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Funerals at Burke UMC

We at Burke United Methodist Church would like to extend our deepest sympathy to you during this very difficult time. We are here for you as you move through the coming days. Because it is our conviction that God walks beside us, even in the hardest times, we welcome the opportunity to serve you now.

Service Types:

We typically offer two options for services. A funeral is appropriate when the body of the deceased is present. The other option is a memorial service when the body is not present, as interment may occur at another time. As we think through each service, it may be helpful to reflect upon the purposes of our gathering. First, we are there to remember God’s presence, love and availability, even in the midst of death. Second, we are there as church, family, and friends to celebrate the life of a very special person.

A Checklist for You:

Decide which type of service you would like and where you would like to hold the service

Contact the funeral home and set up an appointment

Contact the church and request to speak to one of the pastors, either while you are at the funeral home or sometime after.

Solidify time and date for the service with the funeral home and pastor.

Set up a time to meet with the pastor.

Look at “Questions to prepare for the service” before meeting with the pastor.

Scroll down on this site for suggested scriptures and hymns, resources and other tools to help you in this time.

Questions to prepare for the service:

  • Are there scriptures you would like read that were meaningful for the deceased or for your family?

  • Do you want to sing hymns for the service? If so, what are some hymns that would be meaningful for the service?

  • Would you want special music from a vocal or instrumental soloist? Is there someone in your family or friends who would love to share this gift?

  • Are there family members or friends who will speak at the service?

  • Do you want to receive flowers or, if not, do you want to identify an organization to make donations to in lieu of flowers (you can always identify Burke UMC if there is not another organization identified)?

  • If there is a program, is there a favorite poem, reading or Biblical passage to be included? Many times, we use a photo on the front of the program. Do you have a favorite you can get to the church electronically?

  • Do you want to livestream or record the service?

  • Will you want to have some kind of a gathering after the service for friends and family?


  • Pastors have not accepted an honorarium and instead; we prefer you make a donation to the church in memory of your loved one

  • Organist - $100

  • Sound Engineer - $100

  • Sound Engineer and Livestreaming Services - $175

  • Additional Musicians would require a fee decided upon by the Director of Music and the family


Books that may bring comfort:

  • The Mourning Handbook by Helen Fitzgerald​

  • Living the Promises of God by Paul Keller

  • Widowhood by Dr. Joyce Brothers

  • Widow to Widow by Genevieve Ginsburg, M.S.

  • A Widow's Guide to Living Alone by Judith Fabisch

  • Waiting: Finding Hope When God Seems Silent by Ben Patterson

  • The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

  • To Live Again by Catherine Marshall

  • When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner

  • Life After Life: Reflections on Life After Life by Raymond A. Moody, Jr., MD

  • A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis

Books for children:

  • How It Feels When A Parent Dies by Jill Krementz

  • Help Me Say Goodbye by Janis Silverman

  • After Charlotte's Mom Died by Spelman/Friedman

  • Everette Anderson's Goodbye by Henry Holt

Community Resources:

  • Compassionate Friends, support for parent whose child has died: 202-244-1026

  • Candlelighters, Childhood Cancer Foundation: 1-800-366-2223

  • Haven of Northern Virginia: 703-941-7000

  • Hospice of Northern Virginia: 703-383-9222

  • Center for Pastoral Counseling of Virginia: 703-903-9696

You may already have selected the scriptures and hymns your loved one wanted for their service, however if you haven't, you can click below for a list of suggested scriptures and hymns to guide your time of planning.

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