You have been asked to write and give a funeral resolution at a funeral, but need some guidance as to what to say. The first thing is to make sure you understand what a funeral resolution really is. Some people confuse funeral resolution and eulogy. While a eulogy is a speech celebrating the life of the deceased, a funeral resolution is an official church document that will be stored in the church archives and must follow a specific format. If you are not sure which to prepare, you must ask the family of the deceased or the officiating clergy for clarification.
What is a funeral resolution?
A funeral resolution is a specifically formatted rite of passage that you read at a funeral and is officially acknowledged by the church and family. There are specific aspects that must be included and are outlined below. Every funeral resolution contains a title, introduction, whereas statements, resolutions and ends with an official statement. A brief meeting with the family of the deceased and church members who knew the deceased will help you obtain the information you need for the funeral resolution.
Title of a Funeral Resolution
The title of the funeral resolution is usually centered at the top of the page and includes the deceased’s name. Some samples of titles are:
Resolution of Respect for Name of Deceased
Resolution in Loving Memory of Name of Deceased
Introduction to Funeral Resolution
The introduction acknowledges that the deceased had a close relationship to God and acknowledges the passing of the deceased. Sometimes a short passage from the bible or a funeral poem is included as part of the introduction. If the deceased had a favorite funeral poem, it would be appropriate to include it here. Some examples of Introduction to a funeral resolution are:
God, in his infinite wisdom has seen fit to move from out midst our beloved Name of Deceased by means of death on Date of Death.
We come together to pay our respects to the memory of one whose life was full of love and now is ended when Name of Deceased was called to join God in heaven.
It pleases Almighty God to take our beloved Name of Deceased to His reward.
This introductory line is often followed by a funeral poem or reading. Visit ObituariesHelp.org for funeral readings, eulogy poems and samples of funeral resolutions.
Whereas Statements for Funeral Resolutions
This section is where you explain reasons or justifications for the funeral resolution. These reasons begin with the word ‘whereas’ and explain the deceased’s relationship to God, his or her work for the church, love by the community, and support to the family. Listing the significant accomplishments of the deceased is appropriate here. Usually there is no limit to the number of ‘whereas’ statements but most churches want you to keep the resolution within 2 pages. A favorite passage from the bible can also be used as a ‘whereas’ statement. Some examples of whereas statements are as follows:
Whereas, the deceased accepted God at an early age and demonstrated throughout his life a sincere obedience to God.
Whereas, the deceased was a faithful community leader and bible school teacher for over 25 years without complaint.
Whereas, the passing of the deceased has left us deeply saddened, he will be missed but not forgotten.
Whereas, the words of Jesus in John 14, “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 were I am, there ye may be also.”
The Funeral Resolutions
The funeral resolutions are the actions to be taken by the congregation to resolve the death. You do not need as many resolutions as there were ‘whereas’ statements, one or two is fine. You must include details as to what the resolution is, who will be involved, when, where and how it will be resolved. Some common examples of ‘be it resolved’ statements are as follows:
Therefore be it resolved, that we embrace the family to show our support and love to the family because in the death of our beloved Name of Deceased, we have a bond that will connect us for the rest of our lives. We cannot replace Name of Deceased, but we will show you her love for you.
Be it further resolved that a period of official mourning be observed for 60 days by the displaying of Name of Deceased’s picture on the back wall.
Official Acknowledgement of the Funeral Resolution
The official proclamation is an important step because funeral resolutions remain in the church archives. Some funeral resolutions in Europe have been found that are three hundred years old. This is often another place where a funeral poem or bible scripture is included, as encouragement to the family and as a closure to the passing of the deceased. End the resolution with the words, ‘humbly submitted’ or ‘respectfully submitted’ and have the main church officers acknowledge the funeral resolution by signing it at the bottom. The original is stored in the church archives and a copy is given to the family.
Some churches do not require such a specifically formatted funeral resolution, but rather will allow a funeral resolution that closely resembles a eulogy. However, in the case of the deceased being a long standing member of the church and a volunteer and dear member of the church community, the church may require a format that closely follows the outline given above. Always check with the main church officers if you are not sure.
Melanie Walters recommends ObituariesHelp.org for Newspaper Obituaries, free genealogy resources, guides to building a family tree, sample letters of sympathy and condolence, written examples of eulogies as well as help with all aspects of funeral planning.