Making Funeral Arrangements

On behalf of our parish, we offer our most sincere condolences. The loss of a loved one is an immeasurably difficult experience, and our church is ready to do whatever we are able to do to support you and your family. More importantly, it is a time when we join in solemn prayer to give thanks for the life of your loved one and ask for the Lord’s mercy so that their soul may be guided to the shadowless abodes.

During this difficult time, you will have many questions so we have included some information that you may find helpful.

What do I do next?

Here are some important steps to consider as you move forward.

  1. You must receive a legal pronouncement of death. If no doctor is present at the time of your loved ones passing, you’ll need to contact someone to do this:
    1. If the person passes at home under hospice care, call the hospice nurse, who can declare the death and help facilitate the transport of the body.
    2. If the person passes at home without hospice care, call 911, and have in hand a do-not-resuscitate document if it exists. Without one, paramedics will generally start emergency procedures and, except where permitted to pronounce death, take the person to an emergency room for a doctor to make the declaration.
  2. Arrange for transportation of the remains. If no autopsy is needed, the body can be picked up by a mortuary (by law, a mortuary must provide price info over the phone) or crematorium.
    1. St. John Armenian Church can provide a list of reputable funeral homes in the City or Peninsula, upon request.
  3. Contact the parish priest or the church office to notify them of the passing of your loved one and ask for assistance if necessary.
  4. Make an appointment with the mortuary and start making the arrangements.
  5. For burial service contact the cemetery of your choice. If the loved one does not already have a plot, the cemetery will consult with you about what options are available.
  6. In order to arrange for the memorial service, consult with the church office about dates and times.
    1. Note: you may conduct the service at the mortuary or the cemetery.

Memorial Service

Once the date and location have been established for the memorial service, mortuary, church, and cemetery are confirmed, the family can work with the church to make arrangements. Some things to consider are the following:

For those who have not known the heavy laden task of planning a memorial service, it can be a daunting experience, in the midst of grief. Remember to ask for help, and accept it from family, friends, and your church community.

May the Lord bless the soul of the departed and grant comfort to their loved ones.

  • Would your family like the service to be in English, Armenian, or both?
  • A soloist and organist to accompany the ceremony will be hired upon the request of the family.
  • Does the family desire for donations to be made in lieu of flowers, and if so to whom? The church will provide envelopes.
  • The church will send out an email announcement to the members of St. John or the broader community at the request of the family.
  • A biography of the departed is typically written by family or friends and read during the church service by a loved one.
  • If the family wishes to host the memorial luncheon at St. John, the Ladies Society will provide the necessary services. The church office will refer the family to the Ladies Society to make preparations.
  • Grief counseling for groups or individuals is available upon the request of the bereaved.