Saturday, May 11, 2013

Funeral Sermon: for the funeral of someone who has suicided

If you are looking for a sermon relating to suicide check this one out :
God has not stopped loving 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Grieving: some resources

Ways to support people who are grieving

Resources for children from the Lutheran Children's Hospital
Forget-Me-Not Program
Stages of Grief
Grief and Bereavement

Mourner's Bill of Rights 
Physical and Emotional Signs of Grief
Planning the Funeral 
Glossary of Death-Related Terms 
Helping Yourself Heal When Your Child Dies 
Helping Your Child Cope with Death 
Hints for Holiday Coping
A Child's Common Reactions and Feelings Toward Death 
Memory-Making and Healing Activities
Telling Children about the Death of a Loved One
Should Children Attend Funerals?

Good Grief from Living Lutheran

Grief and Loss workbook from Bethesda Lutheran Communities

Grieving a significant loss

Grief and loss - how can i help

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lutheran Funeral Customs

June 13, 2010, 7:32 pm
Filed under: Religious Traditions | Tags: 
This post highlights general funeral practices for the Lutheran Church. The actual practices of Lutheran individuals, families, and congregations may vary.
For two examples of Lutheran memorial services, read these stories from the 30 Funerals in 30 Days Challenge for Carol Ann Exley and Gail Shirley.
Treatment of the body: The body may be viewed, either at a visitation event at the funeral home and/or during the funeral. Embalming and cremation are accepted.
Funeral or memorial services: Funerals usually take place within three days. The service may be held in the church of the deceased or a funeral home and last about 30 minutes. A pastor performs the service. Either a program will indicate the order of the ceremony or the pastor will make periodic announcements. The ceremony may include Holy Communion for all Christian attendees. Books used may include the Lutheran Book of Worship, The Lutheran Hymnal, or Lutheran Worship.
Do’s and Don’ts: Sign the guest book. Ushers will advise where to sit. If arriving late, do not enter during the procession or prayers. It is not appropriate to take pictures or record the service (both audio and video). Christians are expected to stand, kneel, read prayers aloud and sing with those present. Non-Christians are expected to stand with the congregation. If choosing not to kneel, remain seated. When viewing the body, which is optional, observe silently and move on. Express your condolences to the family. It is appropriate to visit the bereaved at home after the funeral.
Interment: Guests should attend. The casket is carried to the grave, and the pastor leads a brief service with readings and prayers, including the Lord’s Prayer. The pastor blesses the earth placed on the casket and blesses those gathered at the graveside.
Post-Event Reception: It is appropriate to visit the home of the bereaved after the funeral. If food is served, wait for the saying of grace before eating. It would be impolite not to eat, unless you have dietary restrictions. There may be alcoholic beverages, depending on the family’s custom. No religious services are held in the home.
Gifts: Upon learning about the death, telephone, visit or send a note to the bereaved offering your sympathy and expressing your care and love. It is appropriate to send flowers or food unless the family expresses otherwise. A charitable contribution made in the memory of the deceased is also appropriate. The family will often announce the preferred charity through the funeral home or funeral worship folder.
Mourning period: A mourner might return to work after several days and return to a normal social schedule after several weeks.
Mourning customs: There are no specific Lutheran mourning customs. Some congregations remember the first year anniversary of the death in prayers in church.
Notes: Local social customs govern, but conservative clothing and dark, somber colors are recommended.


Lutheran Funeral Customs

Lutheran funeral customs
Quick Reference Guide
Length of Service
30 minutes
Dress Code? (Men/Women)
Dark & Somber / Men: Jacket & Tie
Recording Devices?
With pastor's permmission
Source of Readings?
Lutheran Book of Worship
Open Casket?
Return to Work? (Days)
No. of Days to Mourn?
Few weeks
In the latter part of the 15th century, Martin Luther, a German, was one of many who objected to the Roman Catholic teaching that one is saved by faith and good works. In contrast, he believed in being saved by simply following Jesus. He also believed that the church should conduct services in the languages of its peoples and that the clergy should be able to marry. In response, the Church ousted Luther who then founded the Lutheran Church.
The faith spread and German and Scandinavian immigrants brought it to the US. Today, Lutherans can be described as either Evangelical Lutherans, who are more theologically liberal or a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod who are more conservative.
Lutherans regard death as a new beginning. They believe that those who have faith are assured eternal life with God. At the service, guests are ushered to seating. If arriving late, they do not enter during the procession or prayer. A pastor presides over the service and reads from the Lutheran Book of Worship or The Lutheran Hymnal of Lutheran Worship. Christians are expected to fully participate, but non-Christians need not kneel, sing or pray with them. If interested in recording the service, permission should be received from the pastor prior to the service. There are no specific rituals for observing the anniversary of the death.
There is no rule concerning when the bereaved may return to work and social activities, but visits from friends after the funeral are welcome.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Funeral Service information and Service from Finland

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland offers information about Lutheran funerals from a Finish perspective and a service order at

ELCA funeral overview

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America provides an overview of what a Lutheran funeral is about at

Funeral Guide from Mount Olive Lutheran Church Regina

Funeral Guide:  Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Lake viewPsalm 23 
-4- Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, [1] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 
-6- Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. 
© Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide 

Special Facilities Available: | Fellowship Hall | Grief Classes | Hymns 


A funeral is often a very difficult time for families. This funeral guide is intended to help in the pre-planning of a funeral, or to help families who are presently dealing with a funeral, so that they might be better prepared when they meet with the Pastors to design a funeral service. It is helpful to remember that a funeral is, first and foremost, a worship service. And in a worship service, the primary focus is on our Lord and His grace. In the context of this remembering, we recall the deceased - friend, loved one, spouse. Our prayer in every funeral is that faith in Christ would be renewed and that God would be glorified, as the deceased is remembered.

A funeral service at Mount Olive Lutheran Church includes the following basic elements.
  • Hymns - A funeral service normally has three or four hymns, one at the beginning and at the end of the service, and one or two in the middle, usually before and after the sermon.
  • Eulogy - A eulogy -- now often called a tribute -- should be short and to the point. Eulogies / tributes are not required elements in a Lutheran funeral service. However, the goal of a eulogy, if present, is to give a brief summary of the individual’s life in Christ and present the hope and faith they had in life. Should the family desire such a tribute, guidelines have been agreed upon by Mount Olive's elders. If a eulogy / tribute is required, the elders request that families put together a eulogy / tribute which the Pastors can then read in the funeral service. Alternately, families may wish to have family members or others read eulogies / tributes after funeral guests are seated in the Parish Hall, before the funeral luncheon begins.
  • Invocation
  • Introduction - The Pastor’s greeting to the worshipers, including a reference to Romans 6:3-5.
  • Litany - The service includes responses between Pastor and congregation.
  • Old Testament Reading, often the 23rd Psalm. 
  • Responses to the Readings - Again spoken by Pastor and congregation.
  • solo may be part of the worship service. Please speak with one of the pastors as to the choice of music.
  • New Testament Reading Often Revelation 21:1-7.
  • Gospel Reading Usually John 11:17-27.
    • Apostles’ Creed - A brief statement of the Christian faith.
    • Pastor’s Message
    • Prayers and Lord’s Prayer
    • Commendation - Commending the deceased to the Lord’s care and keeping.
    • Benediction and Blessing
    • A note about the internment or cremation is usually printed in the worship folder. 
    • A note about memorials helps family and friends direct memorial gifts according to the family’s wishes.
    When families meet with the Pastor, they are asked to suggest hymns for the worship service. Here are some hymns that are often used in Christian funerals.Traditional Hymns
    • Abide with Me! Fast Falls the Eventide 
    • Amazing Grace
    • Beautiful Saviour
    • Guide Me Ever, Great Redeemer 
    • How Great Thou Art
    • How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds 
    • I Know that My Redeemer Lives! 
    • If You But Trust in God to Guide You 
    • It Is Well with My Soul 
    • Jesus Lives! the Victory's Won! 
    • Jesus, the Very Thought of You 
    • Jesus, Lead Thou On 
    • Just as I Am
    • The King of Love My Shepherd Is 
    • Lift High the Cross 
    • The Lord's My Shepherd 
    • Lord Take My Hand and Lead Me 
    • Love Divine, All Loves Excelling 
    • A Mighty Fortress 
    • My Faith Looks up to Thee
    • My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less 
    • God, Our Help in Ages Past 
    • Love that Will not Let Me Go 
    • Rock of Ages
    • This Is My Father's World 
    • What a Friend We Have in Jesus
    Contemporary and Gospel Songs
    • Abba Father 
    • Because He Lives 
    • Blessed Assurance 
    • Day by Day
    • For Those Tears I Died 
    • God Be with You 
    • Great Is the Lord
    • Great Is Thy Faithfulness 
    • I Am the Bread of Life 
    • I Am the Resurrection 
    • I'd Rather Have Jesus
    • I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry 
    • Just a Closer Walk with Thee 
    • Oh, How He Loves You and Me 
    • The Old Rugged Cross 
    • Sing a New Song unto the Lord 
    • Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling 
    • There Is a Redeemer 
    • Trust and Obey
    • Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus
    • We Rejoice in the Grace of God
    Children's Songs
    Christian Estate Planning
    In the Holy Scriptures, God’s people are encouraged to set aside a portion of their resources as thanks to Him for the many rich blessings He provides. As part of this process, many of God’s people also set aside a portion of their estate for the Lord’s work.
    These resources represent a portion of what the Lord has enabled them to acquire during their lifetime. 
    As Christians, our greatest blessing is living each day with the promise of eternal life, made available to us through the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Given all these blessings, it’s natural to give thanks all the way through our life’s journey. 
    Setting aside a gift for the Lord’s work as part of our estate planning is a way of saying thanks to our Lord one final time, and a way of sharing God’s blessings with ministries that are important to us. Our planned gift allows us to contribute to a ministry that’s important to us, so that these ministries might continue their work for years to come. 
    You may find the following helpful:
    (1)        Information on wills and estates in the form of a wills check-uphelps establish a clear plan with regard to the steps to take in completing your estate planning. Wills Checkup
     (2)       Some Christians choose to include a Christian preamble as an opening paragraph in their will. This is a simple way of witnessing to your faith at a critical time.
    Preamble to Will / Testament 
    (3)       Power of attorney issues are an important consideration. This has to do with having a trusted individual deal with your business and financial affairs should you be unable to do so yourself. This is an area where the assistance of a lawyer is very helpful. 
    (4)       A Healthcare Directive enables health care professionals to know your preferences in terms how you would like your medical care to be handled should you be critically ill. A lawyer’s assistance is not required with this document. (Link toHealth_Care_Directive / Health_Care_Directive_pt2 
    (5)       The Lutheran Foundation Canada has some excellentplanned giving tools on their website. It’s located Examples of planned gifts are found here. This site notes the process by which publicly traded shares may be gifted to an organization. In 2006, the Canadian federal government removed the capital gains tax on publicly traded shares when they are gifted to a registered charity. 
    (6)       The Lutheran Foundation Canada also has gift coordinatorsavailable to assist you in your planned giving. There is no cost for this service.  The website has more information.
      If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the church.

      Planning Brochure from Praire Lutheran Church

      A planning brochure for funerals is available from Praire Lutheran Church which includes:
      • Suggested readings
      • Suggested hymns
      • Some brief information
      • Space for some details
      is available at