When one of our brothers or sisters in Christ dies, the Church shares the grief of those who mourn and remembers the brevity of life. A funeral liturgy allows those who mourn to give voice to sorrow, thank God for their loved one, and entrust them 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 part.
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 best place for a funeral is in the church. It is within the church building that we see important signs that shape us as Christians; the baptismal font, the communion rail, the altar, and most importantly, the cross. Funeral services are public times of worship, open to all people.
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.
CLICK HERE for a WORKSHEET that will help you to think about and write down some of your choices now regarding your death. 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. To print a copy of the document, please click here.