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Abiding Faith Baptist Church Funeral Services Policy Adopted: May 24, 2010


One of Abiding Faith Baptist Church purposes in the community is to serve, and although funeral services may be held in funeral homes, the best place for conducting a funeral service upon the death of a church member is in the sanctuary of the church to which he/she belonged.

When death occurs among members of the church, Abiding Faith Baptist Church will invite and encourage holding the funeral in the church as a reminder of God’s never ending presence and our adoption as members of His eternal family.

Funerals provide the opportunity to show acceptance of God’s divine plan and to display a profound hope. But they are also times of deep grief for members of loved ones being serviced. At such times of grief, all should be reminded by the sanctuary of the church that our hope and assurance are in Jesus Christ.


In our efforts to assist our members in properly planning the funeral services for their loved one, this Funeral Services Policy will establish guidelines that have been prepared for your information and consideration to facilitate consistency and standardization for funerals held at Abiding Faith Baptist Church.

Table of Contents
Title Page
Introduction and Purpose
Funeral Services that can be held at Abiding Faith
Who to call when a death occurs
Making Funeral Arrangements
Who can officiate?
Structure of the Funeral Service
Funeral Music
Family Fellowship Meal
Services held by Fraternal Orders, Lodges, etc.
Performing the Eulogy
Audio/Video Taping
Lying of the Body in state in the Church
Graveside Services
Parking/Traffic Assistance
Cleaning and Securing
Expressions of Sympathy
Funeral Resolution Policy
Funeral/Memorial Service Request Form

Abiding Faith Baptist Church Funeral Services Policy Adopted: May 24, 2010

Funeral Services that can be held at Abiding Faith

Policy: Any active member in regular and good standing and his/her immediate family, i.e., For the purpose of this policy, immediate family members are defined as: spouse, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren and siblings, can be held at Abiding Faith Baptist Church.

Conducting funerals for people who have no connection with the church is a normal part of the ministerial obligation. However, it is inappropriate to hold such a service in the church; accordingly, Abiding Faith Baptist Church does not eulogize unbelievers. Family members of unbelievers are asked to make funeral arrangements with a funeral chapel.
Whom should the family member call when a death occurs?

Policy: When a death occurs the family member is asked to please call the Church Secretary at 281.437.9595, to give notification of your wishes to make arrangements and inform her of a tentative alternative time for the service. Upon her receiving your call a Funeral and/or Memorial Service Request will be completed and submitted to the Pastor. (Please see Funeral/Memorial Service Request form attached to this Funeral Policy).

Making Funeral Arrangements

Policy: At no time should funerals be planned without first consulting the Church. The schedule of the Pastor and the Church should be respectfully considered at all times in making funeral arrangements. Dates and times of funerals at Abiding Faith are to be arranged in consultation with the Pastor and based on availability and the preferences of the decedent’s family.

Policy: Neither funeral services nor memorial services are held on Sunday and or certain holidays (specified). The Pastor, funeral director and family will arrange a suitable time for the services in consultation with one another.

Who can officiate?

Policy: Pastoral ethics require that Abiding Faith’s Pastor conducts all funeral services held at Abiding Faith, unless by agreement with another pastor and invited him to share in the funeral or act on behalf of the Pastor at Abiding Faith.

Structure of the Funeral Service
Policy: A funeral service held in the Church is a service of worship, celebrating the decedent’s life and the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Consequently, all parts of the service are to be consistent with the present worship practices of the Baptist Church.

Funeral Music
Policy: Normally, the organist at Abiding Faith will play at all funerals in the church. If the musician is unavailable for the service, s/he will make a reasonable effort to provide a suitable replacement. In cases where an outside organist is desired, permission must be secured from the pastor and the Minister of Music. Additional musicians or soloists may be utilized at the request of the family.

Music performed at a service of Christian funeral is understood as an act of worship, offered to God in devotion, thanksgiving and praise. Therefore, all music used during the funeral service (including prelude and postlude) must be sacred in nature and approved by the Pastor and the Minister of Music.

The Pastor will consult with the family regarding special requests for music to be used during the service.
Music selections are usually made at the discretion of the Minister of Music but specific requests for music and hymns will be accommodated whenever possible. Abiding Faith Baptist Church’s musicians will be available for the funeral service at no charge to the family.

Policy: The services of any additional musicians (soloists, instrumentalists, etc), may be engaged by the family at their expense.

Family Fellowship Meal
Policy: The church will do everything possible to accommodate requests for a family fellowship meal following a funeral service. The Food Committee will prepare the meal according to the communication with the family member contact. There is no limit to accommodations; however, the approximate number should be communicated to the Food Committee.

Policy: If the family wishes to provide its own food; or the family members may use a caterer of their choosing and may provide their own food, if desired. The Fellowship Hall may be used with prior approval, in which case the family would be responsible for the cleaning of the facility utilized. (Please see Funeral/Memorial Service Request form attached to this Funeral Policy).

Policy: A church member, after eulogizing a family member elsewhere, may use the church facilities to provide their funeral dinner contingent upon the availability of the facility. Guidelines above regarding to the cleaning are applicable in this case also.


Policy: Families may wish to display certain mementos or pictures of the deceased and his/her family. The following guidelines would be applicable in these situations:
* Any displays or pictures must be appropriate to a worship setting.
* No nails, tacks, staples or screws shall be put in the walls or attached to the pews.
* No furniture shall be removed from the church building.
Policy: Flowers and planters may be used in the sanctuary. Flowers may be left for use on the altar for Sunday worship services only at the approval of the Decoration Committee. Contact the church’s Decoration Committee for more information. Other flower arrangements may be left for placement other than on the altar.

Services by Fraternal Orders, Lodges etc.
Policy: Services by fraternal orders, lodges, veteran’s groups or other organizations will need to be coordinated with the pastor prior to the service.

Can someone other than a minister at ABFC perform the eulogy at the funeral?
Policy: Another minister may perform the eulogy at a funeral. He performs this service only by invitation from the Pastor of Abiding Faith.

Audio/Video Taping
Policy: Funeral Services can be video and/or audio taped. Requests must be made in advance. There is no fee. Families cannot provide technicians. Only Abiding Faith technicians are used for this service.

Policy: It is acceptable to take pictures at the funeral. The photographer is asked to be respectful of the family and the congregation.

Lying in state at the church
Policy: This is agreeable in consultation with the Pastor while making funeral arrangements.

Policy: Ushers serve at all funerals. Visiting ushers may take part in the service in coordination with Abiding Faith ushers.

Does the Pastor or his designee perform Graveside services?
Policy: Graveside services are performed at the request of the family member. The Pastor or his appointee will officiate.

Parking / Traffic Assistance

Policy: The church does not have resources to assist in traffic control on city streets– only on the Abiding Faith parking lot.

Who is responsible for the cleaning and securing of the church/facilities after the service?
Policy: The Church Custodian is responsible for the general cleaning of the church/facilities after the service. He/she is not responsible for the cleaning of the kitchen after the fellowship meal.

Expressions of sympathy
Policy: Plants, not flowers, are sent to the (*immediate) family member after funeral services. This is the specialty of the Expression of our Love Ministry.

Funeral Resolution Policy
A funeral resolution is an official church document that is read at the funeral services of a Church member with a copy made available to the family, and is kept within the church file. Funeral resolutions are generally automatically prepared for all *active members of the church.

At Abiding Faith Baptist Church, the Church Secretary will prepare Resolutions for descendents who are **immediate family (Church) members of active members of Abiding Faith Baptist Church only at the request of the active member. Requests can be made through their share group leader and/or through the Expression of our Love Ministry. The resolution will be sent to the officiating Church.

The Share Group Leader, Deacon, or the Expression of our Love Ministry will be the contact persons for the family and will act as liaison between the family and the Church Secretary.
Resolutions are read at the funeral services by the Church Clerk or an appointee.

Abiding Faith Baptist Church wants to be as supportive and caring as we possibly can to those dealing with the death of a loved one. To lose someone we love is never easy, but hopefully we can find comfort in the community of faith and in the assurance of the life beyond death that our Lord made possible. We pray that these Funeral Services Policy guidelines will be a helpful resource for you and your family during the loss of your loved one.

The Abounding Word