How much should a minister be paid for doing a funeral?

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Posted 1/16/2011 by susans sister in NSBR Board
 

susans sister
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Posted: 1/16/2011 9:23:57 PM
If the deceased is a member of his congregation.

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Posted: 1/16/2011 9:24:44 PM
I really think this depends on where you live and what parish you're in.





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gavinsmom
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Posted: 1/16/2011 9:25:38 PM
my guess would be between $50 and $100.


Nicole

coleland
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Posted: 1/16/2011 9:26:59 PM
Nothing.. isn't that what a minister is supposed to do for a member of his congregation?!?

ScrapHaPea
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Posted: 1/16/2011 9:28:42 PM
Nothing. A big Hug at the end.



planitohio
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Posted: 1/16/2011 9:29:39 PM
Depends on many things. In reality nothing. Some token of appreciation is nice if they went above and beyond.


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scrappymo!
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Posted: 1/16/2011 9:31:44 PM
I think it depends if his/her services are required for the church service and at the gravesite versus just at the church service as the deceased will be cremeated.

I would think $150.00 for church service and blessing the food at the wake sould be sufficient. Usually they only bless the food, have a quick meal and rush off to do some other church work.

If they have to attend the gravesite as well, then I think it is about $300.00 as basically their whole day is taken up.
Maureen

coleland
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Posted: 1/16/2011 9:33:32 PM
Seriously... I have a problem with this.

I assume the member tithed to this church for a period of time, probably extended. Why on earth would the church/minister expect to be PAID when members have funded the church and their income/well-being?

They should be honored to serve the member and his/her family.

ksuheather
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Posted: 1/16/2011 9:34:53 PM
i'd ask the church secretary or parish coordinater what is appropriate.



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scrappinboysmom
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Posted: 1/16/2011 9:43:23 PM
My true feelings?

If its a member or family member of the congregation I think he should do it for free.

Ive never been responsible for planning a funeral so I dont know what is standard in my area.



girlsnow
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Posted: 1/16/2011 9:47:00 PM
My FIL just passed away on 12/27. When organizing everything, the funeral director told us that $100 was customary. FWIW, we are in Wisconsin in a small town and FIL was a long time member of the church.

If it matters in comparing things, we (DH and I) gave the minister $100 and the organist $100 when we got married there too.

Marzee
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Posted: 1/16/2011 9:52:48 PM
I am not positive, but believe this is handled by the Funeral service here. It is included in the cost charged by the mortuary, then passed on by them. I say this, as on numrous occasions, I have seen the preacher handed an envelope with his name on it by the funeral director after services. As to getting paid, most probably don't expect it, but if you are, as many our area are, bivocational, you would be losing time from your other job. If you have a very large congregation, this could add up.

planitohio
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Posted: 1/16/2011 10:08:46 PM
Some pastors that I know do turn any money in to the church. Another puts it all in to a fund for neighborhood emergency stuff as it is an inner city church.


Dawn

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Posted: 1/16/2011 10:14:22 PM
$50 - $100


.fish

pc2801
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Posted: 1/16/2011 10:19:24 PM
We had a Cantor perform both funeral home service and grave side service at the last funeral I attended. She would not take any money for her services. She traveled to the home after work a few days before to discuss the deceased with the family as well as took her whole day for the services by the time she drove out to the funeral location. She would not take any money for herself. The family made a sizeable donation to her temple in memory of their loved one. She was a longtime friend of my ex- and his grandmother. We requested her services because the family didn't have a rabbi in the area that they felt comfortable asking to perform the funeral rites.

I think $100-$150 is generally appropriate.



***Kate***
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Posted: 1/16/2011 10:45:11 PM
With Livvie's service, our church is enormous and the senior pastor doesn't do funerals/weddings, and the like, so we used someone recommended by the funeral home. He met with us for an hour or so the week before, and said some words over her graveside service. I sent him a card with $100, as suggested by the gentleman who facilitated Olivia's service.

Designing
PeaFixture

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Posted: 1/16/2011 10:47:15 PM
While it is not required, by any stretch of the imagination, it is a nice thing to do. Yes, the deceased tithed and was a member, but do you have any idea how little most pastor's are paid?? I have in the past year or two been a part of the funeral help at church and I can tell you that our Pastor's go above and beyond AND have performed 23 funerals of members of our congregation in that time. Yes, it has been a rough few years.

While our pastor's have NEVER asked for one thin dime, they appreciate what they are given. They make below the poverty line, tithe over 10% and add additional offering as well. They do not have cable, have a $10 phone, no internet at home and are generally VERY frugal.

I SEE what they do to assist the family in their time of need and of 23 funerals, MAYBE 2 have offered them ANYTHING. And those two offered it directly to the church assuming that the church would pay the pastor a portion of it. That was not the case. The ONLY way the pastor will get one thin dime is if it is handed directly to him and he is told it is FOR him.

It takes a lot to minister in a funeral situation. The pastor's get a small salary, very small in our case, and do not get paid anything by the church for funerals, weddings, etc. While it is NOT mandatory, it is simply the right thing to do. He/she is taking time from their very busy day to attend the meetings at the funeral home, minister to the bereaved, stand by their sides during the death's (assuming they are called when the death happens, i.e. in a hospital situation or simply to be with the bereaved in their time of loss. They do not do this expecting to be paid, but giving them even a few dollars can mean a lot.

I think $50 to $100 is acceptable and one should make CERTAIN to hand it to the pastor him/herself and tell them that it is for them and not to go to the church.

Sorry, I will get off my soap box now. This is a pet peeve of mine.


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JanellK
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Posted: 1/16/2011 10:52:27 PM
My dad gave his priest $200 for my mom's funeral.

katiepotatie
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Posted: 1/17/2011 12:33:35 AM
We just made arrangements at our local funeral home for my grandmother (still healthy as a horse....just being prepared). The cost, which is paid to the funeral home and then given to the pastor, is $175. I've been a member since I moved here, about 8 years ago. My grandmother, however, is not a member of this local church.



Pridemom
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Posted: 1/17/2011 10:03:26 AM
I agree with the poster who said many pastors are paid very little. FIL pastors a little church and only survives because he gets Social Security. He actually works part time for the local funeral home to supplement his pay. Please consider a gift of $100 to show the pastor his services are appreciated. Funerals and weddings take up time and energy with counseling and support.

A friend who has done hospital chaplain work said she had to stop because the emotional strain of supporting others through death was too great.




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jenjules
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Posted: 1/17/2011 11:33:43 AM
Interesting to see this here today - as my husband is a pastor.


It takes a lot to minister in a funeral situation. The pastor's get a small salary, very small in our case, and do not get paid anything by the church for funerals, weddings, etc. While it is NOT mandatory, it is simply the right thing to do. He/she is taking time from their very busy day to attend the meetings at the funeral home, minister to the bereaved, stand by their sides during the death's (assuming they are called when the death happens, i.e. in a hospital situation or simply to be with the bereaved in their time of loss. They do not do this expecting to be paid, but giving them even a few dollars can mean a lot.



That was well said.

As I write this, there is a funeral being planned for a young man in our congregation who died unexpectedly. He was an only child, and only 20 years old. Horrible situation. My husband does not do what he does for the money (being a pastor, I mean) - he does it as it as what he feels God has called him to do with his life. He left our home last night at 11pm, to drive an hour to the hospital, to be with this family, was there in the room as this young man died, and stayed for a couple of hours after. He got home after 3:30am. I could tell this morning that he was just emotionally drained. I mean, he watched someone we know DIE. Whether he gets a dime or not (from any family) is not even a concern of his. He was there for the family in a HORRIBLE time, and would do it all over again. Most of the ministers I know would probably tell you the same thing.

Most families do give him anywhere from $50 to $100 for the services he provides. We are very appreciative of these gifts - but don't expect them.
Same with weddings. Although I think weddings are a bit different - there is a lot of planning, pre-marriage counseling (which my husband requires if he marries a couple), sometimes travel expenses, the rehearsal, the whole ceremony day, etc.


I assume the member tithed to this church for a period of time, probably extended. Why on earth would the church/minister expect to be PAID when members have funded the church and their income/well-being?

They should be honored to serve the member and his/her family.


We are honored to serve the people here. We get to share in life with them - the good parts and the bad. He does not expect to be paid for doing funerals. But as another poster suggested - it is a nice gesture.

Pastors don't generally make a lot of money. We are a family of 5 living on his salary. I have an at-home business that makes our car payment and pays for little extras throughout the year, and for Christmas, but other than that, we're on a TIGHT budget. When we were in youth ministry, we lived at poverty level (with a family of 4!) But that's a whole other post. LOL


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cyndijane
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Posted: 1/17/2011 11:47:26 AM
I am a former youth minister who was called to officiate an infant funeral/burial service by one of *my* teens when her daughter passed at 3 days old.

I can say, without a doubt, that was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my entire life. I never thought, especially not being in ministry currently, that I would *ever* have to officiate a funeral, let alone imagine the circumstances surrounding this one.

I can assure you, this is something that I did for Lynnette (the mother, who I love like one of my own children), not for any possibly money I might have gained from it. The amount I was given (maybe $75? trunly don't remember) didn't come close to covering my costs (travel, preparation, etc)- which didn't matter. I didn't expect it, yet wasn't surprised to receive it, and was even more blessed with the thank you note that came with it.

I know there are ministers who perform funerals often, and none of them do it to receive anything. But that doesn't mean it's not costing them something to *do* the service.

Every person is unique, with different life experiences and connections, and each funeral is also unique. I have a huge respect for those ministers who can perform funerals for people they've never even know. But especially if this person is your minister, why would you not want to thank your pastor/counselor for this intimate service? Because you think it's his/her job? It's such a personal thing, I don't get it.


EricaLynn
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Posted: 1/17/2011 11:54:30 AM
Each situation is unique. I know it's traditionally $100 at our church if you are a member (using the facility and a pastor for services), but given financial circumstances of members, it may be waived if needed. The money doesn't go to the pastor directly, it's the church fee which goes to the overall cost of maintenance for the building. You have a pastor provided as part of the fee.

Most members request a specific member of the staff, and most of the time the staff is able to accommodate them for funeral services.

EricaLynn
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Posted: 1/17/2011 11:57:57 AM
I have to add, if the unfortunate were to occur and my DH or child were to pass away, I would definitely give the pastor a small token of gratitude as well. Most likely $100 each for the two pastors that would conduct the services, not as payment for doing their job, but out of the kindness of my heart for being there for me at a difficult time and taking the time away from their families.

Jenaya
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Posted: 1/17/2011 12:00:25 PM
Personally, I don't think they should be paid anything for a member's funeral.

Our pastor got paid $200 for my FIL's funeral. To be frank...I was insulted. My sweet FIL and our pastor have been "friends" for over 20 years. Seems wrong to me that a pastor wouldn't just officiate over a funeral of a good friend, for no remuneration. We also had to pay the soloist and the piano/organist, $150 each. They were long time friends of my FIL as well and had received plenty of volunteer work from him over the years. Truthfully, the family is hurt by them wanting to be paid.

EricaLynn
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Posted: 1/17/2011 12:03:48 PM
Jenaya - that's why I fully agree with the policy our church has. IMHO, when you're called to be a pastor, you're called to do the hard work like funerals too. I don't mind a fee to use the facility for cleaning, electricity, etc.

And yes, I agree 100% that pastors don't get paid NEARLY what they're worth. Which is why I personally would give something to the pastor.

Miss Ang
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Posted: 1/17/2011 12:06:27 PM
I wonder how many of the people that think the pastor should spend his time with the family at bedside, funeral planning, at the funeral and dinner afterwards for free also think a teacher should answer her home phone in the evenings when her student has questions about an assigment or show up for a Saturday morning tutoring session without any extra compensation?

Pastors are paid by their congregation offering and teachers are paid by our taxpayer dollars, is there a difference?


-Angela

jenjules
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Posted: 1/17/2011 12:19:05 PM

Every person is unique, with different life experiences and connections, and each funeral is also unique. I have a huge respect for those ministers who can perform funerals for people they've never even know. But especially if this person is your minister, why would you not want to thank your pastor/counselor for this intimate service? Because you think it's his/her job? It's such a personal thing, I don't get it.


My husband has done a couple of funerals for people we don't know. I think a funeral would be hard no matter which way you cut it - hard if it's a close relationship, but also hard if you don't know them - you can't make as many personal references/choices as you might be able to otherwise.




esperanza.
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Posted: 1/17/2011 12:26:03 PM
Preacher's kid here.

My dad doesn't have a "fee" for weddings/funerals. Any money given is merely a gift for time and energy. For funerals for a long time, very active church member I'd imagine he would never accept money, but I'm sure people in his congregation would insist he take something.

Wedding are a completely different ballgame. Currently he does not "charge" a fee, but a gift is usually given by the couple or the couple's family. It is understood that a gift is customary. He, on average, spends 20-30 hours of his time with couples about to get married-- multiple premarital counseling sessions, personality tests, rehearsal dinners, writing of vows, etc. And weddings are usually on the weekends. He works all week--and on Sunday. So on the weekends he has weddings--he is exhausted. Many couples are not even active members of the church.

Anyone can use the church for a wedding or funeral, it has never been limited to members only. It is a very, very popular church for weddings. Non-members do pay a booking fee for the sanctuary (paid to the church itself). I don't even know what that is though. I know that if someone used the sanctuary for a funeral and was not a member, they would probably have to pay a fee of some sort too.

Honestly, people take advantage of my dad and his kindness. He gives so much, and sometimes gets back so little. I know he loves what he does, but it stings to know that he spent 20-30 hours preparing a couple for marriage, writing their specific vows, attending rehearsal dinners, etc--only to be given $50--or nothing at all. He would never complain, but I sure do.

LIke I said, weddings are different from funerals. How active was this member? Did the minister KNOW this person well? I mean, a HUGE church with over 1500 members--a minister can't possibly KNOW everyone and be BFF's with each member. And people can be a member of a church for 50 years, but never have set foot through the front doors or given a dime of their money.

I guess it depends on the member. If he was active, I would assume no money should be "expected". Any money given is simply a gift. If he was not an active member, then maybe $100-200?


_________________________________________________
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WarriorFan
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Posted: 1/17/2011 12:42:21 PM
My dad is a minister and he has never been paid for a funeral. Sometimes a family member offers but my dad always turns it down. He knows how hard the time is for families and would feel bad taking anything for his services.

Heather


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Really Red
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Posted: 1/17/2011 9:18:59 PM
My parents were members of their church for 45 years when my dad passed away. They did hundreds and hundreds of hours of volunteer work and gave generously weekly.

Because they could. And because it was the right thing to do when you belong to a church.

I cannot imagine not reimbursing the pastor. I know my mom gave the pastor money ($250??). More than I could afford (I am in agreement with the $100 ballpark figure). He spent time writing a sermon and time organizing things.

I just cannot imagine thinking that the pastor shouldn't be reimbursed. It has nothing to do with anything that they are friends


Andrea

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StampinBetsy
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Posted: 1/17/2011 9:32:32 PM
I am a church musician, and I typically get an honorarium for funerals, memorial services, and weddings. Most of the services I have done have been for church members, and I do sometimes donate whatever I get back to the church (more in the case of funerals, espeically if it was someone I knew well). I don't ask for anything, and am grateful for what I do receive. I do know our church used to have a guide that we gave out to people who wanted to get married at our facility that included information on what to pay the pastor and church musician.

I personally don't see anything wrong with giving the officiant a nominal honorarium. They do spend a lot of time outside of office hours on funerals(which anyone who goes into ministry should expect), and its nice to recognize that fact.


Betsy

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pennyring
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Posted: 1/17/2011 9:43:34 PM
$0.00

The church I was raised in does not charge for weddings/funerals and they try to accomodate weddings/funerals for after church services so everyone is in the hall already and there is no fee for the building rental.

When my Gramma died, my Dad had his minister speak at her memorial which was after church. No fee for minister or hall.

When my Dad died, I didn't really give a snizz if Dad's minister spoke, but my brother and sister did, so the guy spoke. But he was just one of MANY speakers. My brother actually led the service, gave the opening speech, and I was very proud of him! If anything, somebody should've paid my brother for having his shit together enough to run that thing!



*Maddie_Isabella*
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Posted: 1/17/2011 9:51:22 PM
If it is a member of his congregation I would think nothing. I know it is typical to "tip" the preacher for weddings but have not heard of such for a funeral.
A pastor usually visits his congregation when they are ill, in the hospital etc. They aren't expecting to be paid for that either. I think it is awkward and wrong if one would expect it.


*~Maddie~*

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clee321
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Posted: 1/17/2011 9:53:51 PM
For our wedding we were charged $800 by the church to use their facilities. A church I worked for and was a long time member of. That still bugs me, but we chose to do it and knew the price up front. I believe $200 of that went to the Pastor.

My mother is a Hospice Chaplain in Chicago and was just in a meeting where they were told that other Pastors (she has her degree and other certifications) are charging up to $200 per funeral. It is free for her as a Hospice Chaplain.

I think that Pastors have many responsibilities (just as the rest of us do in our lives) and that preaching on Sunday is just ONE of them. Funerals, dedications, weddings, visiting the sick and the homebound are all parts of the pie and are what they are paid to do.

While there are Pastors who don't make as much as they would like, I also know pastors who pull down $60K+ and a handful who bring in $100K+ as well as tax breaks and other perks.

That doesn't mean I don't appreciate Pastors, just that I think they chose their profession and that I think charging for visitations, prayers, funerals, weddings, etc is like charging for doing their job requirements.

OBVIOUSLY these are just my personal thoughts and not how all churches or pastors work.



peamac
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Posted: 1/17/2011 10:12:54 PM
When DH was a pastor and did church member funerals, the funeral home usually included in the family's expenses a fee for the clergy member. DH never took it though, so I guess the funeral home didn't end up charging the family. I think it was usually $50, but it probably varies with area.


PeaMac


proud2stamp
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Posted: 1/17/2011 10:34:36 PM
My husband is a pastor.

Although we never expect to receive anything, it is a nice thought when someone does offer something. Not that my husband takes it, but it's nice to be appreciated. Even a thank you note is nice to receive. My husband is the pastor of a small congregation and all the members are very close. He is paid what the church can afford (a set weekly salary - nothing extra for weddings or funerals, etc.).

He has to work a full-time secular job and he is also attending seminary classes. Yes, funerals are "part of the job", but typically it means losing pay because he has to take time off from his secular job (the church does not re-imburse him for this). Plus there is the time involved with the family to plan the service and he/we are there for the calling hours plus family counseling. Basically my DH works two full time jobs. A secular job and his ministry. Working in the ministry, we are on "call" 24 hrs a day/7 days a week. Don't get me wrong, we love what we do, but it's really amazing what some people will expect out of you just because you are in the ministry. Sometimes they expect you to be able to live above and beyond human possibilities. But, we wouldn't trade it for anything.


-Nicole

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -Andre Gide (1869-1951)


proud2stamp
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Posted: 1/17/2011 10:43:37 PM

Personally, I don't think they should be paid anything for a member's funeral.

Our pastor got paid $200 for my FIL's funeral. To be frank...I was insulted. My sweet FIL and our pastor have been "friends" for over 20 years. Seems wrong to me that a pastor wouldn't just officiate over a funeral of a good friend, for no remuneration. We also had to pay the soloist and the piano/organist, $150 each. They were long time friends of my FIL as well and had received plenty of volunteer work from him over the years. Truthfully, the family is hurt by them wanting to be paid.


That is one of the reasons my DH would never expect to be paid. It just goes a long with the territory. As a pastor, you develop many close relationships, it would be like charging a family member. I guess some people view the ministry as a "job". We view it more as a life calling and is very fulfilling to us regardless of lack of any material gain.


-Nicole

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -Andre Gide (1869-1951)


debcreates
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PeaNut 148,044
May 2004
Posts: 3,734
Layouts: 82
Loc: NC

Posted: 1/17/2011 11:28:46 PM
I never knew any of the pastors I sat under to charge for funerals. When my mother passed we gifted the pastor and associate with $300 because they were at my dad's side daily for over a week because he was a wreck. I felt even that wasn't enough for all they did, but it was all we could afford at the time. They also brought tables to dad's house, provided food daily throughout the ordeal and for several days after, and were a huge comfort and resource. The pastors we had at the time had over 500 members who may have needed them at any given time, and the church business still needed to be conducted yet they freely gave of their time to my family without asking a thing.

The church I attend now does charge $500 for weddings. It costs a lot to use the facilities for events. The lights, heat/air, cleaning, all cost money. The money goes to the treasury and the pastor does not get any of it. I think it's fair, and it is in the church's directory for all to see before asking to use the facilities.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2 Corinthian 4:8-9
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.


I may never be perfect, but I will always be unique.


debcreates
PeaFixture

PeaNut 148,044
May 2004
Posts: 3,734
Layouts: 82
Loc: NC

Posted: 1/17/2011 11:28:47 PM
I never knew any of the pastors I sat under to charge for funerals. When my mother passed we gifted the pastor and associate with $300 because they were at my dad's side daily for over a week because he was a wreck. I felt even that wasn't enough for all they did, but it was all we could afford at the time. They also brought tables to dad's house, provided food daily throughout the ordeal and for several days after, and were a huge comfort and resource. The pastors we had at the time had over 500 members who may have needed them at any given time, and the church business still needed to be conducted yet they freely gave of their time to my family without asking a thing.

The church I attend now does charge $500 for weddings. It costs a lot to use the facilities for events. The lights, heat/air, cleaning, all cost money. The money goes to the treasury and the pastor does not get any of it. I think it's fair, and it is in the church's directory for all to see before asking to use the facilities.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2 Corinthian 4:8-9
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.


I may never be perfect, but I will always be unique.


12save
PeaAddict

PeaNut 419,677
April 2009
Posts: 1,165
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/18/2011 1:59:35 PM
My husband is a pastor. He does funerals for anyone - even for people who do not attend the church - with no expectation of payment. He is called sometimes by a local funeral home to do funerals. I think he is often given $50-$75 by the funeral home. I believe the charge for the minister is included in the funeral costs to the family.

However, for anything that occurs inside our church's auditiorium, if he is given something, we do keep it and appreciate it greatly. If we don't receive anything, we do not think anything of it. He recently performed a wedding ceremony for a young couple outside the church who rented a room in our community center and did not receive remuneration of any kind (we have been given gift certificates to local restaurants a few times.)

My husband has a BA, an MA, and an M Div. He has 8 years of higher education. Believe me, he did not go in this line of work for the money. He could have made much more in private sector employment with the drive he had to get so much education. I don't mean to sound snarky here BTW.

The thing is, after awhile, you just don't remember who gave you what for individual events. The only reason I remember the recent wedding was that it was about 2 weeks ago. We don't keep score, so if the family can't afford it - it is just fine.



short1cake
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 428,727
July 2009
Posts: 2,329
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/18/2011 2:55:31 PM
I can understand...possibly, not paying for a minister for a funeral. It's not what I would do, but in a grieving period, I could see it being forgotten. I could also seeing someone not being able to afford it in some cases.

I can't understand not doing it for a wedding. A wedding is a choice, and how much you spend on it is within your control. If you don't have the $ for what you want, save and wait. A minister is using their time to officiate for it and although they may not care if they get paid or not and may not be doing it for the money, that doesn't mean they shouldn't be paid for it.

When DH and I got married, we didn't have the money for a "wedding". We got married by a Justice of the Peace, who had a set amount that you paid for her to officiate. Since she was elected to that position, she charged $25, which went to the borough, and even though we tried to pay her more, since she was an elected official, she was unable to accept it.

Monklady123
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 475,028
July 2010
Posts: 5,673
Layouts: 0
Loc: Northern VA

Posted: 1/18/2011 3:19:24 PM
At my church we do not charge for the wedding of a member. For non-members there is a fee, which includes mandatory pre-marital counseling (well, that's required for members also, but still no charge). No counseling = no wedding. lol.. (and we lost one once, because of this rule.)

For funerals/memorials... no fee for members. We've never been asked to do one for a non-member. And "members" has included family of a church member, even though that family member might not have attended church. We define our "church family" to include everyone's immediate loved ones.


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