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For those planning a service for a loved one:
This guide was designed for folk who wished to plan their funerals before they died. Those who have used it in this way have given a wonderful gift to their families. However, it can also be used to plan the service of a loved one.
For those planning ahead:
There are many decisions to be made at the time of death. You can offer your family a caring gift if you choose to make some of those decisions now. This is a checklist of issues that need to be addressed in planning for your funeral. Don’t worry if you can’t answer all the questions and feel free to indicate if you don’t care about some things. This is just a guide to help us all to make the funeral as meaningful as possible.
- Physical Details:
Number in order of preference which site you prefer (1 is favoured site):
- Church (specify)
- Funeral home (specify if known)
- Home (rare, but possible for a small gathering)
- At the grave site (specify if known)
Cremation ____ or Burial ____
(There is no religious teaching against either.)
Presence of the Casket or Urn at the Funeral
- If a casket is present, cover it up with a pall ___ (fabric covering with a cross)
Memorial Gifts to
Specials projects if appropriate __
Charity(ies) of Choice ____
Funeral Home is convenient if service is there, but costliest alternative,
church is reasonable and convenient,
home is intimate but a lot of work for friends or family or both unless professionals cater at home.
- Church __
- Funeral Home ___
- Home ___
- Other ___
Any special requests?
Funeral or Memorial Service?
- Scripture Sentences
- Welcome and Purpose
- We Remember …
- Scripture Readings
- Special Music
- Prayer, Lord’s Prayer
- Committal if appropriate
- Announcement about burial, reception
- Scripture Reader(s)
- Prelude, Postlude (secular and sacred, live and recorded music is possible)
- Hymns For Service (see list if appropriate)
(As with choosing favourite hymns, leaving your family a list of favourite scriptures can be a great gift of comfort. Emphasize those you would like for the service by writing them below, but notes about others that inspire you will be special messages for your family to gain strength in the coming years.)
Would you prefer separate people to do the remembering and give the meditation ___ or would you prefer to have one person gather up all the threads of your life in one address ___? I recognize that people may need to speak and would not want to deny them ___.
Significant Facts about My Life
- Parents (special memories, gifts they gave me, etc.)
- Birth (date, place, significant stories)
- Children’s births (names, dates)
- Places lived:
- Other special dates, events
- Special Friends
- Work History
- Volunteer History
- Church Involvements
- Special Interests, Talents, etc.
- Memberships in Organizations
- Other Interesting Facts, Stories about My Life
(These questions will be helpful to the person(s) preparing the reflection on my life).
- What is most important to me?
- What would I like to be remembered about me?
- What am I thankful for?
- What makes me happy?
- What drives me crazy?
- How has God been present in my life?
- Has my faith made a difference to me? How?
- What do I strongly believe?
- What stories are really significant for me?
- If I had one sermon to preach, this is what I would want people to hear:
I recognize that lots of things can change, so don’t worry if you can’t carry out every little whim of mine. I’ll be in a better place and all my needs will be taken care of. Now, I’m going to get on with living so you’ll have lots of great things to rememb