Bereavement service

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“Anguish”…“numbness”…“heartache”…“anger” are just some of the responses we have when we hear about the death of someone close to us. The word home-going symbolizes the connection that Christians have with our Heavenly Father. When we die as a son or daughter of God, we return home to our Father. Thus, the term home-going is substituted for the word funeral.

We can never be truly prepared to lose a loved one. The Bereavement Ministry is in place to help you with your initial reactions to as well as planning and preparation for the death, serving you during the home going, and providing spiritual support afterward. We have an entire team in place to provide compassionate care with sensitivity and grace.

Our services

In most Christian societies, families have customs to commemorate the life and death of a recently deceased relative. BMC makes available various types of services, ranging from intimate gatherings to cathedral celebrations. Although Beebe Memorial Cathedral does not maintain a contractual relationship with any funeral home or cemetery, upon request we will offer a Bay-area referral listing.

Services provided are as follows:

  • Memorial services, graveside services, home-going services
  • Referrals to cemeteries and funeral homes
  • Telephone call support and visitations to homes, hospitals, nursing homes, Hospice programs, rehabilitation centers, etc.

Home-Going (Funeral) Service at BMC

It is an honor for BMC to serve you and your families as you celebrate the life of your loved one. We have ministers, ushers, musicians, and sound technicians for each service conducted at BMC. Services are usually conducted Monday – Friday and begin at 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. All home going services that take place at BMC require at least one BMC ordained minister to be present. It is our goal to help guide the family to a place of healing. Therefore, BMC have final viewings at the beginning of the service during the family processional of the home going service instead at the conclusion.

Memorial Service at BMC

Here at BMC, the term memorial service modifies the home-going service by honoring the deceased person with pictures, flowers, crosses, and urns without the presence of a casket. The actual service can be as formal as a home going service or as relaxed as a time of reflection and fellowship. The Pastoral staff must approve the final format and activities of the memorial service before the service can take place.

Funeral Home Service

A funeral home service takes place in the chapel of a local funeral home. Whenever the family chooses this option for the home going service, the funeral home staff assists the family with planning the service. Upon request, BMC will provide an ordained minister in the absence of the Senior Pastor. The funeral home staff is required to contact the office at least five days prior to the service. Please note that BMC will provide an ordained minister for funeral home services upon request.

Graveside Service

Graveside Services are small and intimate home-going services that take place literally at the cemetery. Families coordinate this option with the cemetery and funeral home of their choice. When requested, BMC ministerial staff is in place to officiate, pray, share words of comfort and offer the final committal. Special features of graveside services usually include: an extremely brief service (5 to 15 minutes’ duration), the onsite committal and family observation of the initial stages of the internment (burial). As with funeral home services, please note that BMC will provide ministers for graveside services only upon request.

Wake / Family Hour/ Viewing

It is customary for some of our members to honor their loved one with a “wake,” “viewing” or “family hour.” All three of these services take place at the funeral home and are generally informal and have a brief time set aside for remarks and prayer. A minister or funeral home staff member will be present to oversee the proceedings.

A formal wake takes place in the chapel of the funeral home, with the body of the deceased person present for public viewing.  The funeral home staff will arrange the type of service the family desires. With 5 days’ notice, BMC can provide an ordained minister to be present.

During informal wakes, there is not an officiating person present. At any point, members in the audience are welcome to come up to the front of the chapel and offer reflections or share one-on-one with the deceased person’s family.

The family hour is a term that symbolizes a prearranged period of time that one or more family members are present at the funeral home to receive visitors. The funeral home staff arranges a “parlor,” where family members sit in the same private room with their loved one’s body.  Visitors share a few intimate moments with the family; bonds are reconnected, memories are stirred and encouragement is shared one with the other. BMC ministers are not present during this time. A public viewing is an option some families choose to provide an opportunity for others to come by the funeral home to see the deceased person. This option allows persons who cannot attend the home-going or memorial service a time of private reflection with their friend. Neither the family nor BMC ministers are present during this time.

Repast Meals

Currently the repast, or the family meal, is the only area of the Bereavement Ministry that requires payment.