Guidelines for Funerals
- 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. 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 the Church office by calling 773-637-1711 or in emergency cases at 914-888-3527. 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) The Wake
b) The Church
c) The Cemetery.
The first is performed the night preceding the funeral. This may be done either in the Funeral Home or at Church, preferably. The second part is subsequently performed at the Church and the third at the cemetery. The second part may never be performed at the funeral home nor anywhere outside of the Church proper. For information on fees regarding the Church please see below or ask at the Church office.
- No compatriotic, fraternal nor any other organization may perform services in the Church proper. Other Christian priests, pastor may participate according to the pastor’s discretion. If such aforementioned services are desired by the family, they should be done outside of the Church proper.
- Cremations are not canonically accepted in the Church for several reasons. However, if the family desires a cremation, please speak to the Pastor ahead of time for proper arrangements.
- In case of suicide the Pastor must be informed prior to making funeral arrangements because such situations require instructions from ecclesiastical authorities (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.
The fees for the services of the following are:
Pastor/Guest Clergy………………………………Family’s Discretion
St. Gregory Nairi Choir…..$200.00*
*These are at the request of the family
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.
- Fees for the services of another priest or an out-of-town priest is according to the 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 to the family by St. Gregory at the time of the Fortieth Davy Memorial “Karasoonk”. Any an all envelopes with “St. Gregory Armenian Church” printed on the outside, shall be opened ONLY by a representative designated by the Pastor. Names of parishioner 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 of 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 leastone day prior to the funeral.
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.