Preparing a Sermon for a Memorial Service

Baer / July 26, 2018

If you are invited to preach at a memorial service, you will need to prepare an appropriate sermon well in advance. Preaching at a memorial service can be a challenging undertaking. At a memorial service, you will be preaching to people who are dealing with bereavement. Some of them may be folks whose faith has just been badly shaken by the circumstances of the bereavement. Finding appropriate words to preach to them can be hard. Yet you can’t shirk the responsibility, if it falls on you.

Selecting appropriate bible passages

You may need to undertake research online (or at a bible library), to find the appropriate passages for a memorial service. Or you may rely on your knowledge of the bible, to think up of appropriate passages on which to base the memorial service sermon.

Connecting the bible passages to the situation at hand

Your preaching at a memorial service must not be abstract. You have to read a bible passage, get the people to envision it in their minds, and then connect it to the situation at hand.

Speaking directly to the hearts of the listeners

Here, the most important thing is to try to figure out what the attendees at a memorial service are likely to be feeling. Then your brief would be to speak to those emotions. There are certain questions that any person is bound to have, when confronted with bereavement. So those are the questions you are supposed to answer (or attempt to answer) in your sermon.

On the need for you to keep it brief

A memorial service sermon needs to be brief. Some of the best sermons delivered at memorial services have been 10-15 minutes long. Remember, the people who are listening to you have limited concentration spans. Some have other things to do – yet they can’t afford to leave the memorial service midway, for fear of being perceived as rude. For instance, one of the attendees may have received a gift card while on their way to the memorial service. Understandably, she would be eager to be through with the memorial service, so as to complete the Mygiftcardsitesign up process – which would then allow her to start using the gift card to pay for stuff. Or she may just be eager to check Mygiftcardsitemastercard balance for her gift card. You can’t blame her for thinking about such things in the course of a memorial service. She is only human. Your bit would be just to ensure that you keep your sermon brief — if nothing else, just to ensure that the rest of the memorial service schedule isn’t interfered with.

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