July 26, 2013

Other Duties as Assigned

This had never happened to me before. A church member died and the family began the funeral preparations, but the funeral was scheduled for a time when my husband--the pastor--was going to be out of town with the youth. While the church does have retired pastors that the family could have called on, the family wanted someone to officiate who actually knew their beloved mother. And needless to say, none of the retired pastors did. So the family asked if I could do the funeral. As it is, I am ordained as a deacon and am officially eligible and credentialed by the church to perform funerals. However, I think they would have asked me even without all that. When the family did ask me, I felt I had to say "yes." Because I did know the deceased and thought it was an honor to be asked.

When I arrived where the funeral was held, the family introduced me around to the rest of the family. But I could tell that they really didn't really know what to call me. The first time, they said I was the pastor's wife and I added that I was an ordained deacon standing in for my husband. The next time they introduced me again as the pastor's wife. This time I just said that I was the officiant. Then the next time they introduced me as the pastor's wife, I just went with it. And for the rest of the morning as well.

What they didn't know (and probably didn't need to know) was that this was my first funeral. And I would not be sad if it were my last. Still the service went well and the family was appreciative. All-in-all, we buried their mother with grace and dignity. Several people spoke and I really didn't need to do much. Surprisingly however, my nerves held and I was also to sustain that non-anxious presence. But who would have ever thought that holding a funeral service was part of my "job" as the pastor's spouse?

What opportunities have you had because of your position as the pastor's spouse?

Grace, Kathy

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