If you’re planning a funeral for someone who was a member of a local church, consider using church membership privileges for the funeral. Different churches have different policies. However, most churches allow use of the building as well as a pastor to officiate the funeral.
Many people are concerned that this may not be moral, but in fact it is totally accepted in most communities, and most churches not only allow it but also encourage it.
One reason to use church membership privileges for a funeral is that it is respectful of the deceased. Many church members would prefer to be remembered in their own community of worship. Often times the people who knew and loved these church members will be there to grieve their deaths and celebrate their lives – regardless of whether or not they were related to the deceased.
Another reason to use a church for a funeral, though, is that it can save on funeral costs. A large part of the costs of a funeral home is the cost for setting up the burial and actual funereal services. You’re essentially renting space in a business, but you could be getting that space for free at a church. Moving the funeral and viewing to the local church can cut hundreds or even thousands of dollars off the cost of burial.
Check with the church that your loved one was a member of to understand how the church membership privileges work, as well as any specific details that the church will usually be happy to fill you in on. Often, you can use the church building free of charge. The church may even have a funeral committee that will help set out the flowers, clean up after the viewing, and even create a meal for the friends and family members to enjoy together before or after the service or viewing.
Chances are likely that you will hear from church members soon after the decease of your loved one. If you aren’t a member of the same church, ask them about planning the service and viewing there. They’ll be able to provide you with information or the names of who to contact at the church office for funeral directions.