Funerals and Memorial Services

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18

We are so sorry for the loss you have experienced that has led you to this resource. The Pastoral Care Team’s desire is to serve you as you think about next steps in honoring your loved one’s life.


WHO CAN HAVE A FUNERAL OR MEMORIAL SERVICE AT THE WOODLANDS UMC?

As an extension of God’s love for all people, we desire to walk with anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one. Guests, visitors, friends, non-members, and members alike are invited to inquire about The Woodlands United Methodist Church hosting their loved one’s Christian funeral or memorial service. We strive to care for families pending availability of our pastors and facilities.

DOES THE WOODLAND UMC PROVIDE A PASTOR?

Yes, all funeral/memorial services are officiated by The Woodlands UMC pastors and are specifically Christian in nature. Many services are conducted by our Pastors of Caring Ministry. Other The Woodlands UMC pastors may be requested; however, they often have limited availability and are unable to accommodate many families.

MAY WE HAVE AN OUTSIDE PASTOR?

At the family’s request, and upon agreement with The Woodlands UMC officiating pastor, another ordained Christian minister may assist with the service in a support role, such as offering the eulogy, a prayer or reading Scripture.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FUNERAL AND A MEMORIAL SERVICE?

In a funeral, the casket containing the body of the deceased is present. There is no casket at a memorial service, although sometimes there may be an urn containing the cremated ashes of the deceased. Caskets at The Woodlands UMC services are required to be closed during and after the service. However they can be opened prior to the service.

WHEN ARE SERVICES HELD?

Funeral or memorial services are held between the hours of 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. We are unable to accommodate services on Saturdays or Sundays. In addition, seasonal ministry events may prevent services at certain times during the week. The Pastoral Care Team will help you schedule around those events.

WHAT SPACES ARE AVAILABLE?

  • Chrysostom Chapel - up to 30 guests (with no media support)
  • The Robb Chapel - up to 300 guests
  • Harvest venue - up to 1,000 guests
  • Sanctuary - up to 1,800 guest

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

  • Initial planning session and ongoing service coordination by members of the Pastoral Care Team to arrange and complete all details of the service.
  • Funeral/memorial service held in a space on The Woodlands UMC’s campus lasting approximately 60 minutes (or less).
  • Optional standing cookie and beverage reception immediately following the funeral/memorial service in a space on The Woodlands UMC’s campus lasting approximately 90 minutes (or less).
  • Cookie and beverage reception includes cookies, water, and coffee service for anticipated number of guests at standing reception. We are unable to accommodate luncheons, sit down meals, or outside food brought in for the reception.
  • Congregational Care Team volunteers present to handle all service coordination and aspects of Hospitality.
  • The Woodlands UMC’s media staff member to run all technology components of the service.
  • Design and printing of standard bulletins using one of our four design covers.
  • Any tables, with black tablecloths, or chairs needed in the service or reception space.
  • Audio recording link of the service available to you two weeks post-service to use however you like.

HOW MUCH LEAD TIME IS REQUIRED?

To provide your family and our staff with adequate planning time, we request a minimum of three business days between the service request/reservation and the day of the service.

WHO PROVIDES FLOWERS?

Altar flowers are not required. It is the family’s option and expense, and you may order from your choice of florists. If you choose to have altar flowers, please instruct your florist to deliver the flowers/plants on the day of the service at least one hour before the service time. Flowers sent as gifts by others will be displayed in the venue, narthex and other entry areas, and if you are holding an onsite reception, our staff will move them to the reception site during the service. The flowers have been a gift to the family and must be taken with you when you leave the church.

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL ORDER OF SERVICE?

Many of our pastors use a format outlined below. The pastor officiating your service will work with you to customize the service to fit your needs and wishes. This general order usually provides for a lovely service that fits a 60-minute (or less) timeframe.

  • Welcome: Pastor
  • Hymn/Song: Musician
  • Remembrances: 1-3 Loved Ones (2-3 minutes each)
  • Hymn/Song: Musician
  • Scripture reading
  • Message: Pastor
  • Hymn/Song: Musician
  • Lord’s Prayer and Closing Prayer: Pastor

MAY WE BRING VIDEO SLIDE SHOW OR DISPLAY PICTURES?

Yes, if desired, you may bring us a completed video DVD or PowerPoint of photos or video that you have created, with or without sound. Christian or secular music that is appropriate in a church setting may be used with the slideshow and shown during the reception. Please allow at least 1 business day before the service for The Woodlands UMC Media to test and set up the slide show. Framed photos and memorabilia may be arranged on a table in the narthex of your service venue immediately prior to the service. A Congregational Care Team member will relocate to the reception, once the service has started.

WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC IS ALLOWED?

Music is an integral part of any worship service here at The Woodlands UMC. Your pastor will help you choose Christian music for the service. Approved secular music that is appropriate in a church setting may be used with the slideshow at the reception.

DOES THE WOODLANDS UMC PROVIDE MUSICIANS FOR THE SERVICE?

We have many talented musicians here at The Woodlands UMC who can provide Christian music for funeral/memorial services in the traditional or contemporary styles. The Pastoral Care Team will identify and schedule musicians for you. Musician fees do apply and will be outlined clearly when planning the service. The Woodlands UMC musicians will always do their best to balance family wishes and song requests along with providing high-quality music for each service. However, be advised that musicians are rarely able to learn new songs outside of their existing repertoire in time for a funeral/memorial service. A list of suggested songs is included below.

Traditional

Amazing Grace
How Great Thou Art
It Is Well With My Soul
In The Garden
The Lord’s Prayer
Blessed Assurance
It Is Well With My Soul
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Surely the Presence
I Need Thee Every Hour
Because He Lives
Be Thou My Vision
A Mighty Fortress
Hymn of Promise
Be Still My Soul
My Hope Is Built
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
He Leadeth Me
Nearer My God to Thee
When We All Get to Heaven

Contemporary

You Never Let Go
10,000 Reasons
I Will Rise
Amazing Grace/my Chains Are Blessed Be Your Name
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us
I Can Only Imagine
You Raise Me Up
In Christ Alone
How Great Is Our God
Heaven Song
You’re Beautiful

WHEN SHOULD WE ARRIVE THE DAY OF THE SERVICE?

We recommend arriving 30 minutes to 1 hour (for larger services) before the service.

WHAT HAPPENS THE DAY OF THE SERVICE?

  • Our onsite coordinator will greet you as you arrive, ensure your family settles into the family room, receive your payment, and answer any questions that arise.
  • If you are setting up a photo/memorabilia display for the service, the best time to do so is an hour before the service.
  • About 10-15 minutes before the service, the pastor will meet and pray with the family in the family room.
  • At the end of the service, the pastor will lead the family out and into the reception venue, if holding an onsite reception. Otherwise, you will be led to the exit. To ensure a smooth exit of all guests behind you, please proceed directly to the reception or exit until released by the pastor.

WHAT IS THE COST FOR A FUNERAL OR MEMORIAL SERVICE?

  • There is no charge for the worship venue, family room, bulletins, technical and custodial services.
  • Officiating pastor: Honorarium is discretionary, but generally starts around $200 by check payable to pastor.
  • Organist/Pianist/Guitarist $150. Payable directly to the musician.
  • Song leader $150. Payable directly to the song leader.
  • Soloist, vocal or instrumental minimum of $150. Payable directly to the vocalist.

WHAT IS MY NEXT STEP?

Contact a Caring Ministry Assistant to confirm the availability of our venues and clergy before planning your loved one’s funeral or memorial service.