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Every Funeral Is Different!


If losing a loved one wasn’t hard enough, planning a funeral only increases the amount of stress during an already emotional time. In this article, we are going to talk about what to expect from your minister during a funeral, if you should pay them, and when the appropriate time is to do so.


Every funeral is different. If you are currently trying to navigate the planning of a funeral, I strongly recommend you talking to your local funeral director.  The funeral director, not the pastor, will be the one to help you decide on what type of funeral service to have, the time and date, as well how you will be paying for it.  Most likely your pastor will already have a relationship with the funeral director, but it is always important to never assume that the pastor knows all of the details regarding the funeral service.

Meet With Your Pastor | Celebrant As Soon As Possible.

Immediately after meeting with the funeral director to discuss the arrangements, it is important to a pastor or chaplain separately.  If you don’t have a pastor in mind that you would like to perform the service, we are here to help you or you can ask your funeral director for suggestions. Then call the pastor | celebrant that you choose to set up a separate meeting.

It’s important to set up this meeting with them as soon as possible because they will want to have time to prepare the service.  During your meeting, you will want to make sure you have a general understanding of the funeral arrangements.

Inform Your Pastor | Chaplain | Celebrant:

  • Is the service going to be at the funeral home or the church?

  • Is there going to be a graveside service?

  • Any special songs, speakers, or other requests the pastor needs to know about?

Making sure the pastor | celebrant is informed of the details will ensure a smooth service and will ultimately let you focus on your loved one during the funeral.

Share With Your Pastor | Celebrant

Not only will you be meeting with the pastor to talk about the details of the funeral service, but they will also want to get some information from you. Most pastors who have done a fair number of funerals will generally ask you these questions:

  • Was your loved one religious?

  • Is there anything your loved one requested to be done or said at their funeral?

  • And they will most likely ask you for two or three personal stories about your loved one that they can share during the service.

  • The Building A Life Story will cover most of what is needed.


Typically, If a Pastor charges a specific amount to perform a funeral, they will mention it during this meeting.  However, most pastors do not request an honorarium or payment to perform a funeral.  Even if a pastor does not request an honorarium, it is standard practice to give them something.


So, how much money should you give a pastor for performing a funeral? And when should you pay them?


The average honorarium for a pastor who is performing a funeral is between $150-$300, depending on how much preparation and work is involved.

When Should You Actually Pay Your Pastor?

Now, we’ve talked about when you should meet with your pastor to discuss funeral arrangements, we discussed how much you should pay a pastor to perform a funeral, but when should you actually pay your pastor?

Do you pay them before the funeral service starts?

After the funeral?

Or slip it to them during the middle of their eulogy?


Again, there is no set standard on when you should pay the pastor, but I always suggest paying the pastor when you meet with them to discuss the arrangements.  Why do I suggest that?  Well, there are a few reasons.

-On the day of the funeral you will be preoccupied with family and dealing with your own emotions. It will be easy for you to forget the check.

You don’t need to be concerned with logistics the day of. You need to use that time to grief your loss and honor your loved one. Not wondering if everyone got paid and things are going the right way.

Not only will you be preoccupied the day of, but so will your pastor. Remember, your pastor is not there just to perform a ceremony. They are there to walk with you and your family during the grieving process. To lift you up and take care of your spiritual and emotional needs.  Your pastor will not be concerned about a check during that time, they will be concerned about you.

So there you have it. I hope this article helped to ease your concerns about how to navigate the waters when it comes to your pastor or celebrant doing a funeral as well as knowing the appropriate way to value and honor your pastor as they journey with you during some of the most difficult times of your life.

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