ULC / Universal Life Church Funeral How-to
The funeral setting provides an opportunity and a challenge for the minister. The entire experience is an opportunity to communicate the warmth of a loving God at a time of grief and pain. Preparation is a necessity. The conducting of a funeral is the most solemn of occasions and it requires the sincere attentions of the minister to the grieving family members. If the minister knows the family, it would be appropriate for the minister to talk with family members to ask each one if there is anything special that they would like said. Usually one family member or friend assumes the responsibility for the planning for the ceremony and services.
At the very beginning of this training session I want to address the topic of the minister’s fee for the service. I always advise ministers to charge for their services and not to be overcome with the emotions of the moment and the situation, but to also consider the appropriateness of the time of the discussion of the fee. Before doing this, check with the funeral director. If the service is through a funeral home, they will be the ones taking care of the payment. If this is the case, you won’t need to discuss it with the family at all.
You may have a prepared listing of the services that you will perform and have the fee listed on the sheet. It is indeed a difficult task, but it is important to consider because there are costs for the funeral directors services, the hearse service, grave opening and closing costs and the funeral chapel costs. The cost for the minister’s services is one cost that needs to be added to the list and families understand this. I advise ministers not to depend upon any love gifts or offerings handed to the minister after his or her services. These love gifts are not gifts for income tax purposes – they are compensation for services rendered even if you say you will perform the service for free or a voluntary love gift.