You probably already know what to expect at a funeral—someone gives a short eulogy. Music is often played, and someone may do a reading. Prayers might also be included in the service. But have you ever heard a funeral resolution?
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A funeral resolution is a document that’s read aloud at a funeral. It’s a formal declaration of the relationship between the deceased and their church or community organization. It honors the good works and/or spiritual commitments of the deceased.
Here’s how to write one if you’ve never done it before. For more help with the unfamiliar tasks you might be undertaking for the first time after losing a loved one, check out our post-loss checklist.
6 Quick Funeral or Church Resolution Writing Tips
Here are some quick tips so you can write the best resolution for the deceased:
Contact the church or organization for help
Churches and organizations may have slightly different resolution templates. Find out what formatting the deceased’s organization or home church uses.
It may even be able to provide you examples of resolutions written for others.
Interview people to gather information
If you’re writing a resolution on behalf of a church organization, contact the designated spokesperson for the family.
This will allow you to add personal details about the deceased in addition to speaking about their contributions.
Include the following sections
Title: The title should be one line centered at the top of the page. It should contain the name of the deceased: Resolution in Loving Memory of Dottie North.
Introduction: The introduction is a single line that acknowledges the deceased’s contributions to the organization. Resolutions done for churches sometimes call this section the “Introduction of Faith.”
Whereas statements: Every resolution contains several “whereas” statements. Each statement is preceded by the word “whereas,” then contains a statement about the deceased. These statements are facts about the deceased and his or her relationship to the church or organization in question.
They typically go in order. The first whereas statement deals with the general loss to the church or organization. The next statement covers the deceased’s notable interests in the organization or church. One or more statements dive into the deceased’s interests outside the church or organization. The final statement lists the positive attributes of the deceased and includes his or her full name.
Resolutions: In this section, the church or organization will outline what they commit to doing to honor the deceased. This could include the dedication of a portrait or the establishment of a scholarship. Resolutions are sometimes referred to as “therefore statements.”
Official statement: This final section, also known as the acknowledgment or proclamation, offers condolences to the family. It’s typically signed by officers of the church or another issuing organization.
Submit the funeral resolution
Once you’ve concluded writing the funeral resolution, submit it to the church or organization. You should also give a copy to the family of the deceased.
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Funeral or Church Resolution Examples
Here are some examples of resolutions that might be written by churches or other organizations. Again, this format may vary depending on who presents it. When in doubt, consult with the organization in question about its preferred formatting.
COVID-19 tip: If you chose to use a virtual funeral using a service like GatheringUs, you can still share the funeral resolution with your online guests. Coordinate with your planning team and ensure you have the right mics and speakers to accommodate everyone.
For a mother or grandmother
Resolution in Loving Memory of Robin Jarvis
We, the members of Foothills Unitarian Church, pay our respects to our sister in faith, Robin Jarvis.
Whereas Robin was integral in uplifting the congregation of the church.
Whereas Robin was a tireless leader in group Bible study.
Whereas Robin served the community outside the church by serving food to the homeless and collecting school supplies for children in foster care.
Whereas Robin committed to creating more beauty in the world through her painting and piano-playing talents.
Whereas Robin Jarvis was a kind, compassionate, and loving human being.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Foothills Unitarian Church will light our chalice in Robin’s memory.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Foothills Unitarian Church will continue Robin’s great works.
The Foothills Unitarian Church of Tucson offers its sincerest condolences to the family of Robin Jarvis and shares a verse from her favorite poem: “Hope is the thing with feathers/That perches in the soul/And sings the tune without the words/And never stops at all.”
Humbly submitted by the officers of Foothills Unitarian Church of Tucson.
For a dad or grandfather
Resolution in Remembrance of Dennis Aston
We, the members of American Baptist Church, pay our respects to our devoted parishioner, Dennis Aston.
Whereas Dennis was the heart of our church community.
Whereas Dennis was integral in establishing the worship music program in church.
Whereas Dennis shared his music with the community at large by providing low-cost lessons to families in need.
Whereas Dennis Aston was a generous and talented individual.
Therefore, be it resolved that the American Baptist Church will establish a music scholarship in Dennis’ name.
Therefore, be it resolved that the American Baptist Church will preserve and build on the worship music program that Dennis created.
The American Baptist Church offers its sincerest condolences to the family of Dennis Aston and dedicates this Bible verse to him: Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Humbly submitted by the officers of the American Baptist Church of Fort Worth.
For an adult without children
Resolution in Loving Memory of Josie Radcliffe
We, the members of the Palm Street Library, lost a valued member upon the death of our head librarian, Josie Radcliffe.
Whereas Josie was beloved by library patrons of all ages.
Whereas Josie established guidelines for promoting diversity and inclusivity in reading programs.
Whereas Josie volunteered her time outside of the library and provided free literacy classes to adults in need.
Whereas Josie used her love of reading as inspiration to write her own short stories.
Whereas Josie Radcliffe was committed to the principles of social justice.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Palm Street Library will designate our reading room as the Josie Radcliffe Memorial Room.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Palm Street Library will appoint a diversity coordinator to continue Josie’s efforts.
The Palm Street Library of Monterey offers its condolences to the family of Josie Radcliffe and shares a favorite quote of hers from Toni Morrison: “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”
Respectfully submitted by the staff of the Palm Street Library.
For a child who died
Resolution in Remembrance of Chloe Irwin
We, the staff of Bennett Episcopal School, pay our respects to our gifted student, Chloe Irwin.
Whereas Chloe was well-loved by her teachers and peers.
Whereas Chloe was an unparalleled leader in the school.
Whereas Chloe was a loving sister and daughter and a friend to anyone in need of a friend.
Whereas Chloe was a well-rounded athlete who excelled in basketball, tennis, and long-distance running.
Whereas Chloe Irwin demonstrated brilliance and compassion beyond her years.
Therefore, be it resolved that Bennett Episcopal School will establish a scholarship in Chloe Irwin’s name.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Bennett Episcopal School will dedicate a bench to Chloe Irwin in the Bennett Episcopal School student garden.
Bennett Episcopal School offers its heartfelt condolences to the family of Chloe Irwin and shares a verse from her favorite song: “When the sharpest words wanna cut me down/I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out/This is brave, this is proof/This is who I’m meant to be, this is me.”
Respectfully submitted by the staff of Bennett Episcopal School.
For a prominent community or public figure
Resolution in Loving Memory of Dr. Theodore Green
We, the members of Trinity Lutheran Church, pay our respects to dedicated parishioner Dr. Theodore Green.
Whereas Theodore was integral in contributing to the spiritual and physical wellness of his fellow parishioners.
Whereas Theodore was a faithful attendee of the church.
Whereas Theodore served his fellow parishioners and the community at large by volunteering his services at a free clinic.
Whereas Theodore was a gifted and engaging storyteller.
Whereas Theodore treated his responsibility as a healer with the utmost respect.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Trinity Lutheran Church will encourage parishioners to visit people in hospice care in need of companionship in honor of Dr. Theodore Green.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Trinity Lutheran Church will continue Dr. Theodore Green’s great works.
Trinity Lutheran Church of Denver offers its sincerest condolences to the family of Dr. Theodore Green and shares a Bible verse in his honor: John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Humbly submitted by the officers of Trinity Lutheran Church.
Writing Tips and Examples of Funeral Resolutions
Churches and many other organizations offer funeral resolutions for members of their community. A well-written funeral resolution takes a little effort but shows a lot of respect for the deceased, which is a gesture any family member can appreciate.
- “Suggestions for a Memorial Resolution.” Ala.org, American Library Association, 16 May 2013, www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/governance/council/resolution_guidelines/suggestions_4_a_mem_or_tribute_resol.pdf.