Grand Checklist for Occassional Services
What to do in the event of...
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.
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.