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Funerals and Memorial Services

Where to begin planning?

The initial planning session and ongoing service coordination is handled by our Senior Pastor, who will help make arrangements and complete all details of the service.

Most funeral/memorial services are approximately 60 minutes (or less).

Graveside services in addition to funeral/memorial services are between 15-30 minutes.


Congregational Care Ministry Team volunteers will be present to handle all service coordination and aspects of hospitality.

Saint John’s UMC’s media staff member will run all technology components of the service.

We will design and print bulletins for the service.

We provide tables, tablecloths and chairs for the service and reception.


How much lead time is required?

To provide your family and our staff with adequate planning time, we request a minimum of three business days between the service request/reservation and the day of the service.


Who provides flowers?

Altar flowers are not required. It is the family’s option and expense, and you may order from your choice of florists. If you choose to have altar flowers, please instruct your florist to deliver the flowers/plants on the day of the service at least one hour before the service time. Flowers sent as gifts by others will be displayed in the venue, Narthex and other entry areas. The flowers have been a gift to the family and must be taken with you when you leave the church.


What is the typical order of service?

The pastor officiating your service will work with you to customize the service to fit your needs and wishes. Here is a general order of service:

A Service of Death and Resurrection

Saint John’s United Methodist Church





Psalm 23



Epistle Reading / Old Testament

Family Sharing

Words of Witness


Prayer of Thanksgiving

The Lord’s Prayer




May we bring video slide show or display pictures?

Yes, if desired, you may bring us a completed video DVD or PowerPoint on a flash-drive of photos or video that you have created, with or without sound. Christian or secular music that is appropriate in a church setting may be used with the slide show. Please allow at least 1 business day before the service for Saint John’s Media coordinator to test and set up the slide show. Framed photos and memorabilia may be arranged on a table in the Gallery immediately prior to the service.


What type of music is allowed?

Music is an integral part of any worship service. With the guidance of our pastors, you will choose Christian music for the service. Approved secular music that is appropriate in a church setting may be used with the slide show.


Does Saint John’s UMC provide musicians for the service?

In coordination with our Director of Music, musicians will be scheduled. Musician fees do apply and will be outlined clearly when planning the service. We will always do our best to balance family wishes and song requests along with providing high-quality music for each service.

Here is a list of suggested songs:

Amazing Grace

How Great Thou Art

It Is Well With My Soul

In The Garden

The Lord’s Prayer

Blessed Assurance

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Surely the Presence

I Need Thee Every Hour

Because He Lives

Be Thou My Vision

A Mighty Fortress

Hymn of Promise

Be Still My Soul

My Hope Is Built

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

He Leadeth Me

Nearer My God to Thee

When We All Get to Heaven


When should we arrive the day of the service?

We recommend arriving 30 minutes to 1 hour (for larger services) before the service.


What happens the day of the service?

A member of our Congregational Care Ministry team who serves as our onsite Funeral Director will greet you as you arrive, ensure your family settles into the chapel, receive your payment, and answer any questions that arise.

If you are setting up photo/memorabilia display for the service, the best time to do so is an hour before the service.

About 10-15 minutes before the service, the pastor will meet and pray with the family in the chapel. At the end of the service, the pastor will lead the family out to the exit. To ensure a smooth exit of all guests behind you, please proceed directly to the exit until released by the pastor.


What is the cost for a funeral or memorial service?

There is no charge for the worship venue, family room, or bulletins.

Officiating pastor: Honorariums may range from $150-$300 depending on the extent of the pastoral support which has been provided. If travel out of town is involved, please consider covering the pastor’s travel expense.

Organist/Pianist/Guitarist: $150. Payable directly to the musician.

Song leader: $150. Payable directly to the song leader.

Soloist, vocal or instrumental: minimum of $150. Payable directly to the vocalist.

Sound/Multi-media Technician: the fee is $75, which includes running sound/media such as a slide or video tribute.

Livestream or recording – set up, recording, upload to social media: $200.

Support or Custodian/Set-Up Staff: a fee will be charged only if there are special arrangements, services, or set-up requested, otherwise there are no fees for using the church.


What is my next step?

Contact a Caring Ministry Assistant to confirm the availability of our venues and clergy before planning your loved one’s funeral or memorial service.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Senior Pastor, Hilary Marchbanks.

Request a prayer below

Request Prayer

IF YOU ARE HOSPITALIZED OR PLANNING SURGERY PLEASE CALL THE CONGREGATIONAL CARE OFFICE AT (512) 452-5737 TO CONFIRM DETAILS AND ARRANGE A VISIT. Our prayer teams receive the requests with first names only and pray for each request for at least a week.

If you have a confidential prayer concern, please call or e-mail our Director of Connections, Rebecca Witte at (512)735-6214 or rebecca@stjohnsaustin.org.
If you have any questions about prayer requests, please contact Rebecca Witte.



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ALL PRAYER REQUESTS ARE SUBMITTED TO THE PRAYER TEAM FOR PRAYER, using first names or initials. Requests for health & healing as well as praise concerning births, adoptions, and marriages may appear in the Prayer Concerns section of the printed newsletter both online and mailed out. IN ORDER FOR A REQUEST TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSLETTER AND/OR ONLINE, IT MUST BE MADE BY THE PERSON NAMED IN THE REQUEST, THEIR SPOUSE, OR THEIR PARENT/GUARDIAN IF THEY ARE A MINOR/CHILD. Please confirm below that you have this authority and you would like this prayer request published in the newsletter and/or online.

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