Friday, December 01, 2006

Grand Checklist for Occassional Services

What to do in the event of...

1. Affirmation!
2. Arrange a time for counseling for a number of sessions. Consider giving the couple a few things to think about to help foster good conversation in the first meeting.
3. Review the congregation’s policy on weddings and go over that during the first session to cover fees for non-members, dates, rehearsal protocol, etc.
4. At the first planning session, ask if the couple would be interested in using the church’s wedding coordinator, if the church has one. If so, have the couple contact the wedding coordinator so everyone is on board.
5. Plan the service. (If the church doesn’t already have a form to help with this, feel free to use the form below to help plan out the service.)
6. Double-check with organist, soloist, wedding coordinator, bride and groom one month before the service to make sure everyone is on the same page, (dates, hymns used, times, etc.). Remind the couple the get the marriage license!
7. Write homily for the service.
8. Attend rehearsal. See form below for checklist of what needs to get covered during the rehearsal.
9. Go over the form for the service 2 hours before to make sure everything is in place for the service (unity candle on the altar, communion, photographer, etc.) It may be a good time to remind the photographer/videographer what is appropriate for this service.
10. Celebrate the service. Attend the reception (if you’re invited) and be prepared to pray over the meal!
11. Send off the marriage certificate to the county.

1. Affirmation!
2. Depending on the age of the candidate, make plans to meet with the parent or the catechumen.
3. Review the congregation’s policy on baptism, go over that during the session if necessary.
4. Depending on the parent’s familiarity with the theology and practice of baptism, plan to meet accordingly. At this time, go over the service using the form below and be sure to get the names of sponsors, godparents or other family members that may be present.
5. If the baptism is an adult baptism, you may consider a lengthier process of catechesis. We recommend the following books or manuals to help: Baptized We Live by Daniel Erlander, The Lutheran Handbook, by Kristofer Skrade and James Satter, and of course, Luther’s Small Catechism.
6. Using the form below, make sure everything is in place before the service.

1. Offer condolences. Let them process through the grief. If you discern they are ready to meet to plan the service, schedule a time and place to meet, whatever is best for the family. Ask if they have chosen a funeral home. If either organ donation or cremation are in question, feel free to read over the form below to help the family consider these decisions.
2. Get/update church records on the deceased, if they are a member. It’s a good idea to keep a copy of the obituary in a file.
3. Review the congregation’s policy on funerals and go over that during the planning session.
4. Meet with family. Use the form below to go over the service itself. (Remember if the service is at a funeral home, the only things clergy are usually responsible for are scripture readings, helping to choose music, and the homily.)
5. Use the form also to coordinate related activities, such as a lunch after the funeral, calling council members to be present at the service, contacting the altar guild if there is communion, etc.
6. Write the homily.
7. Work with church staff to print bulletins.
8. Get to the church early for the service. Make sure everything else is in place, banners, communion, etc.

Holy Baptism - Day Of Checklist

Holy Baptism Checklist:

1. Pre-Baptismal visit
2. Family/Candidate understands what it means to be Baptized
3. Family/Candidate/Sponsors is aware of promises to be made.
4. Sacrament of Holy Baptism Form
5. Baptismal certificate completed
6. Service preparation:
7. Font prepared with water (Lukewarm so infant doesn’t scream!)
8. Baptismal candle present
9. Baptismal certificate present
10. Other gifts from congregation present (Shell/Bib/Napkin)
11. Baptismal rite (LBW or ELW) reviewed with notation of candidate’s name!
12. Representative of the congregation notified for welcoming into the community
13. Make sure family receives all gifts
14. Remain robed for pictures if family desires

Sacrament of Holy Baptism Form

Sacrament of Holy Baptism Form

Parents Names:

Phone: (Home) (Cell)

Church Membership?

Other Children and Ages:

Church Membership?

Name of one to be Baptized:
Age: Birth date: Place:

Sponsor’s Name(s):


Church Membership?

Date/Time and Place of Baptism:

Pre-Baptismal Visit:

Review of Baptismal Rite with Family:

Other Comments:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wedding Information Sheet

Wedding Information Sheet

Groom______________________________ Bride___________________________________

Address____________________________ Address_________________________________

_____________________________ _________________________________

Phone Numbers: Cell #________________ Cell #____________________________

Home#______________ Work#__________ Home #____________Work #_____________

E-Mail:_____________________________ E-Mail:_______________________________

Date of Rehearsal______________ Time_______________ Place________________________

Date of Wedding_______________ Time_______________Place________________________

Place of Reception________________________________________Time of Reception_______

Dates & Times of Counseling Sessions:

1)__________________________ 2)______________________ 3)_______________________

Wedding Certification Information

Groom’s Full Name_____________________________________________________________

Birth Date_______________ Place_____________________________________ Age_______

# of Marriages______ S. S. #___________________________ Occupation________________

Father’s Full Name______________________________________________________________

Mother’s Full Maiden Name_______________________________________________________

Bride’s Full Name______________________________________________________________

Birth Date________________ Place_____________________________________ Age______

# of Marriages______ S. S. #_____________________________ Occupation______________

Father’s Full Name______________________________________________________________

Mother’s Full Maiden Name_______________________________________________________

Two Witnesses_________________________________________________________________

Notes: ________________________________________________________________________


Service Notes LBW Page 202ff

How Process? _______________________________


Names to be Used:____________________________

Scripture Readings and/or Homily Text:___________


“Who gives this woman..”______________________

Vows__________________ Double Ring_________

Parental Blessing_____________________________

Unity Candle_________________________________

Special Prayers_______________________________

Holy Communion_____________________________

Lord’s Prayer: Contemp. Trad. Sung

Kiss_________ Announce Mr. & Mrs.____________

Invite to Reception____________________________

Receiving Line Order:_________________________



Best Man____________________________________

# of Groomsmen_______________ Junior_________

Names of Groomsmen_________________________




Ushers_____________ Candle Lighters___________

Grooms Parents/Step-Parents Attending:___________


Groom’s Grandparents Attending:________________


Notes: ______________________________________


Pre-Service Music____________________________










Decorations & Other
Veil_______ Bouquet________ Roses_________

Train______ Flowers__________ Pew Bows______


Runner____________ Pew Torches_____________


Maid of Honor_______________________________

# of Bridesmaids______________ Junior_________

Names of Bridesmaids_________________________




Ring Bearer____________ Flower Girl___________

Bride’s Parents/Step-Parents Attending:___________


Bride’s Grandparents Attending:_________________



Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wedding Rehearsal Checklist

Wedding Rehearsal Checklist

Make sure the couple brings the license. If not, continue at your own risk!

As the party gathers, show good hospitality making sure all feel welcome. Remember that for some people, this is one of the few times they will ever be in a church.

1. Which side is the bride’s, which is the groom’s?
2. Ushers escort groom’s mother in first (next to last), followed by bride’s mother, who taps the shoulder of the groom’s mother to light unity candle.
3. Will they usher people out at the end? If so, check with bride and groom to figure out how they want that done.
4. They are responsible for emergencies. Where are the phones if they need to dial 911?

1. Will you escort the bridesmaids in, or sit in front?
2. If you sit in front, sit in reverse order.
3. Who will hold the rings if the ring bearer does not?

1. Everyone that is processing should line up in narthex.
2. Practice a few bars with the organist so everyone knows exactly when to enter and how fast to walk.
3. Children are always in front of the bride.
4. The bride’s dad should be on her left side.

The Service (This is not an order of service, but a list of a few odds and ends to remember as you go through it.)

1. Walk through service using the bulletin in case any changes were made from the hymnbook.
2. Vows: bride will need to get rid of flowers, and maid of honor may need to get rid of hers and the bride's. Ask this to the bride: “Does your maid of honor need both hands free?” If the answer is yes, then the maid of honor will need to find something to do with flowers to rearrange the dress when the bride faces the groom. (This question is asked so as not to reveal too much about the dress in front of the groom. Darn superstitions!)
3. For unity candle, go behind the altar, and blow the two candles out away from the lit center candle. (Some couples may blow the two candles out, others may choose to keep them lit.)
4. Sign the marriage license.
5. Take flowers to greet family.
6. Best Man and Maid of Honor now come up to sign certificate and license.
7. At communion, the wedding party sits down after receiving the elements.
8. Ask how the couple should be presented. (Mr. and Mrs. Brad Smith? Mr. Brad Smith and Mrs. Angela Smith?)

Organ Donation and Cremation


Organ Donation
People are becoming increasingly aware that internal organs donated from a person who has recently died can sustain the precious gift of life in others. Judeo-Christian tradition affirms that God chose to breathe the gift of life into human flesh. The bodily incarnation of God in the person of Jesus is the ultimate witness to God's love for humankind. The decision to donate organs is personal, yet can be informed by faith. There is no church law or theological reason preventing Lutheran Christians from choosing to be organ donors. Lutheran theology and confession affirms the "resurrection of the body." God's promise to resurrect the dead is not compromised by organ donation. Almighty God, who created our bodies, has the capacity to resurrect them with or without the presence of specific organs.

For a number of reasons, cremation (burning the body and reducing it to ashes) is becoming more prevalent. Lutheran theology and tradition do not favor any particular form of burial. God's ability to give resurrected bodies to those who bear the name of Christ cannot be stymied by any human action, including organ donation or cremation. Bodies may be buried in the traditional manner or cremated, according to the preferences of the deceased and the deceased's family. The concern of the church is that after death, baptized Christians be commended to God in hope of the resurrection. Cremated remains, often called "cremains," should be accorded the same dignity given to a body. When cremated remains instead of the body are present for the rite of Burial of the Dead, they should be treated in the same manner as a body. Cremated remains are often housed in an urn made of metal or pottery or another small receptacle. As a white pall is placed over a coffin as a baptismal symbol for the hope of the resurrection, a small pall can be made to cover the urn or receptacle. As would a body, the urn may be carried in procession. It may be placed on a small stand surrounded by flowers and the paschal candle as would a body. In the absence of the body, some families choose to provide a photograph of the deceased that may be placed beside the urn during the burial rite. This may provide comfort for those who may want some symbol of presence besides the cremation urn. At times, cremated remains are buried in a cemetery or in the ground, in the same manner as a body. In other instances families may request that the cremated ashes be scattered over a field or water or housed in a columbarium, a small nitch in the wall of the church, dedicated for this purpose. All matters surrounding burial are sensitive and require pastoral guidance, care and wisdom. The important constant in the presence of diverse and shifting societal burial practices is that proper baptismal dignity be accorded to all deceased Christians, regardless of the manner of burial.

Prepared by Karen M. Ward
Associate Director for Worship
December 1996
Copyright © 1998 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Monday, November 13, 2006

Funeral Checklist

Funeral Information Sheet
Today’s Date:

Date of Birth:
Date of Death:

Funeral Home:

Date/Time of Wake:
Memorial given? By a person or family?
Envelopes at the funeral home?
Location of Wake:
Prayers or homily at Wake?

Date/time of Funeral:
Location of Burial:
Date/Time of Burial:

Funeral luncheon?
Number of people expected:
Announce at the funeral service?

Order of Worship
Family Process in after deceased?
Use a Pall:
Entrance Hymn:
Baptismal Verse:
Confirmation Verse:
Hymn after Sermon:
Closing Hymn:

Holy Eucharist?

Family Memories:

Special Music:
Council member present?
Altar Guild:

HYMN Possibilities

228 – 229 - A Mighty Fortress
272 - Abide with Me
448 - Amazing Grace
518 - Beautiful Savior
699 - Blessed Assurance
474 - Children of the Heavenly Father
363 - Christ is Alive! Let Christians Sign
343 - Guide Me Ever Great Redeemer
532 - How Great Thou Art
497 - I Heard the Voice of Jesus say
352 - I Know that My Redeemer Lives
770 - I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry
453 - If You But Trust in God to Guide You
341 - Jesus Still Lead On
495 - Lead On O King Eterna.
469 - Lord of All Hopefulness
333 - Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me
315 - Love Divine, All Love’s Excelling
479 - My Faith Looks Up to Thee
293 – 294 - My Hope is Built on Nothing Less
534 - Now Thank We All our God
320 - O God, our Help in Ages Past
543 - Praise to the Lord
731 - Precious Lord, Take My Hand
690 - Shall We Gather at the River
456 - The King of Love My Shepherd Is
145 - Thine is the Glory
801 - Thine the Amen, Thine the Praise
741 - Thy Holy Wings
346 - When Peace like a River