The Christian funeral service is the final dedication of a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ, and, like the first dedication at baptism, occurs as an act of worship. The Gospel of Jesus Christ meets our deepest griefs and anxieties about death with an even deeper hope.
The congregation and its pastors want to minister to families on the occasion of death. When a loved one dies, we hope you will call one of our pastors as soon as his or her presence would be helpful to you, regardless of the hour. Pastors may be reached by calling the church at 478-5684. During non-office hours, a pastor on call monitors and responds to calls left on our message machine.
The Funeral as Worship, Thanksgiving and Memory
The Christian funeral is a service of worship in which we thank God for the gifts of life, including those that extend beyond death. We especially give God thanks for this special person who lived among us and who now, even in death, continues in God’s love and care, and lives on in our memory.
While recommending the service in The United Methodist Church Book of Worship, our pastors are happy to plan with you a service that meets your particular needs and wishes.
A requiem choir is available upon request to assist in the service.
- The death of a member of the church should be reported to the pastors as soon as possible, and arrangements for the funeral should be made in consultation with them.
- Services are appropriate in our Sanctuary or Chapel, at some other chapel, or at graveside.
- Wherever the service is held, it is appropriate that the casket be closed prior to the service.
- First Church has a white funeral pall with a gold antique satin cross covering the full length and width, symbolic of God’s power to cover sin with forgiveness, fear with hope and death with life. This pall is available to you and is appropriate in place of casket flowers.
- Since Christians from the beginning have believed “what is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable … it is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body” (I Corinthians 15:42), cremation or the contribution of the remains for medical research presents no problem to the Christian faith. For such occasions, a memorial service in the Sanctuary or Chapel can be arranged.
- The music should reflect the strength of our faith in the victory of Jesus Christ.
Additional Procedures for Funerals and Memorial Services within the Church Sanctuary or Chapel
- The altar, cross, baptismal font and pulpit will remain in their positions of prominence in the funeral service as the traditional symbols of the Christian faith.
- The flower is a symbol of the resurrection of our Lord. The use of flowers is appropriate for a funeral, as for every worship event in the church.
- The funeral director shall be responsible for the immediate removal of all flowers upon completion of the service.
- We encourage friends and family to express their love and remembrance with a contribution to the First United Methodist Church Endowment Fund or other charitable cause.The pastors request no honorarium be offered for the service. Allow us to minister to you in this time of need.