It's customary to give a monetary gift, or honorarium, to the pastor who performs a wedding. The same holds true for the pastor who performs a funeral service. Both are a normal part of a pastor's job, but it can be hard to decide how much to give the pastor, especially in the case of a funeral, when you may be overwhelmed with sorrow. The final amount will depend largely on your budget.
The amount given to the pastor who performs the funeral ranges between $150 and $300, according to the Funeralwise website. Factors that can affect the amount include the family's budget, the wishes of the deceased and the services performed by the pastor. For example, if the pastor helped you plan the service, sat with you during the viewing, visited you at your home and conducted a graveside service in addition to the funeral service, you may want to offer him an amount on the higher end of the range. If the pastor simply performed the sermon, you may wish to give him a smaller amount.
Acknowledgements, which are thank you cards sent a couple of weeks after the funeral service to those who supported the family, should be sent to the pastor as well. Do not place the honorarium in the acknowledgment, however. The pastor should be paid before the service or immediately afterward. Place the money in an envelope and give it to him with a word of thanks. Or, ask the funeral director to handle it for you.
Sometimes churches will have a list of fees that they charge when they host a funeral, although the fees may be waived if you are a member of the church. The fees may include use of the reception hall or sanctuary, coffee services and other similar items. In some instances, the list may also include a fee for the pastor's services. In this case, you will need to pay the fee upfront, but you can also choose to give the pastor a small tip as a thank you, if you feel he went above and beyond to lessen your grief.
It's not just the pastor who should be paid. It's customary to also pay the people who performed music for the funeral, such as an organist or soloist. If your home church pastor helped you plan the funeral, but another pastor spoke during the funeral, you should give an honorarium to both of them.
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