A traditional Protestant funeral service is an easy thing to do for a Pastor as far as putting it together. There is a simple easy plan when looking to put the service together. They are hard to do especially when you know the person you are conducting the service for but they are a part of life.
Get to know about the person that you are conducting the funeral service for. Go to the family and talk to them. Go to the friends of the victim and ask them for stories of the deceased, this will help you get a better idea of who the person was.
Look at all the elements that go into a service and see what the family wants to include and not include. These are the elements, prelude, call to worship, Old Testament reading, prayer of Thanksgiving, congregational hymn, New Testament reading, sermon, and a benediction. A eulogy or testimonies about the person can also be included in the service.
Decide on scripture readings that either meant something to the person who died or that you think will bring comfort to the family. In some cases you will want to use both of these types of scriptures.
Ask the family if there is anyone who wants to give a testimony or eulogy about the person who has died. Be sure to give that person as much help as he or she wants or needs.
Choose music that will lift the spirits of those in the congregation. Also be mindful that if there was a special hymn that meant something to the person who died and is appropriate to use it.
Be mindful in your sermon that this is a time to express what the person meant to his family. Share the stories of the deceased life's at this time.
- wedding reception image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com