Resource: Funeral Sourcebook

Vol. 1. 1998. 234 pp. $43.95; with diskette, 49.95; Vol. 2 (2001) 216 pp. $49.95, includes CD. Canton, Ohio: Communication Resources, 2001.

From the same publisher, an easy-to-use collection of worship resources for pastors planning memorial services and funerals. But unlike the “Wedding” volumes, the introduction here calls not for diversity for its own sake, but for “theological alertness” at the funeral or memorial service. (The author writes: “nothing done or sung or said should sell short or betray the Christian faith . . . and the presence of large numbers of unchurched or nominal Christians makes a “faith check” all the more critical.”) That alertness in the editing process keeps the quality quotient quite high, even as the quantity is nearly overwhelming. Musical suggestions are good—no Broadway show tunes or corny pop songs here. Poetry and prose readings range from the expected (Donne’s Death, Be Not Proud) to the brand new (an excerpt from the bestselling Tuesdays with Morrie). The homilies are exceptionally good as sermon starters. A wonderful help for pastors shepherding grieving families through sorrow to hope. Both volumes come in three-ring binders. Some overlap between Volumes 1 and 2.

Rev. Dr. Ron Rienstra has been a regular contributor to Reformed Worship over the years. He is the director of worship life and professor of preaching and worship arts at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. He is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America , author of Church at Church, and coauthor with his wife, Debra, of Worship Words: Discipling Language for Faithful Ministry. Together they have three grown children, a multiplicity of living-room instruments, and a tame backyard they are slowly rewilding.

Reformed Worship 61 © September 2001, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.