|Ministry Etiquette |
Proper Resolution and Acknowledgment Etiquette at Homegoings (Funerals)
As a homegoing (funeral) officiant or minister, you may be asked to take on the very important assignment of reading the resolution and or acknowledgments at a homegoing service. Often times, there is uncertainty about how many resolutions, cards, or acknowledgements to read. Therefore, we want to provide a few etiquette tips to assist you so that you can successfully fulfill this task respectfully and efficiently. Please consider the following tips below.
1. Always seek to discover the preference of the grieving family if possible. - Often times, many families would prefer not to have a long drawn out homegoing, especially in the instances of unexpected or tragic death circumstances. Therefore, if at all possible, if the hosting church has a liaison that is communicating the wishes of the family, connect with that individual to try to understand the length of time the family would like to observe for the reading of resolutions, sympathy cards, family letters, etc. In the case of multiple resolutions being received, seek to find out the family's (chief mourner/primary beneficiary) preference of which ones they would prefer read and in what priority. What you may think should rightfully be the priority may be different as it pertains to the deceased's surviving family member(s) wishes.
2. Resolutions: Consider reading only two or less resolutions; read the resolutions in the correct priority. - Often times, if the deceased was a member or affiliate of multiple churches, multiple resolutions may be received. It is very important, especially if time constraints have been requested by the family to use wisdom in reading the resolutions.
3. Sympathy Cards: Consider reading only two sympathy cards and acknowledging the rest.
4. Closing remarks: When concluding this task, once again acknowledge the family by stating a brief comforting or encouraging sentiment such as: "To the family, we know your loss is deep and your sorrow is great, and although we share in your sorrow, we pray and know that God's everlasting love and peace will comfort your heart during this time."