401-232-7575   office@orelc.org    54 Cedar Swamp Road  |  Smithfield  |  RI  |  02917
    Worship: 9:15 AM  |  Sunday School: 10:30 AM   


Funeral and Memorial Services Information

The pastor and Board of Elders have prepared the following information to help answer some questions you might have and to aid in the planning of a Christian funeral or memorial service.

What is a Christian funeral or memorial service?

A Christian funeral is a worship service in which:

  • comfort is given through the good news of everlasting life by God’s grace through faith in Christ

  • praise and thanksgiving are offered to God for the departed believer’s life among us and for the everlasting life they now enjoy with the Lord.

The only difference between a funeral and a memorial service is that the bodily remains of the deceased are present at a funeral but not at a memorial service.

Whose funeral or memorial service may be held at Our Redeemer?

Funeral or memorial services may be held at Our Redeemer when the departed believer was:

  • a member in good standing of Our Redeemer, or

  • a member in good standing of another congregation of the LCMS (in which case arrangements will be made in cooperation with the pastor of that congregation).

At times, the pastor of Our Redeemer might be asked to conduct a funeral or memorial service for a departed believer with a different church background.  In such situations, decisions will be made by the pastor on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the unique circumstances of each situation.

What else should I know about Our Redeemer’s funeral or memorial services?

The funeral or memorial service is a worship service of Our Redeemer.  This has some implications for the planning of the service.

  • As with all worship services of Our Redeemer, the church’s pastor will be responsible for the service.  On occasion, another pastor of the LCMS may be invited to participate.  Clergy from  church bodies that are not in fellowship with the LCMS will not conduct any part of the service.

  • The service will be a traditional, liturgical Lutheran worship service, including Scripture readings, a sermon, and prayers.  Hymns will also ordinarily be included.  Input from family is very welcome and will be lovingly taken into account by the pastor, who is responsible for all final selections.  All musical selections must also be approved by the musician(s).

  • As the worship service is focused on praising the Lord and providing the comfort of the Gospel, we follow the LCMS recommendation that eulogies are not presented within the worship service.  A Christian obituary may be read in the service, and family members and friends are encouraged to share memories in another setting, such as a meal or reception.  Martin Hall will ordinarily be made available for such a gathering.

  • The Lord’s Supper will not be included in the service, due to the complications of responsibly administering Communion in a service with many guests of different spiritual backgrounds.

  • These principles and guidelines apply whether the service takes place in the church sanctuary, in a funeral home, or at the graveside.










Biblical Reference

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die."

John 11:25-26

Funeral Planning Form

This form has been prepared by the pastor and Board of Elders so that you may assist in planning a funeral or memorial service, either for yourself or for a loved one who is under your care.

When a believer in Christ dies, his or her soul immediately enters the perfect peace and joy of heaven. For the departed believer, it is the beginning of an eternity of joy! 


For those who remain behind, however, it can be a difficult time.  You may help lighten the load the surviving loved ones will bear by helping to make some of the arrangements ahead of time.  In this way, they will have fewer decisions to make during a difficult and emotional time.


By completing this form, you will be able to assist greatly in the planning of a service that will be a comforting, uplifting celebration of the everlasting life that is yours through faith in Christ! 


When you have completed this form, please return it to the church office.  You also are encouraged to keep a copy for yourself.  If your preferences change, you may give an updated form to the church at any time. The Funeral Planning Form can be found by clicking on on the green button located above, or call the church office for a printout. (401-232-7575)