A funeral or memorial service is a service of Christian Worship. It proclaims the Easter mystery of life beyond death, or the resurrection faith. It accepts the reality of death, remembers the deceased, and honors those who have departed. The service enables the believing community to witness to its shared faith. Together, persons share pain and joy, support the family, pray and grieve as one community. In this service of Christian Worship, the community reaffirms its covenant with God and with each other. The service is officially called, in the United Methodist Book of Worship and in the United Methodist Hymnal, “A Service of Death and Resurrection.” If you have any questions or are beginning the planning process then please call Gail Ashe at 205-822-9631. Below is a link to a document called “Planning A Christian Funeral” which is a resource developed to help you and family organize during this difficult time of life. This guide is divided into two sections. The first section will be dedicated to those who wish to plan ahead for their own service. This planning is very helpful to family members and clergy. Often family and friends, with or without a pastor, are left to make important decisions. Such decisions have to be made quickly. When prior planning has taken place the family usually finds great comfort. The second section is for family members who have to plan a funeral service for a recently deceased loved one. In those times, decisions have to be made quickly, and this guide will hopefully help you pull together ideas and information. Taking time for all key persons to meet and work through this section prior to (and in conjunction with) meeting with clergy will make the difficult process a bit easier.