at ST. PAUL’S 

We at St. Paul’s UCC extend our sympathy to you for your loss. We pray that God’s love and grace will surround you during this time. While this is a sad time when we realize our loss, Christians give joyous thanks and praise to God for the promise of eternal life granted us in Jesus Christ.

It has been the Christian tradition to commend loved ones to God’s care through a time of worship or gathering with family and friends. This can happen at the church, the funeral home, a family home, the cemetery or other appropriate place. A Funeral Service has the body of the deceased person present for the service. A Memorial Service does not have the body present.

Services at St. Paul’s incorporate remembering and celebrating the life of the person who has died. This is done through a eulogy or time of remembrance by the family, friends or the pastor. A message is also given by the pastor to speak of our faith in God’s great love and grace. The pastor will give a prayer to commend the loved one to God’s care. Families are invited to bring photos and mementos to display.

Music is often an important help in the service. Three hymns are often sung and selected music is played. The family is invited to make appropriate selections.

Frequently, a Reception is held before or after the service as a time for family to meet guests. If the family would like to have a luncheon please contact the church office to reserved Fellowship Hall at 815-459-5096. It is the responsibility of the family to provide the food, set up, clean up, and remove the garbage. 

Many families ask that Memorial Gifts be made to a charity in lieu of flowers. St. Paul’s has a Memorial Fund that welcomes gifts for use at the church. Gifts can also be directed for a particular purpose. There is a Columbarium at the church where cremated ashes are inurned and/or Memorial Bricks are placed. For more information on the Columbarium, click on this link: St. Paul’s Columbarium

It is customary that the lead pastor and the organist be given an honorarium. This can be handled through the funeral home or by the family. Appropriate amounts can be discussed by talking to the funeral home director or by contacting the church office.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.” Psalm 116:15

Sample Order of Service for a Funeral or Memorial Service

This Order of Service is often used for Memorial or Funeral Services at St. Paul’s.  Items can be changed, added or removed to make the service a meaningful time for the gathered family and friends.

Greeting & Call to Worship
Hymn (commonly used Hymns are listed below)
Prayer of Invocation
Reading from Scripture (commonly used Scriptures are listed below)
Eulogy or Words of Remembrance (given by the Pastor or/Family Members)
Hymn, Solo, Reading or Poem
Message or Eulogy (given by the Pastor)
Hymn of Assurance or Solo
Prayer of Thanksgiving & Commendation
Hymn of Triumph

Commonly Used Scripture Lessons (usually 3-4 passages are read)

  • Psalm 20, 23, 103, 121, 130, or 139
  • II Samuel 12: 5-23 (For death of a Child)
  • Matthew 22:23-33 (Jesus responds to questions about the resurrection)
  • Mark 4:35-41 (Jesus’ power to calm a storm)
  • Luke 23:33-43 (Two criminals talk to Jesus on the cross)
  • John 11:17-27 (Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life)
  • John 14:1-7 (Jesus, the way to the Father)
  • John 14:15-21 (Promise of the Holy Spirit)
  • John 15:12-15 (Jesus’ commandment to love)
  • Romans 8:3-39 (The power of God’s love for us)
  • I Corinthians 15:35-58 (The mystery of resurrection)
  • II Corinthians 4:11-5:9 (Living by Faith)
  • Ephesians 314-21 (Prayer for the Love of Christ)
  • I Thessalonians 4:13-18 (Coming resurrection)
  • I Peter 1:3-9 (A Living Hope)
  • Revelation 21:1-5 (Vision of all things New)
  • Revelation 21:22-27 (Vision of God’s Holy City)
  • Revelation 22:3-5 (God’s Holy Light)

Frequently Used Hymns
(Many other hymns are suitable to use. The person being remembered might have some favorite hymns that could be used. Usually two to four hymns are used in a service.)

  • A Mighty Fortress is Our God
  • Abide with Me
  • All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
  • Amazing Grace! How Sweet the Sound
  • Be Still, My Soul
  • Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine
  • Breathe on Me, Breath of God
  • For All the Saints
  • Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken
  • God of Grace and God of Glory
  • Great Is Thy Faithfulness
  • Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
  • He Leadeth Me
  • How Great Thou Art
  • In The Garden (“I come to the garden…”)
  • It Is Well With My Soul
  • Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
  • Lord of the Dance
  • Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
  • O God, Our Help in Ages Past
  • On Eagle’s Wings
  • Precious Lord, Take My Hand
  • Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me
  • The Church’s One Foundation
  • The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want
  • The Lord My Shepherd Guards Me Well
  • The Lord’s Prayer (Best used as a solo)
  • The Strife is O’er

For more information regarding Funerals at St. Paul’s, contact the church office.