Senior Resources » Elder Law » Working with Churches on Memorial Services with Dan White

Working with Churches on Memorial Services with Dan White

Dan White at Evergreen Washelli talks about religious preferences and memorial services. Churches have different protocols or traditions that they follow. All have their intricacies and special requests. We are there to help serve the pastor, minister, priest — whoever is in charge of the service.

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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

The following podcast is a special presentation of answers for elders featuring Evergreen Washelli and welcome back to the program everyone. I am here with our wonderful Dan White from Evergreen Washelli Memorial and he is Northwest Territory Manager of abbview Memorial Park and that is another location of the Evergreen Washelli that’s off of ninety nine. Abbey view is actually in Ken more areas. That correct correct its acts frier, Briar and Briar. That’s right. Yes, right. I always think, why do I think Ken more when I think Briar? No, their next boarders it does boarder briar. So that’s exactly why. You know, Dan. Obviously a great amount amount of our listeners here, especially on kgnw, have a real strong affiliation with the Church and I their spiritual home is very important to them and obviously there’s a lot of inter I guess, interconnectivity between what you guys do at Evergreen Washelli and working with various different spiritual type communities, and I think it’s really great that you want to talk about, you know, how what? How do you interact or what’s the process with working with spiritual communities in the area. Okay, absolutely. So tell me a little bit about just an overview and then we’ll get into the details in a second. Like how do you do that? Well, it just it really had depends on the particular religion. Hmmm, because each of the the different churches have different protocols or traditions that they follow. Right, but we are very verse in in all of those. So we serve the lds community and there’s is a little different. We serve the Catholic community, there’s this a little different. We also have very orthodox. We also have the Jewish community that we also serve to do burials and such. So, right, they all have their own own intercacies and special request but I think as a general overall view, sometimes the churches will provide things that we typically as funeral homes can provide, meaning perhaps the programs. We can certainly do that. We also with a lot of churches, depending on the church, if there’s a viewing involved and an open casket, that can be done at the Church facility or if they don’t have room, then sometimes we will do it at one of our facilities. But we funeral director will go and will drive the hirst to the location, the church where this service is going to be held. They will, if they have Paul bearers, then they get involved, they will be responsible for caring for right for the loved one and will help coordinate that along with the pastor minister, priest, whomever, who is really in charge of that service, and we are simply there to help serve and help facilitate the service with respect to the casketed loved one. That’s amazing. So obviously, because you are aware with the different types of traditions of different types of churches, if a family, let’s say, wants to come in and plan when a loved one is lost, do you find that oftentimes you’ll have a member of their congregation or like a spiritual leader, like say a minister or something like that, involved in that planning? Sometimes, okay, it’s sometimes yes and sometimes no. Sometimes they will come to us first, okay, because where we have to schedule is a we have a lot of of important paperwork and right clean out the death sertificate and doing. You handle kind of the nuts and bolts of everything. So that and that’s where then be. We start talking about maybe the ideas of win and the location and they share that they do want to have it at the church or if they want to use it at one of our facilities and they want to have a priest or pastor come and do the service at one of our locations, which is probably very common. That happens and then a lot of times we will go to the the different churches, but then the family will then, after they leave us for the initial they’ll coordinate a time and then we have to coordinate a time in our schedules to make sure that we can accommodate that. Right. Don’t already have other families at that point that have taken up that time? And I supposed to. You know, like you said, there’s different requirements based on different religions and so obviously, I’m sure those are some of the questions that you ask up front. If somebody has a lost a loved one and they come to you, is if there’s any specific religious requests that they have. Is that correst? Yes, we absolutely do, and we can make arrangements for that. A lot of times, as an example with the LDS, a lot of times they require a bishop or the family members that will help to come and dress they’re doing. Departed. I did, yes, and so we make arrangements for families to be able to do that. Okay, in the Jewish tradition, in our cemeteries, we don’t use a liner, a concrete liner, because everything is very natural and they are generally placed in a casket, which is totally would, with no level wow. So and so that’s just a couple of examples. So what we do? Yeah, and that’s and that’s important because obviously, in to work with a company like yours that is well versed in working with the religious community, whatever that is, you have a good collaborative relationship with, let’s say, for example, whether it’s, you know, Protestant, Catholic, different types of divisions of the Protestant Church. You, I’m sure you’ll find that you know, you have kind of a rhythm and place that you work within those types of communities, and that’s very true. You know, it’s it takes a lot of experience, which you guys certainly have. So Dan, as far as the as far as the church service itself, was working on. You know, if you work with churches, is does it isn’t more money to have a memorial service in a church, right, as a supposed to in your property, or is it about the same that? Well, for us, as far as our staffing and for that service, it doesn’t matter. Okay, whether it could be just either a graveside service, right, it could be a service in a in our chapel or in a church or another location. Right, that’s all the same to us. Okay, that service is pricing. That’s incredible. And then, of course, obviously there’s other types of consideration. So if that individual was a veteran that passed away, correct, then there’s a whole other aspect. Is that correct, if they’re veteran? If there’s a there’s a request. Yes, if there’s a request for that, then typically, most of the time, the the veteran services or the the plane of taps, the presenting of the flag. The flag a lot of times will be draped over the casket. Correct, that could be at the church service, the that that will happen. But then once we go and move to the cemetery, that is generally where the the honor guards are and do the presentation, they will actually remove the flag from the casket and presented, they will play taps, they will go through the folding of the flag and then they will kneel and present it to whomever is supposed to receive got it the flag. It’s very it’s very impressive and it is sometimes will have a live bugler that’ll be there and sometimes we even have bagpipes. That wow, I love big pipes. Yeah, so very, very interesting and very, very fun and it honors, you know, your loved one. Yeah, and there fur their service as well. Exactly. So, as far as you know, working without view, if you’re going to preplan, obviously, a religious service for your with your church, what are some considerations someone should have in coming to you and preplanning? Well, no, which which church, and we can generally kind of give them an idea of how things progress. Right. A lot of times, what we’re seeing now, as compared to older times, where generally you would go, you would have the funeral service, then you would leave and procession and you would go to the cemetery for the final committal, right, and a priest or, pastor would be there to do that and then everybody would return and go back to the Church for a repast and celebration. What we’re beginning to see some people do, some families, is they will have the service and then they immediately have their reception and sometimes then the family will leave that reception and they’ll have a more of a private graveside committal. That makes a lot of sense. So it just have kind of that have a special time and in what I really like is the fact that, you know, today, at this day and age, funerals aren’t just blueprint anymore. You can do anything and I’m sure you know with the with the different types of religious preferences, those, those, I’m sure, are shifting as well in many cases. You know, I think I can imagine that there’s a lot of differences. As as the world changes, you know, as we are becoming more environmentally conscious as well, I think the lot of people are choosing cremation just for that reason and like what you said earlier, like there’s such a huge percentage of our population here in the Pacific northwest that are choosing cremation an over burial, and that’s unusual compared to the rest of the country. Is that correct? That is correct. Wow, here we’re about seventy five percent. Wow. Yeah, we’re back. And the southern the southern part of the country, the Midwest, cremations probably it’s less than twenty percent. Wow. Now do you think that has to do with I mean the like West? They call us the left coast. Yes, does it? Does it have to do? Is it like that in Oregon and California? Two more so, or is it just thinks so Washington? Well, this is I know in the northwest. Those are the statistics, but I think in California cremation is up as well. Wow, and probably in big cities. I was I would guess the metropolitan cities. So, Dan, how do we reach you? You can reach me at Abbey View Memorial Park by calling us at four to five for a three, zero, five, five, five, or you can reach me by email at Dan, thanks so much for being on the program thanks you. This has been a special presentation of answers for elders featuring Evergreen Washelli for more information about Evergreen Washelli. Their website is That’s


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Originally published January 06, 2018

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