The purpose of this Policy Letter is to document and to communicate the position of Main Street Baptist Church as it relates to funerals that are conducted on our church premises.
First of all, we acknowledge that , even for Christians, experiencing the death of a loved one is a difficult time. In our humanity, we grieve the loss of our loved ones, but we do not sorrow as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). It is through the Word of God that we have hope in times like these ( Romans 15:4b).
It is important that we issue this policy letter so that in the time of a family’s bereavement we are clear how our church will be of service to them.
Funeral Services… general
The right/benefit of having one’s funeral at Main Street Baptist Church comes with being a member of our church. Therefore, all funeral services occur at the express permission of the Pastor.
Who is a member, indeed? Being a member in good standing of Main Street Baptist Church must be clearly understood. Article III in this handbook has been written for this very purpose, with three sections:
(1) Church Membership -- General
(2) Membership Responsibilities
(3) Maintaining the Integrity of the Church Roll
So, a member in good standing is one who embodies the criteria for membership outlined in Article III.
Funeral services for non-members and for those individuals deemed inactive are at the discretion of the Pastor.
Date and Time of Funerals
Dates and times for funeral at MSBC are to be arranged in consultation with the Pastor / pastoral staff based on availability and the preferences of the deceased’s family. Funeral services will need to be planned around already scheduled events.
Who will Officiate?
Who officiates a funeral at MSBC is under the total scrutiny of the Pastor. Any requests for another pastor or minister to officiate or assist in the service must be approved by Pastor.
Structure of the Funeral Service
A funeral service at MSBC is a service of worship whereby we honor and praise God, and bow to His Sovereignty in all matters, even the death of our loved ones. The liturgy of the funeral service and the burial service takes on the form of a basic worship service. The gospel is preached and the family of the deceased is pointed to Christ Jesus for help and comfort.
Additionally, members--during the course of their lives—may be involved in various social organizations. Quite often there are requests for these social organizations to be involved in funeral services. This is scrutinized closely by the Pastor &, Elders —who have the oversight in such matters. Therefore, any organizations or groups of individuals that by charter/organizational beliefs/mandates do not square with written scripture will not be allowed to participate in the funeral services on Main Street Baptist Church premises.
Only music appropriate to a worship service shall be used. The Minister of Music of MSBC must be consulted. Taped instrumental and accompaniment music, soloists, solos, musicians and all matters musically, must have the approval of the Minister of Music.
Families may wish to display the deceased’s remains, as well as certain photographs of the deceased and his family. The following guidelines apply is these situations:
- Any displays or pictures must be appropriate to a worship setting.
- No nails, tacks, staples or screws shall be put into the walls or attached to the pews
- All decorations must be removed within 3 hours of the conclusion of the service.
- No furniture shall be removed from the church building.
Only fresh cut flowers and planters may be used in the sanctuary.
The MSBC family will do everything reasonably possible to accommodate a member’s request for a family meal following a funeral service. The meal is prepared under the direction of the church’s Funeral Meal Ministry.
There is no fee charged for this meal ministry. Members of the church provide this service as a ministry of Christian love.
The church does not provide a nursery for funeral services.