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Funeral Etiquette

Posted in Funerals & Memorials

Funeral Etiquette for Family and Friends of the Deceased

Funerals and memorial services serve as an opportunity to commemorate the life of a loved one who has past away and is a way for friends and family to say goodbye. The service is a necessary part of the grieving process because it helps family and friends to come to terms with the fact that their loved one has passed away.

There are some general guidelines for funeral etiquette for guests as well as for those who are making the funeral arrangements.

Expressing Sympathy: When expressing sympathy most find it best to keep is short and simple. Many simply say they are sorry for the loss which is perfectly fine to say. Don’t feel as if you have to say a lot. More times than not, most people who have just lost someone are at a loss for words. Sometimes you are needed to simply listen to what family and friends of the deceased have to say and you don’t need to say much at all.

Attire: The standard in funeral etiquette has been to wear dark colors, or otherwise clothing that will not stand out. You should try to keep your clothing simple but not too casual. Most opt to wear black as this is most always appropriate.

Offer Assistance: If you are able, it is always appreciated if you offer assistance to help with child care, picking up out-of-town relatives, food gifts, or other things. When it is a sudden death your gesture may be especially helpful.

Funeral Etiquette for the Bereaved

Thank You Notes: For family members who have taken care of funeral planning and all of the arrangements, it is common funeral etiquette to send a thank you card to those friends who sent a gift, flowers, food, or a card to the family. Attendants do not need to receive a thank you note, but those friends who may have helped with transportation or any arrangements should receive a thank you note as well. Typically thank you cards are sent within two weeks of the funeral services.

Clergy: It recommended that a personal note is sent to thank your clergy person. If you send an offering or honorarium, then send it separately from the thank you note in another envelope.

If you find yourself in need of a minister to walk you through this difficult time in your life please call Houston Minister Services today at 713-208-2025.

Please also continue to view other articles in our Minster Services blog for more information such as how to write a eulogy.

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Baby Ceremony

Posted in Baptisms & Christenings

Baby Ceremony Ideas

There are different types of baby ceremonies that many families are now looking into conducting when they add a new addition to their family. Some of the more traditional baptism and christening ceremonies have been replaced or changed into a different type of ceremony that may be more fitting for the family. These changes may be religious, cultural, or dictated by personality and/or a blending of all of these factors. In today’s article we will discuss different baby ceremony ideas that parents have started to look into, but we first discuss the traditional definition of a baptismal and or christening.

Baptism – the baptism is a ceremony or a sacrament that admits a person into Christianity.

Christening – a christening is the actual act of baptizing and giving a name to an infant.

Baby Naming Ceremony – the baby naming ceremony is a ceremony in which the parents promise to support their child and to protect their child and where they publicly name their child. It is a celebration of the birth of the child and family, godparents and special friends will also make promises to care for the baby as well. An officiant typically leads the ceremony and the baby is identified as a unique individual. Sometimes if the name has significant meaning, this meaning is explained as part of the ceremony.

Baby Dedication – the baby dedication is a ceremony that can accommodate most views. The parents, god parents, and other special guests will commit to surrendering the child to god and to raising the child according to God’s ways. The baby dedication serves as a baby ceremony that commits the parents until the child is able to make the commitment on his or her own accord. There are alternative views when it comes to baptizing babies. Some feel that a baby cannot make that kind of commitment, but there are parents who feel better knowing that their child is baptized. The baby dedication has evolved as a way to accommodate various religious and personal views, even though there are mixed emotions regarding the issue.

Baby Blessing Ceremony – the baby blessing ceremony is perhaps another way to describe a baby dedication ceremony. It is more customized to accommodate non-traditional religious views. It serves as another way for parents to acknowledge their child’s birth through a less formal gathering. Families can conduct this type of baby ceremony in order to accommodate their own personal beliefs.

Please contact us at 713-208-2025 for a complimentary phone consultation and let’s discuss your requirements and the type of ceremony you wish to have. You can also read more about who we are in the about us section of this site.

Please allow Minister Services to create a ceremony that you and your family will cherish forever. Please also continue to view other articles in our Minster Services blog for more information.

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Ceremony Readings

Posted in Alternative Custom Weddings

The wedding ceremony is the most significant part of your wedding day. The audience will remember it forever and the ceremony readings that you choose will set the tone for the rest of the day. The readings that you choose can be poems, verses, prose passages, quotes, or any personal words that couples or their loved ones may choose to recite.

Choosing the ceremony readings can be difficult for some couples. These couples should keep in mind a few things such as their audience, the type of wedding, whether it is a religious wedding, a theme wedding or a civil wedding. These factors can help the couple to determine what readings should be recited. The type of readings will also depend on the personality of the couple. Some may decide to choose a romantic poem that tells the story of their love life in a way that they can relate to. Others may go for a more traditional or religious ceremony in which  passages from the bible will be recited by family or friends in addition to the wedding officiant. Additionally, some couples may be simply renewing vows which could take on an entirely different tone.

In addition to choosing the specific ceremony readings couples must also choose who they would like to actually recite them. Often times close friends of the couple or family members will do the readings. Couples must be sure to ask those individuals in advance to ensure that they are comfortable with speaking in public. While some people may be a little nervous others may not be able to handle the pressure. More often than not however, most people are honored and are up to the task.

The readings that couples choose for their wedding ceremonies can vary from classic and traditional readings to romantic. Below are a couple of poems that are popular.

“Sonnet from the Portuguese”

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, – I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“To Be One With Each Other”
What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen
each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow,
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other in the
silent unspoken memories?
~ George Eliot

For more information on how Houston Minister Services can help you to create the perfect wedding ceremony and for more ceremony options, please contact us at 281- 208-2025 and please continue to view other articles in our Minster Services blog.

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