What is the standard donation for a minister who performs a memorial service?

3 answers | Last updated: Apr 09, 2014
An anonymous caregiver asked...
What is the standard donation for a Lutheran minister doing a small memorial service in their small chapel? I was told there is "no fee but will accept a donation". There will only be a small amount of people and an urn from the cremation. We live on Long Island , NY if that makes a difference. Thank you.

Caring.com User - Rebekah Peoples
Caring.com Expert
Send a Hug or Prayer
Send a Hug or Prayer
Rebekah Peoples, CFSP, CPC, Is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She is passionate about serving others and believes that giving clients honest, accurate...
69% helpful

Thank you for telling me your area. Like most services, the price can be quite different depending where you live. In your area, the current fee ranges between $200 and See also:
Caring Checklist: How to Plan a Funeral or Memorial Service

See all 150 questions about Funerals and Eulogies

Here are a few things to consider. If the service is going to be the usual pre-written one that is done for anyone who calls, the low end of that range may be acceptable.

Usually, however when you're told that there is "no fee but a donation is acceptable," it's because the person or some family member is a member of the church and the minister has some knowledge of the person. Even if that's not the case, some ministers will still provide a personalized message by talking to family members to get stories and information about the deceased. You may also be able to choose the songs and readings, and even include one or more family members to speak and share memories. To many people, that difference means a lot to them and they will pay toward the upper end of the range.

When they say that any donation is acceptable, do what you and your family feel is best. I've seen services in which the family members were very pleased and also unfortunately ones in which they were sadly disappointed. You may want to just carry a blank check with you and decide how much to write in after the service.

Whatever you decide, be sure that the service reflects what will be comforting and uniquely meaningful to you and your family. This is a one-time event and should be appropriately memorable.


More Answers
67% helpful
drjay1941 answered...

The Funeral Director's advice is excellent--and the idea of not filling in an amount until the service is over is(though not Lutheran), my practice is to leave the amount of a gratuity up to the family in consultation with the funeral director or, if no funeral director is involved, to suggest an amount based on previous experience with several funeral homes in the area. The region is a significant variable when looking at gratuities for services, particularly if the service is for a member of the church where the service is being held.


100% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

My Father died in 2005. The funeral home, cemetery told us the rabbi should be given $ 400.00. I thought this was terrible since the rabbi never knew my father nor my brother or I. He performed a 20 minute funeral because he had to go to another funeral (another $ 400.00 I presume. .


Ask a question Ask a question | Add an answer Add an answer