Funerals & Memorial Services

February 25, 2020

In times of sorrow, our staff and our facilities can offer comfort. Here are some suggestions that can help when you’re faced with the details and decisions of planning a funeral or memorial service.

Notifying the Church

When death occurs, the co-pastors should be informed as soon as possible, so they can provide consolation and support to the family and friends. Contact the church office (216-321-2660) during normal business hours (8:30am-5pm M-F). If the loss occurs outside these times, please contact the Co-Pastors at the emergency pastoral number (216-319-3596.)

Types of Services

Services typically are held in the Sanctuary or a funeral home, but other arrangements can be made. Ceremonies and rites of fraternal, civic, or military organizations should occur at some other time or place. The pastor will meet with the family to discuss the type of service desired, scripture passages, music selections and the participation of others who might wish to eulogize the deceased.

Time Needed

It usually takes at least two days to finalize arrangements for a memorial service or burial. The bulletin can be prepared and provided by the church.


We can help you plan the music for the service. Musical participation by family or friends is welcome. Vocal or instrumental solos may also be desired. Some favorite hymns of faith include:

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Amazing Grace
Be Still, My Soul
Blest Be the Tie
Blessed Assurance
Faith Is The Victory
For All the Saints Who From Their Labors Rest
It Is Well With My Soul
The Lord’s My Shepherd
O God, Our Help In Ages Past
O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go
Rock of Ages, Cleft For Me
Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart
Sweet By and By

Order of Worship

While the order of worship for a funeral or memorial service contains some flexibility, it generally includes:

Organ or other Musical Prelude
Call to Worship
Hymn of Praise
Invocation and Lord’s Prayer
Scripture Readings
Meditation, personal reflections, and/or brief sermon
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession
Creed or Other Affirmation of Faith
Hymn of Victory
Organ or other Musical Postlude

Scripture Readings

Some favorite Scripture passages for funerals/memorial services include:

Isaiah 40: 1-11; 28-31
Isaiah 40:28-31
Isaiah 65:17-25
Ecclesiastics 3:1-15
Psalms 23
Psalms 46:1-5, 10-11
Matthew 5:1-12a
Luke 23:1-8
John 6:47-58
John 14:1-6, 25-27
Romans 8:14-23, 31-39
1 Corinthians 15:20-26
2 Corinthians 4:16 – 5:1
Ephesians 1: 11 – 2:1, 4-10

Biographical Information

Consider what type of information you want included in the service bulletin. Suggestions include: full name (include maiden name, military service – branch, title, rank, time of service); nickname; date and place of birth; hometown; date, person and place of marriage; education (degrees); children, grandchildren, other immediate family; career, special achievements, qualities, traits, memories; areas of service within the church, community, nation, world; favorite Bible verses, hymns, poems, or sayings. A photograph of your loved one is also appropriate.

Other Things to Consider


A fee for the pastor is not mandatory. If you wish to make a monetary gift to the pastor(s), the usual minimum honorarium for each is $250.

The fee for the organist is $175 (plus $25 per extra rehearsal with soloists). If the church provides a vocalist or instrumentalist, the additional fee is $100.


A reception of coffee, punch and cookies is available without charge for church members if the family wishes.  Additional food (such as fruit trays, sandwiches, or cheese and crackers) is the family’s responsibility. Receptions for non-members are not provided by the church; but funeral reception coordinators and rental of our church facilities are available. The Office Administrator can schedule the church use and put you in contact with one of the coordinators.

Many grocery stores can provide food trays, including fruit, cheese and crackers, sandwiches, and sweets with 24 hours notice. The following local stores are able to provide this service:

1940 Lee Rd, Cl. Hts. 216-321-7917
Severance Center 216-291-2300
2438 Cedar Rd. Cl. Hts. 216-229-2620
Giant Eagle
Cleve.Hts. 216-421-9063
Legacy Village 216-920-3300
Shaker Hts. 216-371-3700
South Euclid 216-382-6500
University Hts. 216-382-4144
Shaker Hts. 216-921-6638

Grief Counseling

The pastors are available to talk with you and to help you through this difficult time. The Hospice of the Western Reserve (216-383-2222) regularly sponsors Grief Support Groups.

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

No Comments »