In Your Time of Loss

Death brings loss, sorrow and grief to all. Yet, in the face of death, Christians affirm with tears and joy the hope of the Gospel. Christians do not bear bereavement in isolation, but are sustained by the power of the Spirit and the community of faith. The inherent belief in the risen Christ is the cornerstone of a United Methodist service whether it is a funeral service or a memorial service.  Christ is our hope for eternal life and we offer this hope to the family and friends that their loved one is now in God's eternal charge.

The Care Ministry serves our faith community in a number of ways, not the least of these of which is care before, during and after the loss of a loved one.  We hope that this information will be a help to you during this time of loss. Planning a service can be a blessing to those in grief offering a time to laugh and to cry as stories are shared and memories are retold.  We are honored to walk along this path with you, your family and friends during this time.  

Before Death Occurs 
Families considering inurnment in the Columbarium at the church should contact the church secretary for more information.
When Death is Imminent
When a death is imminent, our pastors are honored to come and pray with you.  If there is time, please contact the church at 256-543-8200.  Every effort will be made to come to you for prayer.  
Date, Time and Place of Service
If you wish for one of our pastors to conduct the funeral of your loved one, please contact him or her before you schedule the service. Pastors can assist in planning a meaningful service. Funerals and memorial services are often in the Sanctuary of the church.  The Chapel is available for smaller services. Or services may be at a Funeral Home.
Types of Services
A Traditional service (where the casket is present), graveside to follow
A Memorial service (where there is no casket)
A Graveside service only.
A graveside service prior to the memorial service.
Making Service Plans

The coffin may be covered with a pall (a large cloth with a cross and other Christian symbolism), an act whose meaning is declared by the words: "As in baptism Name put on Christ, so in Christ may Name be clothed with glory." The same pall is used in a congregation for all funerals and is a witness that everyone is equal before the table of the Lord. For each service the pall should be clean and free of wrinkles, and flowers should never be placed on top of it. Alternatively, the coffin may be covered with a flag, or flowers may be placed on it.
Flowers are not a requirement for a service. If family and friends wish to have flowers, they will work directly with their chosen florist. We suggest that arrangements be limited to no more than two at the altar, and these are usually provided by the family or on their behalf; additional arrangements will be placed around the chancel or in the narthex or foyers. Family and friends are urged to take arrangements with them following the service.

The Columbarium

In life, the church is our spiritual home on earth. It is the place where families in Christ worship and have fellowship, where children are baptized and confirmed, and where we celebrate marriages and mourn the loss of our loved ones. For over 150 years, First United Methodist Church of Gadsden has provided these same meaningful services. Located in the Church Courtyard on the northeast side of the church, the Columbarium is a place of peace, comfort, and meditation. The Columbarium offers a practical  way for its members to make pre-death plans. A limited number of niches are available for inurnment.  A pastor or the church secretary can assist you with additional information on the Columbarium.