Funeral Guide

Take time to read through our helpful guide, Planning a Funeral or Memorial Service, to answer further questions, and please know that we stand with you in your grief. Hard copies are available from the church office.

The booklet, Prayers for the Critically Ill & Dying, is a second resource that may provide comfort during this time. Hard copies are available from the chuch office.

Planning Ahead

Members are encouraged to plan for their own funeral or memorial service by selecting hymns, scripture and other elements of the worship service before death occurs. Also, it is important to have ones affairs in order, especially a will. Members are invited to name the church in their wills, trusts and retirement accounts and to designate memorial gifts to the ministry of the church. The pastors are available to meet with members to discuss plans for a funeral or memorial service.

It is also wise to alert your family to where you have kept vital information. These statistics and documents will be needed at the time of your death, the writing of an obituary, and the settling of your estate. Information that will be helpful upon death: full name, address and telephone number, how long you have lived at your current address, occupation and employer, workplace address and telephone number, Social Security number, Armed Services number, birthdate and birthplace, Mother’s and Father’s names and birthplaces, full and maiden names/contact information of all immediate family members, memberships to clubs and organizations will be needed.

Important documents that family members will need upon death: Will, Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, Marriage License, Pre-written Obituary, Insurance Policies, Bank Account Passbooks, Property Deeds, Vehicle Titles, Income Tax Returns, Military Discharge Papers, Disability Claims, Burial Property Certificate of Ownership, Prearranged Funeral agreements, Caring Conversations Document, Living Will.

Preparing an Advance Directive is also important if you wish to protect your autonomy should you become unable to make health-care decisions for yourself. Here are two resources to help with preparing Advance Directives.

Five Wishes

The Five Wishes document, produced by Aging with Dignity, helps you express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. It is unique among all other living will and health agent forms because it looks to all of a person’s needs: medical, personal, emotional, and spiritual. View more information about Five Wishes HERE.

Caring Conversations

Caring Conversations, produced by the Center for Practical Bioethics, is an education initiative that helps individuals and their families share meaningful conversation while making practical preparations for end of life decisions.

Grief Resources

The following recommended books may offer wisdom to help you along in the journey of grief.
1. Lament for a Son, Nicholas Wolterstroff
2. Psalms of Lament, Ann Weems
3. A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis
4. Understanding Grief: Helping Yourself Heal, Alan Wolfelt
5. Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart: How to Relate to Those Who are Suffering, Kenneth Haugk
6. Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief, Martha Hickman
7. Tracks of Fellow Struggler, John Claypool
8. Grieving: A Beginner’s Guide, Jerusha Hull McCormack
9. Companion Through the Darkness: Inner Dialogues of Grief, Stephanie Ericsson
10. How to Survive the Loss of a Love, Harold Bloomfeld, Melba Colgrove, and Peter McWilliams