Thursday, November 12, 2009

Funeral questions

So my pastoral class speaker next week is a funeral director. I am supposed to come prepared with questions; and I can't think of any! I know I should...I am going to be doing services and such...what do I need to know from this funeral director? This may be my best shot!


Lizard Eater said...

* What's a pet peeve you have about ministers?
* What do you think are the most important things a minister can do to successfully work with a funeral director?
* Do you find the funeral industry to be racially segregated?
* What do you love about your job?

These are some of the things I was fascinated to learn about.

Paul Oakley said...

Kelly, I preached a funeral at a mortuary when one of our members died. I have to say the mortuary staff were all wonderful to work with. They were willing to do as little or as much of the planning and structuring of the funeral service as the family and I wanted.

In my case, the deceased had indicated to me what he wanted me to do with his funeral about a year before he died. And the family was happy to have the planning done by someone else who knew precisely what the deceased wanted. So I told the morticians that he wanted X, and here is an order of service to accomplish exactly what he requested.

They were surprised, but very helpful in achieving the plan. But they were gently in the lead in one specific area: choreography and stage direction.

With that single instance of being in a ministerial role in a funeral as background, I think I would suggest asking:

1) if there are areas of the funeral planning and execution that they are happy for clergy (in consultation with the family) to take the lead in; and

2) if there are any areas of the service planning and execution that they are uncomfortable letting out of their control.