Funerals & Memorials

Planning Your Final Wishes

We encourage everyone to discuss your final wishes with your loved ones, as early as possible, to help guide them at the time of your passing. If you would like to make some decisions in advance about what may be included in your funeral or memorial service, please feel free to contact the church office at any time (585-924-2621 or email) to schedule a meeting with the pastor or to request resources on planning your final wishes.

At the Time of Death

The pastor is always available to pray with you or to perform last rites when a loved one is making their final transition. To request her services, call the church office or pastor at any time, including on the pastor’s sabbath days.

When a loved one has passed, please call the church office at your earliest convenience. The pastor will contact you to pray with you and to offer comfort and guidance during these difficult days, and to help you schedule a funeral or memorial service if you wish.

Funeral & Memorial Services

A Service of Death and Resurrection is an opportunity to give thanks for the life of your loved one—to acknowledge their passing, to celebrate good memories with them, and to bear witness to the love of God through every stage of life. You may notice that the church will be decorated for the service not with mourning black but with resurrection white—a symbol of our faith that there is hope even in the midst of grief and life even in the midst of death.

You may choose to have the service take place in the sanctuary of our church, or you may request that the service be held at another location. In either case, the pastor will work with you and the funeral home of your choice to arrange the service.

If you would like the pastor to work with another clergy person to officiate an ecumenical or interfaith service, please let us know so that we can coordinate as needed.

Music & Liturgy

The pastor and the musician playing the service will work with you to select hymns, prayers, scripture readings, and other elements of the liturgy. We highly recommend that, unless you require an interfaith service, all musical selections and readings be suited to a service of Christian worship.

Witnesses to Life

The pastor will offer a brief sermon or eulogy, incorporating some of your stories about the person who has died. One or more family members or friends may also share some words about the person who has died, or may serve as liturgists who read some of the scripture readings, prayers, or other parts of the liturgy.

If you will be giving a part of the eulogy, we recommend writing your message ahead of time and bringing a script. Speaking during a service for a loved one can be unexpectedly emotional, and you may even find that someone else needs to help you finish your message.

Burial vs. Cremation

United Methodists do not have a formal preference for burial or cremation, and you are welcome to choose whichever option you prefer based on your loved one’s wishes (if known), funeral home costs, cemetary space, or other factors. If you would like to speak with someone about your decision for your own final wishes or for a loved one who has died, you are welcome to speak with the pastor about your options.