Funeral Resolution | BE IT RESOLVED: Proper Format for Church Funeral Resolutions

BE IT RESOLVED: Proper Format for Church Funeral Resolutions

Since a funeral resolution is an official document from a collective body that will be stored in church archives, it should follow the proper format.

Most of the information used in a resolution can be obtained during a brief interview with the family and church members familiar with the deceased. Here is an example of the proper format to use for a church funeral resolution:

It has five main parts,

  1. Title
  2. Introduction
  3. WHEREAS Statements
  4. Resolutions
  5. Official Statement

Title

The Title for the Resolution is centered on the top of the page.  Something like:”Resolution of Respect for deceased name ” or “Resolution in Loving Memory of deceased name

Introduction

1. The introduction usually begins with some type of acknowledgement of the deceased’s relationship to God. Such as,

a. “Since it has pleased Almighty God to take our beloved brother/sister on to his reward where he/she will join that great cloud on witnesses in the heavens”

b. “There is now a hush in our hearts as we come together to pay our respects to the memory of one whose full life was ended when he/she was called to join that innumerable heavenly caravan.”

c. “According to his tender mercy, God, who is infinite in his wisdom, has seen fit to move from our midst our beloved brother/sister in Christ by means of death on __________. “

2.  Sometimes a short funeral poem or bible scripture is read.  You can find these with a little research.  Usually they are 4 -12 lines in length.  If the deceased had one that you know of then please use it.    Otherwise do a little research for some favorite funeral poems to use.  Many times the family has one that they like.

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WHEREAS statements  (“Reasons/Justifications”)

In this section, you establish the reasons or justifications for issuing the funeral resolution.  Each reason begins with a separate “Whereas”phrase.  There is no limit for the number of Whereas sections, but it should keep the overall Resolution within 1-2 pages.

This is where significant accomplishments of the deceased are listed.  Examples include:

  1. WHEREAS, our brother accepted a hope in Christ at an early age and demonstrated throughout his life a sincere and obedient walk with God.
  2. WHEREAS, deceased’s name, was a faithful usher for over 30 years who without murmur or complaint dutifully served at his post.
  3. WHEREAS,  our beloved brother was a community leader and businessman who loved and supported his friends and neighbors.  He was an example of trustworthy and honest business.

The Church Resolution can also reference support and encouragement for the family.  Examples include:

  1. WHEREAS,  the passing of our beloved brother has left us with a broken heart, we acknowledge and accept the will of God.  We know our hearts bleed with sorrow, but are comforted by knowing God will not put more on us than we can bear.
  2. WHEREAS,  our brother loved to sing praises and offer encouraging words to many who were downtrodden.  He will be missed but not forgotten.

Oftentimes, a favorite bible passage is used here as well.  Here’s an example of a funeral bible reading to use;

WHEREAS, we believe the words of Jesus in John 14 that encourages us to ” Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

If the deceased did not demonstrate a support of the church because they were too young, (such as an infant death) or not a regular church attendee (i.e. backslider), then it is appropriate to reference the family’s relationship as justification.  Examples include:

  1. WHEREAS, deceased name was part of a loving and caring family who accepts the will of a soverign God in the passing of their loved one.
  2. WHEREAS, deceased name, was raised up in a God-fearing home.

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Resolutions

Resolutions are the actions that will be taken.  These should be clear and brief.  Remember to state what, who, when, where, and  how the actions will be taken.  These can be very specific but are commonly generic in nature.
A separate BE IT RESOLVED statement should be used for each action.  If more than one action is required,  the second or more action should begin with “Be it further Resolved”.
Although there may be many justifications (Whereas statements), there is no requirement to have as many resolutions.  Having just one or two is okay.

Some common examples include:

  1. THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we embrace the family because all of us have a common bond that will connect us for the rest of your lives.  We can not replace Sister Bobbie Joe, but will attempt to demonstrate her love for you.
  2. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a period of official mourning will be observed for 30 days by the setting aside of a special seat to acknowledge the passing of our precious Sister Bobbie Joe.

Official Proclamation

This section is where the church officials acknowledge the resolution.  This is an important step as some resolutions over 100 years old have been discovered.

Often is started with a poem or bible scripture of encouragement for the family.   Customarily it ends with the phrase “Humbly submitted” or something similar.  The main officers, typically pastor, sign the resolution and a copy is given to the family with the original recorded into the church archives.

That’s the basic format for writing a proper funeral resolution.

If this information has been helpful, please leave us a comment below.  We always like to hear from our visitors.

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