Funeral Planning for Members of Faith Lutheran Church

    Upon a person’s death, the Church shares the grief of those who mourn and remembers the brevity of life on earth. A funeral liturgy allows those who mourn to give voice to sorrow, thank God for their loved one, and entrust their companion into the hands of God. At the time of death, your family should notify and work with both the pastor and funeral director, ensuring your wishes are honored and Lutheran funeral practices are observed out of respect for your faith, your family, and the church family of which you are a beloved member.

    Because the whole of Christian life is shaped by our Baptism into the crucified and risen Christ, formed by the proclaimed Word of God, and nurtured through the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the normative funeral rite of the Church also reflects these practices. Except in very unusual circumstances, the body or cremated remains of a church member are brought to the church, celebrating one’s Baptism into Christ and promise of resurrection of the body. A public liturgy of the Word and Holy Communion is celebrated and presided over by the current pastor of this congregation. The service is open to the congregation, family members, and guests who share in common grief. All those who are baptized and believe in Jesus Christ may take part in the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood at the Lord’s own invitation as offered through the Church. Following the church liturgy, a committal service at the graveside is the normative practice.  When extenuating circumstances requiring variations to these standard practices arise, other options should be discussed and arranged with the pastor. 

    For some, it is a comfort knowing that certain details of the funeral service have been prepared in advance. Still others prefer to have the pastor and loved ones plan the liturgy at the time of death. This worksheet gives you the opportunity to make some choices now regarding your funeral liturgy. If you would prefer to leave any of these decisions to the pastor or your next of kin, simply leave the options blank. Also on this worksheet is an option to communicate to the church your intended bequests, if any, and desired memorial gift recipients. This information will remain confidential and on file in the church office until the time of death, and you may update it at any time.


Please return to: Faith Lutheran Church, 1656 Lincoln Way, McKeesport PA 15131.

Resources to Help in Time of Grief and Sorrow

Augsburg Fortress Publishers offers many resources to help children and adults address serious illness, the death of a loved one, and the planning of funeral services.

Good Grief by Granger E. Westberg

Understanding Mourning by Glen Davidson

When a Loved One Dies by Philip W. Williams

Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff

On Grieving the Death of a Father and Grieving the Death of a Mother by Harold Ivan Smith

The Bereavement Ministry Program by Jan Nelson and David Asker

Helping Children Grieve by Theresa M. Huntley

To Comfort to Honor by Jeanne Daly McIntee

from Lutheran Funeral Practices: Looking Forward in Hope

The Church’s Ministry through Times of Death and Dying

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