“We’ll share our joy with those who still are weeping”

Preamble
The death of a loved one, whether sudden or expected, can leave us feeling vulnerable, confused and filled with anxiety – not knowing where to go, what to do and who to turn to for assistance. We, at Woodlawn United, want to help alleviate some of this stress and hopefully have done this through the following policy and procedures.

Options
Before any big decisions are made with the funeral homes – it is important, if possible, that you be in contact with one of the Woodlawn Clergy so you can make an informed decision. This is because there are many choices today when it comes to how we say goodbye to our loved ones. There is everything from a simple cremation and a private spreading of ashes ~ to the full package provided by the various Funeral Homes. And of course everything in between. The big difference is in the cost of each of the various options and your wishes and that of your loved one.

A Funeral, Memorial Service or a Celebration of Life (hereafter referred to as a “funeral”) may play a healing part in the grieving process. It is usually a time when family members and friends gather to honour and celebrate the life of the deceased, to offer support to one another during this time of loss and to draw on the resources of our faith.

Purpose
The Funeral Policy is intended to provide guidance through its related procedures and guidelines around how the funeral process is handled at Woodlawn United Church.

Policy
Upon learning of the death of a member or adherent of Woodlawn United Church, Ministry Staff will contact the family of the deceased in a timely fashion.

All attempts will be made to accommodate specific requests for a time and date of the service.

If the family/next of kin wishes for funeral services to be held at Woodlawn United Church, a WUC Funeral Liaison will be contacted, and that individual will liaise with the family, the Minister and Funeral Home Representative {if one is in attendance.}

Only Woodlawn United Church ministry staff (regular and/or designated “supply”) will conduct Funeral services at Woodlawn United Church. All services will adhere to the ethos of the United Church of Canada. Upon request and at the invitation of the WUC clergy other clergy will be welcome to participate.

Musical selections will be chosen in consultation with the Minister and Director of Music.

Upon request and at the invitation of the Director of Music other musicians will be welcome to participate. Our Director of Music has the first right of refusal.

Only the Woodlawn United Church organist is permitted to play the organ located in the Sanctuary.

Ministerial staff will preside at a graveside committal service, either to be held the day of the funeral or at another time.

Funeral costs are outlined in Appendix A. Ministerial staff have sole discretion regarding any special circumstances that may require deviation from these costs.

Woodlawn United Church ministers may be invited to perform a Funeral service at another location. They may do so, but the decision will be at their discretion.

Procedure

  1. The Ministry Team is contacted by family or Administrative Assistant and a meeting is scheduled.
  2. Time, date, music and all service arrangements are discussed and made. If the Funeral service is to be held at Woodlawn United Church, the facility schedule will be consulted and the appropriate space(s) will be made available.
  3. The Administrative Assistant will consult with the family regarding the various services offered by Woodlawn United Church, and any associated fees/costs.
  4. Visitation Time may be offered if requested.
  5. A Funeral Liaison will be assigned to facilitate all other details – ushers, reception, special requests, pictures etc.
  6. Family/next of kin contact information will be gathered. This will be used as needed during the planning process, for grief booklets, for any follow up, and so that In Memorium cards can be sent if donations are received in memory of the deceased.
  7. The Sound Operator will produce a CD of the service for the family and will also put it in our drop box so it is available to all.
  8. The Funeral Record Book will be updated.
  9. Follow up calls and visitation will happen immediately following the funeral and continue as needed, again in three weeks and on the anniversary of the death.
  10. Funeral Booklets will be sent to the family over one full year after the death.

Please click here for Appendix A - Funeral Costs.