How to Pay a Pastor for a Funeral Service

Pay the pastor or minister for performing a funeral service.
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Paying a pastor or other clergyman for performing a funeral service can be a tricky feat. You want to show your gratitude and appreciation for the time and effort the minister spends on your loved one’s service, but fees are not always clear. Some church denominations do not accept payment for funeral services while others are very upfront about the costs.

1 Set Fee

2 Ask the pastor

Ask the pastor if there is a set fee for performing the funeral service when you are in the beginning stages of planning the event.

3 Inquire if the fee

Inquire if the fee is different for church members versus non-church members.

4 Give the pastor a certified check

Give the pastor a certified check, money order or cash before the service, along with a thank you note for his time.

5 Donation Request

6 Find out

Find out if your pastor requests a love offering or a donation for performing funeral services.

7 Ask if the service

Ask if the service will be a standard, pre-written ceremony, or if it will be personalized for the departed.

8 Be to pay a larger donation

Be willing to pay a larger donation for a more personalized sermon, along with the opportunity to select music and readings.

9 Ask for Suggestions

10 Ask the church secretary

Ask the church secretary to suggest an appropriate donation amount, as she will have her finger on the pulse of the church’s and pastor’s expenses, along with knowing how much others tend to donate for funeral services.

11 Consider that the pastor

Consider that the pastor potentially had to miss family activities or other planned events to conduct a last-minute funeral for your loved one, and compensate him for his time.

12 Give the pastor

Give the pastor a certified check, money order or cash before the service, along with a thank you note.

13 After the Service

14 Wait until after the funeral service

Wait until after the funeral service to pay the pastor if you are unsure of a proper donation amount.

15 Take a blank check and pen and with you

Take a blank check and pen with you.

16 Pay what you feel appropriate

Pay what you feel appropriate.

17 Contributions

18 Make a contribution

Make a contribution to the church or to a specific fund, such as the clergy discretionary fund, for a religious denomination that does not accept payment or donations for funeral services.

19 Give the monetary donation

Give the monetary donation in the name of the departed or the family as a whole as a way to pay it forward to others and show your appreciation.

20 Send a check or money order or

Send a check or money order to the church office with a note of thanks to the pastor who performed the funeral.

Kimberly Dyke is a Spanish interpreter with a B.A. in language and international trade from Clemson University. She began writing professionally in 2010, specializing in education, parenting and culture. Currently residing in South Carolina, Dyke has received certificates in photography and medical interpretation.