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Funeral Procedures

Rev. Blanche Murphy, Funeral Coordinator

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. (John 11:25-26)

Pastors Louis and Lois, along with the elders, staff, the officers and the New Canaan Worship Center family join in your grief in the death of your loved one. May you know the Lord's comfort and may His love surround you during this time of loss.

Because death is such an important and sensitive time in our lives, we have set up guidelines to assist families through the funeral preparation process. We need you to follow proper guidelines to ensure that everything is done in decency and in order.  

We need you to do the following when death occurs within the church family: 

1. Immediately contact the church 804 233-6026 and advise us that a death has occurred. If after hours, please leave a voicemail and contact your assigned deacon/deaconess. This information can also be submitted on the church's website under the drop-down link, Member Resources.

2. Meet or talk with our funeral coordinator, Elder Blanche Murphy, before making final arrangements with the funeral home.  Elder Blanche will contact you upon notification of the death.

Funeral Procedures

Of all life's experiences, the death of a loved one is often the most painful and challenging that anyone can go through. New Canaan sincerely understands the pain endured by our families. The pastor, church and ministerial staff will assist you in planning the funeral service of your loved one. We will provide comfort, direction and support from the initial death notification through the funeral service and after care if needed.

Our prayer is that the information below will stimulate your thinking and assist you in preparing for your loved one's home-going celebration service. The death of a loved can leave the survivors, lost and alone, or just unsure of ….

  • Who to contact
  • What to do and how
  • How to make the funeral arrangements
  • What to do after the funeral

    Who to Contact:

    Family member(s) and/or friend(s)

    Inform family members and friends regarding the death of your loved one.

    Funeral Home

    Contact a funeral home of your choice.

    If you do not have a funeral home in mind, we can help you find one in your area.

    Call New Canaan Worship Center

    Mondays & Wednesdays, 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. After posted hours and on weekends leave a voice message on 804 233-6026 or contact your assigned deacon/deaconess.

         May contact Bereavement Minister, Elder, Blanche E. Murphy at 804 226-1855.


    What to Do

    Schedule an appointment with the funeral home director. Ask a close family member or friend to go with you to the funeral home. It will be helpful to take the following information with you when visit the funeral home:

  • Date, time and location the family is requesting for the viewing/wake and funeral service
  • Home-going service request (if available). Information regarding the deceased's wishes for their funeral service
  • Insurance policy(s)
  • Full name of your loved one (no nicknames)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Parents' name, living or deceased
  • Social security card/number
  • List of family members (i.e. spouse, children, brothers, sisters, uncle, aunts)
  • Church Membership name (if applicable)
  • Proof of military service
  • Memorial funds - donations (In lieu of flowers) - name and address of organizations or charities to which donations are to be made
  • Pallbearers - list of people who might be available to serve as pallbearers

    Make a list of family and friends to be notified of the death of your loved one. Ask a relative or friend to assist with the following:

  • Making telephone calls
  • Answering the telephone or door (keeping a record of calls and visitors)
  • Child care arrangements (if needed)
  • Coordinating the supply of food and the preparation of meals in the home
  • Attending to household chores

    Funeral services at New Canaan Worship Center

    Funeral services are designed to meet the needs of the family and every attempt is made to accommodate the family's requests.

  • The funeral coordinator will meet or speak with the family to review the following:
  • Funeral date: Is the funeral date agreeable to the church, family and the funeral home?
  • Eulogist – The family's request is considered, however the Senior Pastor has final approval.
  • Order of service- A copy can be found below. Please review and/or complete the items below prior to speaking with the minister:
  • The Prelude
  • The Processional of Clergy & Family
  • The Hymn
  • The Scripture (Old Testament & New Testament)
  • The Prayer of Comfort
  • Song
  • Resolutions/Acknowledgements/Remarks- No more than three (3) people, 2 minutes each. (Ex. family, friend, or worker, etc.)
  • Obituary Reading
  • Song
  • Eulogy
  • Closing Prayer
  • Burial/Cemetery – Instructions



    Family Requests/Needs

  • New Canaan Worship Center pastors/elders, special guests/speakers
  • Easel for pictures
  • Special sound request - Playing of CD or DVD
  • Reserved seating at the funeral (sororities, fraternity, ministries, church, etc.)

    Church Support:

  • Church staff –  Administrative Assistants
  • Pastors/Elders/Ministers
  • Funeral Coordinator– will speak with the family regarding the repast and family needs.
  • Serving ministries - (Ushers/Greeters/Choir).
  • Repast (Hospitality)
  • Food Ministry will provide the repast for members and their immediate family members (spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, children and grandparents).

    The Bereaved Family is responsible for the following items below.

  • These following may incur fees and will be discussed with the funeral coordinator-
  • Fees for:
  • Eulogist/minister
  • Funeral Programs – Completed by the funeral home

    Funeral Services NOT at New Canaan- For members

    Every attempt is made to accommodate the family's request for support when a member or immediate family member's funeral is held at another location.


    Funeral Service for Non-Members at New Canaan

    New Canaan will consider the usage of the church facility based on availability and a completed rental agreement.

    If requested by the family, there will be a reasonable fee for food preparation for the repast.



    After Care (After the funeral)

    Following the funeral service, a bereaved member may benefit from participating in some or all the support services below:

  • Deacon Ministry – your assigned Deacon/Deaconess will provide prayer and support to surviving family members.
  • Grief support service within the church.
  • You may be referred to professional counseling, if appropriate. The member contacts the counselor, schedules and pays for their appointment.
  • Prayer Requests - call the church office at 804 233-6026 or email us at n.canaan@verizon.net.              

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. How do I inform the church of a death in my family?

    A. Telephone the church 804 233-6026 and leave a message on voicemail. OR email the church at n.canaan@verizon.net. 

    Q. Can I have a funeral service in the sanctuary?

    A. Yes, if you or the decease is a disciple of New Canaan.  Non-members maybe considered on a case-by-case bases.

    Q. What is the difference between a funeral service and a memorial service?

    A. A funeral service is a gathering of family and friends with the decease's body present. At a memorial service the body is not present.

     Q. Can the church provide names of funeral homes to the family?

    A. Yes, we can provide the names of some funeral homes in the area. 

    Q. Who selects the minister to do the eulogy?

    A. The family is given the leisure of selecting a minister to provide the eulogy and/or officiate the service.  

    Q. Who selects the menu for the repast?

    A. The family is responsible for the repast menu.  For disciples of New Canaan, the church will supply 100 pieces of chicken to contribute to the repast. It is suggested also that those who offer to assist the family in any manner, you should request that they supply at least one items from your menu list for the repast. 

    Q. Does the church have a policy that prohibits cremation?

    A. No, the church has no say regarding cremation if desired; the family makes the cremation arrangement with the funeral home.

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