funeral Sermon Outlines is just another resource for ministers and funeral directors in order to build a repertoire of furneral messages.
Free Funeral Sermons is simply two funeral sermons that I have written for two funeral services. You can download these two funeral sermons in order to use a resource in your endeavour to write a funeral message. The names and private information has been changed in order to protect the identity of the deceased persons.
One funeral sermon was written for a Christian. The message re-inforces the truth about Jesus as the way to God. The message also looks at our eternal destiny and the need trust Jesus for heaven.
The other funeral message was written for a non-Christian funeral. The message centered around an inspiration poem that the family of the deceased requested to be part of the service. You can download these messages by clicking on Free Funeral Sermons.
Online Sermon For Busy Pastors: Online Sermon For Busy Pastors is a resource website with sermons, sermon outlines and sermon information.
Free Sermon Articles: Free Sermon Articles provide a resource of information articles about sermons, sermon outlines and how to general construct a sermon or sermon outline.
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