Funeral Policy and Procedures
The following policy and procedure document is set to govern the way in which Gospel Ramah Church (further referred to as the Church) will conduct funerals and memorial services for its registered members. The Church is under no obligation to conduct funeral services or memorial services for individuals who are not registered members as well as extended family members of registered members.
Gospel Ramah Church does make provision for exceptions to the above rule, but the exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis. Special considerations will be made for immediate family members of registered members. The Church considers immediate family members to be spouses, children, parents, parental guardians and siblings.
The Church does not commit to covering all the costs associated with any funeral, the Church may provide some financial assistance to registered members exclusively. Relevant documentation and proof of financial assistance will be required in order to access the financial assistance available. Every effort will be made to accommodate the requests and wishes presented, by the immediate family of the deceased, for all funeral and memorial services conducted by the Church if the requests and wishes made are aligned with the Church’s beliefs and practices.
Procedure to follow for funeral services conducted for registered members of Gospel Ramah Church
2. The Ministry or Social Leaders and/or pastor will arrange for a family visit as soon as is possible, to offer support and prayer on behalf of the church.
3. Should the family require assistance with the Funeral or Memorial service, the visiting leader/ Pastor will be the line of communication between the Church and the family. Any requests, wishes and requirements must be communicated with them directly. This is done to fast track engagement and limit misinformation that happens when there are multiple ports of call. The leader/ Pastor will be able to provide guidance regarding policies and procedures that need to be adhered to.
Should the family of the deceased member choose/ require the Church to conduct the funeral or memorial service, it is to be noted that the service, in its entirety, will be conducted based on Christian principles and beliefs. This includes, but is not limited to, Music and content of the sermon/ eulogies.
4. The church does not provide nursery services for funeral services.
Funeral Services for In active /Non-Members
The Church defines an inactive member as someone who has not formally taken membership class. We recognize that there are special circumstances that could result in an individual having never formally taken membership, and these will be considered on a case by case basis.
It is not standard practice for Gospel Ramah Church to conduct funeral or memorial services for non-members. We do consider all cases of bereavement a normal part of our ministry obligations and the church will always do its best to provide as much support and care as is possible.
The Elder Board will engage with each special case and be charged with making the final decision regarding the services the church offers to non-members, immediate and extended family members of registered members.
The family will be responsible for providing the church with:
All the necessary details needed to conduct the funeral service as well as requested supporting documents as needed
Planning for the Funeral Service Upon notice that a Church member has passed
The church administrator will follow the procedure outlined below:
- Inform the Executive Pastor of the bereavement.
- Contact the family and request for a contact person who will be connected to the designated pastor or leader.
- Schedule a time for the initial leader/pastor to visit the family of the deceased
- Formulate and circulate the announcement of the death to the congregation. Providing details of the funeral arrangements and contact person(s) (Members will be encouraged to visit, make calls, based on Romans 12:15 ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn’).
- Should the family request a service to be conducted by the Church, the administrator will provide available times and dates for service to the family, who will be required to make a choice based on the available times and dates.
- The Church commits to accommodating the family’s wishes and requests as best as possible as long as these wishes and requests do not go against the Church’s beliefs and practices. A standard order of service will be provided to the family for review and potential amendments and changes will be made based on the standard program. is All requested changes and amendments will be reviewed by the leader/pastor and escalated for approval as need be to the Elder Board.
The Standard order of Funeral and Memorial services
1. Funeral proceeding for the service(s) will be led by the designated pastor/or leader
2. All special requests like hymns, scripture readings or slideshow presentations should be made available to the church administration at least 72 Hours prior to the service date.
3. The Body viewing will be done at the family’s discretion.
4. Pallbearers are to be chosen by the family, unless the family chooses to delegate this responsibility to the Church. In the event that this responsibility is delegated, the family representative must communicate this with the leader/ pastor designated at least 72 hours before the service.
5. The Bishop or delegated Church representative will prepare a pastoral letter on behalf of the Church, that will be given to the family following the service.