Funerals

GUIDELINES FOR FUNERALS

  1. According to Canon Law, no funeral may take place on Saturday afternoon after 3:00PM, nor on Sunday. All efforts should be made to contact the Pastor before any arrangements are made. Most funerals take place early in the day, preferably before 12:00 noon.
  2. Families should make the proper arrangements with the funeral director of their choice, whereupon he shall contact the Pastor immediately in order to check availability and finalize arrangements. It is desirable to have the Pastor present at the funeral home when the family is there in order to expedite arrangements. The Pastor may be contacted through the church office and/or cell phone at 440-264-3541.
  3. All arrangements must be according to the Canons of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church and are subject to the approval of the Pastor.
  4. The ritual of burial is divided into three sections:
    A. For the Home (Wake Service)
    B. For the Church (Church Service)
    C. For the Cemetery (Graveside Service).
    The first shall be performed the night preceding the funeral, the other two subsequently from the Church and then the Cemetery. The Church Service, or part “B” may never be performed at the funeral home nor anywhere outside of the church proper. The church may be used for the wake. Speak to the Pastor for this.
  5. Neither Compatriotic, fraternal nor any other organization may perform services in the Church proper. If such services are the desire of the family, the Church should not be used for the ‘Wake Service’ – Dan Gark.
  6. Families are free to use the church for ‘Wake Service’ Dan Gark provided that they adhere to the above stated ruling. An additional fee will be required. Please speak to the Pastor. In the case of an Altar Server, this tradition must be observed.
  7. In the case of Cremation and/or suicide the Pastor must be informed prior to making funeral arrangements. Since such situations are outside the Canons of the Armenian Church, instructions must be received from the ecclesiastical authority (Primate).
  8. All the Services and Sacraments in the Armenian Church are FREE (Matthew 10:8). However, if families want to make a donation it is according to the individual wishes of the family. All donations are the responsibility of the family and should be handled through the Funeral Director. Church members usually make a memorial donation “In Lieu of Flowers” to the Church. However, if “In Lieu of Flowers” donations are for a different cause or nonprofit, then the customary donation to the church is $200.00.  The following is just a suggested list to help the families in their decision making process:
    Church Donation……………….200$ (to cover cleaning/electricity etc.)
    Pastor………………………………. Family’s Discretion (not required)
    Deacon………………………………$ 100.00 (If available)
    Organist……………………………. $100.00 (If available)
  9. The gift for the services of another priest or an out-of-town priest is according to individual donation. For visiting clergy, the suggested donation is $250.00 plus travel expenses, (this should be discussed with the Pastor).
  10. In the event that a visiting clergyman is also engaged in a parish-related event or ceremony, the travel expenses shall be split into two with St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church paying the other half. A wedding is a public service of the Church, and no one may be excluded from the Church by any means.
  11. IN LIEU OF FLOWERS donations are made directly to St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church. The Church will receive these directly from parishioners and individuals as well as the Funeral Director. Church will keep the records for all donation and provide a list to the family. Any and all envelopes with “St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church” printed on the outside, shall be opened ONLY by a representative designated by the Pastor. Names of parishioners are recorded in the parish newsletter, out-of-town or non-Armenians who make donations are acknowledged with a special Thank You letter. Should IN LIEU OF FLOWERS donations be made to any other organization, envelopes MUST BE PROVIDED by that organization.
  12. No lay person may speak or give ”eulogies” in the church sanctuary. It is desirable that lay people speak at the Funeral Home or the Hokejash.
  13. According to protocol, before any other priest is invited, the invitation will come from the Pastor. Please consult with the Pastor before making arrangements of any kind.
  14. It is suggested that a one page summary of the deceased person’s life be provided to the Pastor at least one day prior to the funeral.
  15. Rosaries and crucifix crosses are outside the tradition of the Armenian Church and should not be used. Exceptions can be made through consultation with the Pastor.