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4 Tips for Preaching Funeral Sermons

How to listen, research, and prepare a funeral sermon.

4 Tips for Preaching Funeral Sermons
Image: Alicia Llop / Getty

I have often said that I would rather officiate one thousand funerals than officiate one wedding. It’s not that I hate weddings, it’s just that I prefer to officiate funerals, especially if they are for unbelievers whom I do not know. Many pastors have told me that that is not their preference, and I understand. The prospect of officiating a funeral for someone you don’t know, especially an unbeliever, can be hard.

I haven’t always had this preference myself. In fact, there was a time when I would have avoided such a task. Deep down I had this fear that the deceased’s family would certainly expect and even insist that I preach their loved one into heaven.

Then it happened. I heard something. It was just one sentence whispered into my ear, but it helped prepare me to officiate what is now over eight-hundred funerals for unbelievers in the past twenty-five years.

I was in my first year of pastoral ministry and had officiated less than a half-dozen funerals for ...

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