Guidelines for Funeral
- According to Canon Law, no funeral may take place on Saturday afternoon after 3:00 PM, nor on Sunday. All efforts should be made to contact the Pastor before any arrangements are made. Most funerals take place early in the day, preferably before 12:00 noon.
- Families should make the proper arrangements with the funeral director of their choice, whereupon he shall contact the Pastor immediately in order to check availability and finalize arrangements. It is desirable to have the Pastor present at the funeral home when the family is there in order to expedite arrangements. The Pastor may be contacted through the church office and/or telephoned in emergency cases at 773-637-1711. All arrangements must be according to the Canons of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church and are subject to the approval of the Pastor.
- The ritual of burial is divided into three sections: A. For the Home (Wake); B. For the Church; C. For the Cemetery. The first shall be performed the night preceding the funeral, the other two subsequently from the Church and then the Cemetery. Part “B” may never be performed at the funeral home nor anywhere outside of the church proper. The church may be used for the wake. Speak to the Pastor for this fee.
- No Compatriotic, fraternal nor any other organization may perform services in the Church proper. If such services are the desire of the family, the Church should not be used for the ‘Waking’ - Dan Gark.
- Families are free to use the church for ‘Waking’ Dan Gark provided that they adhere to the above stated ruling. An additional fee will be required. Please speak to the Pastor. In the case of an Altar Server, this tradition must be observed.
- In the case of Cremation and/or suicide the Pastor must be informed prior to making funeral arrangements. As such situations are outside the Canons of the Armenian Church, instructions must be received from the ecclesiastical authority (Primate).
- All donations are the responsibility of the family and should be handled through the Funeral Director. The customary donation to the church is $400.00 for non-dues paid members. Church members usually make a memorial donation “In Lieu of Flowers” to the Church (in this case, as a dues paid member of St. Gregory or a Steward of St. Gregory, the fee is waived). The fees for the services of the following are:
- Pastor………………………………. Family’s Discretion
- Deacon………………………………$ 75.00 (If available)
- Organist………………………....... $100.00 (If available)
- St. Gregory Nairi Choir……….... $ 200.00 (Upon request: if available)
All fees and gifts should be handled by the Funeral Director unless other arrangements are made with the Pastor. In this case, ALL gift envelopes shall be given to the Pastor for distribution.
- The fee for the services of another priest or an out-of-town priest is according to individual donation. For visiting clergy, the minimum fee is $250.00 plus travel expenses, (this should be discussed with the Pastor).
- IN LIEU OF FLOWERS donations are made directly to St. Gregory Armenian Church. The Church will receive these directly from parishioners and individuals as well as the Funeral Director, record them and give a list to the family. A final computerized list shall be provided to the family by St. Gregory at the time of the Fortieth Day Memorial “Karasoonk.” Any and all envelopes with “St. Gregory Armenian Church” printed on the outside, shall be opened ONLY by a representative designated by the Pastor. Names of parishioners are recorded in the parish newsletter, out-of-town or non-Armenians who make donations are acknowledged with a special memorial card prepared by the Church. Should IN LIEU OF FLOWERS donations be made to any other organization, envelopes MUST BE PROVIDED by that organization.
- No lay person may speak or give ”eulogies” in the sanctuary. It is desirable that lay people speak at the Funeral Home or the Hokejash.
- According to protocol, before any particular priest is invited, the invitation will come from the Pastor. Please consult with the Pastor before making arrangements of any kind.
- It is suggested that a one page summary of the deceased person’s life be provided to the Pastor at least one day prior to the funeral.
- An Armenian Style solid brass cross for the casket is available through the church for $50. Rosaries and crucifix crosses are outside the tradition of the Armenian Church and should not be used. Exceptions can be made through consultation with the Pastor.