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Switch to Forum Live View How much do you donate to church for free memorial service?
10 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2008 - 8:57PM #1
Posts: 32
When my dad passed away, the church where my parents are regular members provided the church, the pastor, and I think coffee for free. Then we donated $200-300 I think it was (this was 12 years ago). I don't remember if that was to the pastor directly or to the church. Someone told me that this was the correct etiquette, presuming you could afford to.

Now I'm setting up a pre-paid burial for my mom, which is also a spend-down for Medicaid. I was going to set aside $500 for the church, but I was looking at the funeral home prices, and if they were to perform the service it's a minimum of $1200.  So I'm wondering if I should set aside more.

Second question, I noticed on the paperwork there's no space for church, it's indicated specifically for "clergy".  (Granted, this is the funeral home's paperwork, and I'm sure they're hoping that you use their location.) But that made me wonder if you do a separate donation to clergy for performing service and to the church for the location, or one donation to either one.

She's been a member of this same church since she was a child. She donated regularly before she went on Medicaid 8 years ago. She's been in the choir, taught Sunday school, junior choir director, and fill-in organist all as volunteer. So although she's been in a nursing home for 8 years now, and rarely been well enough these last 8-12 years to attend services regularly, it's not as if she's an Easter & Christmas church member.
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10 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2008 - 3:41PM #2
Posts: 5
Generally, in our area of the country, the family has given a donation to the church for the use of their facility and then gives the clergy doing the service a donation for doing the service.  Sometimes the musicians receive something for playing, as well.  Specifically, the last service done in our church the family gave $250 to the church, I received $100 and our pianist received $50. 

Sometimes the family lets the funeral home handle the donations for the clergy and musicians and the funeral home may have their own fee schedule. A donation for the use of the church is not expected in our area, although I can envision a time when it will be expected.

The church I serve has a rental policy for weddings for non-members, but not one for funerals as we view that as part of our ministry to the family.
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