The resurrection is a central doctrine of the Christan faith and shapes Christians' attitudes and responses to the event of death. Death brings loss, sorrow, and grief to all. Christians do not bear bereavement in isolation but are sustained by the power of the Spirit and the community of faith. The church offers a ministry of love and hope to all who grieve.
(Book of Order, W-4.10001)
The funeral/memorial service, also called a Service of Witness to the Resurrection, is a service of worship in which we give thanks to God for the gift of the life of the one who has died. It is also a service in which we give witness to our faith in God's continuing gift of life through Jesus Christ. Below are a few guidelines for planning a funeral/memorial service at First Presbyterian Church:
- The pastor and staff at First Presbyterian Church will work very closely with the family to help in planning the funeral/memorial service.
- Music in the funeral/memorial service may serve to present, respond to and interpret scripture. It may also be a form of prayer. It is appropriate that all music selected for the funeral/memorial service affirm God’s power over death, provide a belief in the resurrection of life everlasting and the assurance of the communion of saints.
- Because a Service of Witness to the Resurrection is an act of worship, the rules governing the conduct of worship always take precedence over varied social considerations.
- Fraternal or civic ceremonies will be conducted at the funeral home, or after the Christian committal service at the graveside.
Click here to see our booklet with suggested scripture lessons, hymns, and a complete list of the guidelines.