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.
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.
Inquire if the fee is different for church members versus non-church members.
Give the pastor a certified check, money order or cash before the service, along with a thank you note for his time.
Find out if your pastor requests a love offering or a donation for performing funeral services.
Ask if the service will be a standard, pre-written ceremony, or if it will be personalized for the departed.
Be willing to pay a larger donation for a more personalized sermon, along with the opportunity to select music and readings.
Ask for Suggestions
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.
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.
Give the pastor a certified check, money order or cash before the service, along with a thank you note.
After the Service
Wait until after the funeral service to pay the pastor if you are unsure of a proper donation amount.
Take a blank check and pen with you.
Pay what you feel appropriate.
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.
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.
Send a check or money order to the church office with a note of thanks to the pastor who performed the funeral.
Be generous to a pastor who goes above and beyond his requirements to make the service special and meaningful for your family.
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