Rev. Robert Koornneef is a retired Christian Reformed pastor. He has served churches in Michigan and Washington and was director of bereavement services for Hospice of Greater Grand Rapids.
Articles by this author:
The following service could be held at any time during the church year but would be especially appropriate at the end of the year or around All Saints’ Day. In this congregation particular mention was made of all who had died in the previous two years, but that could be extended or shortened.
As people walk in they are given the opportunity to go to the front of the sanctuary and light a candle in memory of their loved one.
In my ministry with seniors, I have discovered that while some may be hesitant to talk about their own deaths, it is an important pastoral focus that can lead to very meaningful discussions.
To facilitate that conversation I created a funeral planning form (“My Funeral Preferences,” see p. 37) which I’ve found to be a helpful tool. Asking an elderly person about favorite Bible passages and songs can lead to rich sharing. Some great questions are:Article Resources: