The Myrtle Baptist Church of West Newton

Rev. Brandon Thomas Crowley, MDiv, STM | Senior Pastor
Rev. Howard Haywood | Pastor Emeritus

21 Curve Street West Newton, MA 02465 | 617.332.5870


Funeral Guidelines

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. (John 14:1-2)

Since we as a Christian body believe that “the body is the temple of God” and “in the resurrection of the dead,” Christian care is given to the departed, as well as to the grieving family. Therefore, whenever death of a loved one is announced or the news is impending, the family is advised to read this information regarding the guidelines of Myrtle Baptist Church, prior to making any arrangements in order to eliminate any misunderstanding that might add any further grief. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at 617.332.5870.


Part I: Reserving the Church

In order to reserve the Myrtle Baptist Church and ensure that the Pastor or appropriate clergy is aware of and available for the funeral service, ALL scheduling must be made via the church’s Administrative Office at 617.332.5870. Any informal discussion(s) with anyone outside of the Administrative Office is not sufficient for reserving the church. Therefore, you must contact the office and speak with the Church Administrator.

Part II: The Obituary

It has been the church’s experience that many grieving people need help drafting the funeral program itself. To this end, upon request, the church will have a deacon or minister to visit with you to discuss  funeral guidelines and to show you examples of funeral programs. Below are the guidelines for the obituary.
The first paragraph should contain:

  • Deceased Name, including son/daughter of…
  • Deceased Parents’ names
  • Deceased birth date and place of birth
  • Date Deceased passed away

The second paragraph should contain:

  • Marriage information (if any)
  • When did they meet?
  • When did they marry?
  • Where there any children born to this union (give names)

The third paragraph should contain:

  • Deceased Education (where and level)
  • For example, high school, college, graduate degree and what was the name(s)/location(s) of the school(s)
  • Deceased Job Position(s) held, Name of company, and Years employed
  • Special Affiliations (if important to deceased) Fraternity, sorority, mason, Eastern Star, or etc.
  • Military Service
  • Highest Rank achieved
  • Years in service
  • Name of war if in combat
  • Year and type of discharge (if honorable)

The next paragraph should contain:

  • Church affiliation, if any
  • Names/location of churches
  • When joined
  • Groups of which a member

The last paragraph should contain:

  • Family left behind (wife, husband, children, grand and great grand children, aunts, uncles, etc.).
  • Additionally, the Pastor’s names should be on the front cover of the program and the family should have the funeral program approved by the Church Administrator before going to print. This is to ensure that the family wishes/desires are possible and/or allowed.

Part III: Order of Service

It has been the church’s experience that many grieving people need help drafting the funeral program itself. To this end, upon request, the church can have one of its assistant ministers to visit with you to discuss funeral guidelines and to show you examples of funeral programs. Below are the guidelines for the order of the funeral itself:

  • Musical Prelude
  • Opening Hymn
  • Scripture Readings
    • Old Testament
    • New Testament
  • Prayer of Comfort
  • Selection (This can be a solo, choir led, or congregational song)
  • Expressions (Please limit to 2 minutes each. Also, only the names on the program will be allow to give remarks.)
    • Church Officers / Clergy
    • Family Members (if appropriate)
    • Care Givers (if appropriate)
    • Community/Association Officers
  • Acknowledgements (This is handled by one person and he/she needs to be sensitive to the time.)
    • Special Cards
    • Special Resolutions
    • Special PoemsObituary (can be read aloud or silently. This is up to the family.)
  • Selection (This can be a solo, choir led, or congregational song.)
  • Eulogy (This is done by the pastor unless the explicitly requested another minister.)
  • Benediction
  • Final Directions
  • Recessional

Part IV: Music and Musicians

You are permitted to hire your own musician(s). If the deceased was a church member in good standing, the church will accept the expense of the musician. Any donation to help the church in that regard is always welcome, but again, if the deceased was a church member in good standing, the church will cover the expense. Should you decide to use a musician of your own; you are solely responsible for any/all compensation. If you are using a non-church musician, he/she is limited to using the Hammond organ or the piano at the church.

You are encouraged to select the music for this affair, but given that this event will take place in the church, the music should be such that maintains sacredness. If you have any questions about the appropriateness of the music you would like to use, please contact the Church Administrator.

Part V: Media Services

For all funerals held at the church, the church does not provide its media (i.e., tape and CD recording) services unless these have been requested in writing by you and approved in writing by the Church Administrator. If these services are needed, the fees for these services are fifty dollars ($50.00) to cover church cost. Moreover, the church is not responsible for any sound and/or video defects that would exceed the $50.00 cost for said services. The family will be given one copy of the service.

Part VI: Donation and Costs

There is a cost to the church to hold the funeral. If the deceased was a current attending and contributing member of the church, then the church will pay for the musician and janitorial services. If not, the family of the deceased will be charged the non-member’s fee, which is very reasonable. Full payment must be made to the church via cash, money order or certified check prior to the funeral service. The CHURCH will make all of the distributions.

Funeral Fees

Member Fees

  1. Pastor– $0.00
  2. Custodian $0.00
  3. Media services – $0.00
  4. Musician $0.00
  5. Total Recommended Cost – $0.00

Non-Church Member Fees

  1. Ministerial Team Member – $100.00
  2. Use of church – $50.00
  3. Custodian – $50.00
  4. Media services – $50.00
  5. Musician – $100.00
  6. 150 Color Program Copies – $250.00
  7. Total Cost – $600.00

Frequently Asked Questions

In case of death whom do I call?
Contact the Deacon-on-Call for the week, which is printed on the back of the Sunday bulletin. You can also find this information on the internet at: You can also contact the Administrative Office at 617.332.5870.

Does the Church recommend a Funeral Home?
No. The selection of a funeral home is a personal and intimate choice of the family. However, we will work with the family in trying to identify a funeral director and funeral home of the deceased family’s choice. It is our desire to best serve your family, as an extension of God’s love to you during this difficult time.

Whose funeral service can be held at Myrtle?

Myrtle Baptist Church is in the community to serve and to love. Friends of members may have funeral services at Myrtle; relatives of members may also have funeral services at Myrtle after proper discussions with the Church Administrator and/or Pastor (these persons exercise discretion in some instances).

What rooms may I use?

Generally, Agape Room is used for the fellowship after the funeral. In case of a schedule conflict of room space, the basement may be used to serve the after funeral meal. The Agape Room can adequately accommodate up to 200 people; the basement will accommodate up to 100 people.

Can someone other than the Pastor at Myrtle Baptist Church perform the eulogy of the funeral?

The family has the right to request the Pastor or any member of the ministerial staff to perform the eulogy of the funeral; these arrangements must be confirmed by the Pastor in either case. One of the clergy staff will officiate at ALL funerals.

Who is responsible for the Obituary?

The family of the deceased is responsible for the Obituary, however we provide a template at the beginning of these guidelines. The funeral home will assist you in its publication. The Church Administrator will provide you with an Order of Service, which you will be asked to follow unless there are requests, explicitly made by the deceased.

Is the Church responsible for providing a collation after the service if I am a non-member?

For non-members, the collation should be prepared and provided by the family. Any usage of the kitchen should be discussed with the Church Administrator. However, all areas should be cleaned by those using the area. The custodians job is simply straighten up the area and prepare it for the church’s regularly scheduled activities.

What can I expect from Myrtle Baptist Church?
As soon a message is received, you can expect a telephone call from the diaconate or clergy staff. The Church Administrator will call you and offer the services of Myrtle, and a member of the Hospitality and Bereavement Ministry will also contact you. If you elect to have a funeral at Myrtle Baptist Church, one of the clergy will walk you through the funeral process. They will:

  • Provide biblical and spiritual consolation to the family.
  • Help complete the Funeral Interview Template.
  • Confirm who will do acknowledgements and/or remarks. (Limited to two people, two minutes per person)
  • Provide Order of Service for the funeral.

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