Until you are asked to write a resolution for a funeral, you might not be fully familiar with the term. Writing a funeral resolution, also called a eulogy, is a personal and in depth process, yet because it is an official document to be stored in church archives in many cases, it needs to follow a specific format.
Before writing a funeral resolution, it is a good idea to check with the family to make sure of what exactly they are expecting of you. In some cases a family member may call it a resolution, yet actually mean a eulogy or an expression of condolences to family friends. If it is an actual funeral resolution, it is important that you follow a specific format. When dealing with any family member, realize how overwhelmed he must be feeling and be patient and loving.
Once you clarify that it is an official funeral resolution that you are being asked to write, contact the church and see whether there are any specifics they wish you to include. If you are not familiar with the deceased's church habits, ask about her attendance, volunteer efforts or any personal stories the pastor can recount.
Creating a rough draft may well be the most emotional part of your journey in writing the funeral resolution. Start by writing the positive things about the individual, great experiences you have had together and things other people knew him for and appreciated him for.
Once you have have brainstormed ideas, plug them into the regimented format. Do so with honesty and feeling. Trust your instincts. Choose the memories which you feel most people will be able to relate to and leave out memories inappropriate to family members.
The title will be formatted at the top center of the page and include the name of the deceased. Examples include "Resolution of Respect for Jane Doe" or "Resolution in loving memory of Jane Does."
The introduction has two requirements: an acknowledgement that the deceased was close to God and that the deceased has in fact passed away. Introductions often include Bible passages or poems. Examples include: "God, in his infinite wisdom has seen fit to move from out midst our beloved Jane Doe by means of death on (date of death)."
Next, the "whereas statements" justify reasons for the funeral resolution. Each statement will start with the word "whereas" and can include some of the great attributes you wrote about this person in the rough draft. This section includes his relationship with God, his church, family and community. It can also include a Bible verse. There are no limits to how many "whereas" statements you include, but try to keep it to less than two pages worth. Do not feel compelled to do too many if you are uncomfortable speaking. Examples include: "Whereas the deceased was a devoted father and husband and will be missed dearly." "Whereas the deceased gave willingly to his community through consistent monetary gifts to the Girls and Boys Club and by volunteering as a hockey coach."
The specific resolutions are the action to be taken by the congregation to "resolve the individual's death." This will be one of the most specific statements in the entire funeral resolution and should include who, what, where and when information. There need be only one to two resolutions. Common examples include: "Therefore be it resolved, that we embrace the family to show our support and love to the family because in the death of our beloved, Jane Doe, we have a bond that will connect us for the rest of our lives. We cannot replace Jane, but we will show you her love for you."
The official acknowledgement is your concluding statement. It can be as simple as "respectfully submitted" or can include another poem, personal story or Bible verse.
Take care of your own grief and needs during the process of writing/delivering the funeral resolution. You are not alone in the mass of emotions you are feeling. Feel honored that you were asked for this task. Ask for help from family friends.
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