How To Conduct A Funeral Part 1: Meeting The Family

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everyone and I'm Bob and we're producing

a series of videos called how to pasture

we want to help you just have some

practical tips and knowing how to do

your craft better and it's sort of

videos that we're going to do is all

about how to conduct a funeral we'll

talk about putting together the funeral

service talk about putting together a

funeral sermon to talk about my dog

we'll talk about a great side service

all types of elements but today we're

going to start with how to meet with the

family now when we meet with the family

I'm not talking about that first moment

of crisis whether you've met them in the

hospital when a tragedy has happened or

maybe at their home after the event what

I'm talking about is that initial time

that you sit down with them specifically

to talk about the funeral service

there's a handful of things I think are

good to do that will be helpful for you

as well first thing I do is simply

empathize with the family don't minimize

their loss don't soften the tragedy I

often simply tell them that today yeah I

think it's horrible I think it's

terrible what has happened to them and

legitimately and sensitively just

empathize with the situation that

they're in

I think that's a very important element

when first getting together with the

family second thing that says you need

to do is to actually begin to make your

way through crafting the funeral service

what I often do with the family I can be

overwhelming for them to just kind of

whiteboard and out of the blue to come

up with the elements of a service so I

typically bring with me a sample order

of service and kind of let them know

that each of the elements and there are

plugins light that there's no set way to

do a funeral that that they can add

elements in it they can take them out

usually a basic order service includes

just a welcome that's done by it by the

pastor sometimes the obituary is read or

a brief life of the disease poems or

songs sung by the congregation can be

done in that service one thing I'm often

very sensitive to is people who want to

share during the funeral service now

here's difficulty everybody had that

awkward person in there

their family who kind of over shares or

who doesn't know how to how to stop you

kind of want to control that a little

bit in managing the funeral service so

often what I do with the family is I'll

ask them if there's some people who

might want to share some stories and

then I'll ask them to have those stories

written down by those family members

gives me an opportunity to briefly look

at it to edit it a little bit to make

sure that they're not going off the

rails and in what they're saying is also

I always steer away from open mic open

mic I can just get really unwieldy again

often there's a person who doesn't know

how to shut down the conversation

sometimes the time of the service can

just be overly expanded and we want to

be sensitive to guests time often people

are taking time off of work or out of

their day in order to come and and

sympathize with the family and to honor

them and part of our job as a pastor is

to is to manage that to that time well

so sometimes and usually open mic is not

the best best idea some other elements

obviously there's the sermon that's how

you want to plug in there a depending on

the funeral home that you're using or

the church that you might be using

sometimes some sort of video montage or

picture montage can be played during

that during the service but all I'm

trying to say is a bottom line is you

need to come with a sample of order of

sample order of service for the family

it makes their job a lot easier I

usually give them a deadline to give

that back to me with with sensitivity

you know by Thursday night you know two

days from now or tomorrow night if you

can kind of email back to me what you'd

like to do I think that that's helpful

for the families as well so if empathize

with the family I'll give them a sample

of order of service and then the last

thing that that you need to do is to

talk about the deceased this is your

opportunity to really begin to connect

with the family and also to hear some of

those elements you might need to hear in

order to craft a very personal funeral

sermon and we'll talk about that in

another video but often when I talk

about the deceased

there's many ways to go about this but

sometimes you can just go by time ranges

tell me what they were like when they


little or tell me what they were like in

high school tell me what they were like

as a young adult and just kind of hit

different age epochs in their in their

life other ways you can do it is just by

having a fistful of leading questions

I've heard a pastor she will kind of go

around the room with other family

they're there and just say give me give

me three words give me four words that

describe your father or your your your

uncle whoever the deceased is and then

to just ask follow-up questions about


oh I heard you said that he was very

giving can you give me some examples of

that I didn't meet examples up is a

great follow-up to just about any

question oh he was very humble how can

you give me some examples of that and

that information that you're hearing

from them is really the the field that

you need to be pulling in in order to

dig out some of those vital vital items

that you'll be using in your in your

funeral sermon and we'll touch on that

in another in another video for now that

is give you three basics and how to

interact with the family empathize I'll

let them know the tragedy is horrible

don't minimize the pain there to give

them a sample order of service and then

finally to also find out about the

deceased and then lastly you never want

to leave without giving them hope even

in the midst of the tragedy you want to

tell them that God is good God is kind

God is wise he knows exactly what he's

doing even though things look so dark

right now I often close in prayer with

them and then of course give them the

next time that you'll meet with them

whether that's the next couple days at

the funeral home or another contact time

there you go that's how that initially

meet with the family and be sure to

catch us for some of our other videos on

how to pastor