Do Ministers Still Charge for Funeral Services?

by April Sanders

A minister might tell you that his job is also his calling. And while his career choice may call for a certain level of financial sacrifice, he still has bills to take care of just like the rest of us. With that in mind, it is important to understand that while charging for a funeral service is a matter of personal preference for most ministers, it is considered customary for the family of the deceased to thank the minister for his services with a monetary gift.

Charges

It is considered improper to ask a minister what he charges for funeral services. While it is considered by many impolite, services rendered at funerals can vary widely and thus, there will likely be no set fee schedule -- some ministers plan and run entire services while others may just speak at the grave site. In addition, ministers may choose not to charge church members or close friends.

Honorarium

While a minister may not charge you outright, that doesn't mean you shouldn't pay him for the services he performs at the funeral. In fact, etiquette dictates that you should pay him. The payment offered to the minister and others who help with the service -- such as musicians -- is called an honorarium. The amount of the honorarium is determined by the family of the deceased, but in general, it ranges from $150 to $300.

Method

In general, you should wait until the funeral is over to give the honorarium to the minister. You may want the funeral director to handle it, as the family of the deceased is usually quite busy during and after the service. If you are unsure of the amount to give, the funeral director can help you with that as well. He or she can tell you what the typical amount is for services rendered. Place the money in an envelope with a note of thanks.

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements are thank-you notes sent after the funeral to everyone who contributed or served at the service. Even though you may have already given him an honorarium, your minister should also receive a thank-you note, according to funeralwise.com. The note should let him know how much his words, comfort and help meant to you and your family during a very difficult time.

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