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Show Your Gratitude with a Note

Saying “thank you” when someone has gone out of their way to help you isn’t always easy. This is especially true when emotions are high, like at a funeral.  Here are quick tips for writing a thank you note to a pastor, minister, or celebrant. 

Use Proper Formatting

 

No matter your relationship with your pastor, keep the formatting professional.  Start your letter with a proper greeting the way your pastor or the celebrant prefers to be recognized (e.g., Pastor Jim, Reverend Bob, or Ms. Nickels).

 

From there, include a body, conclusion, and a signature.  This formatting shows that you take this thank you seriously.   Make it personal - While a basic “thank you” is always welcome, it helps to be as specific as possible.  These leaders get a lot of thank you notes, so you want to ensure yours stands out on its own.  Consider the following to make sure it’s personalized and meaningful:

  • How was your pastor/celebrant there for you on this day?

  • Did he or she give a particular sermon, prayer, or message that impacted you?

  • What did you appreciate most from their involvement on this day?

 

Highlight specific ways they impacted your loved one’s funeral service.  Whether it’s their eulogy reading, grief counseling, or sermon on legacy, honor their involvement when it mattered most.

  • Use specific names and dates

No matter your involvement with the church or your local community, be sure to include specific names and dates in your thank you note.  Your pastor or celebrant might lead several funerals or memorials each month, so make sure they know the specific event and person you’re referring to.  A little reminder goes a long way.

This doesn’t have to be complicated. Include a brief message about when the funeral was and who it was for.  For example, you might write something along these lines: “Thank you so much for being there on August 4th to honor the life of my aunt, Susannah Smith.” 

 

The general rule of thumb is to mail or hand-deliver your thank you note within a month of the funeral.  If you pass this time frame, don’t hesitate to deliver it anyway.  It’s always better to say thank you, even if it comes later than expected. 

  • Write your note by hand

Last but not least, if possible, write your thank you note by hand.  In this day and age, it’s not uncommon to send or receive thank you's via text, email, or even social media.  While this is always welcome, there’s something timeless and traditional about a handwritten note. 

 

Make sure your handwriting is legible, easy to read, and dark enough against the paper.  Aside from that, don’t worry about having perfect penmanship or making everything look nice.  Like most things, it’s the thought that counts. 

Saying “thank you” when someone has gone out of their way to help you isn’t always easy. This is especially true when emotions are high, like at a funeral. Here are quick tips for writing a thank you note to a pastor, minister, or celebrant. 

It’s considered proper funeral etiquette to show your gratitude to a pastor, minister, or celebrant with a thank you note.  Putting your thoughts and feelings into a simple note goes a long way towards showing what their presence and leadership meant to you. 

 

Funerals are often challenging days. Having someone there who you trust to lead the service with kindness and consideration offers much-needed peace of mind. Make sure they know just how much you valued them on this important day. 

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