Do I Pay My Pastor For A Funeral?

Funerals are a sad thing in life, and planning them is a little difficult. There’s a lot that goes into the planning process. With all the planning and grieving it’s understandable for a person to be uncertain about a couple of things. One big question many families ask revolves around the payment of the pastor. Here we will see about Do I Pay My Pastor For A Funeral?

Pastors understand that officiating a funeral service is a part of their duty and job description. However, families aren’t always sure if they should pay the pastor for his service or not. If the pastor does get paid the uncertainty is around how the pastor gets paid. Even with something as sensitive as a funeral, there is still proper etiquette to be observed when it comes to rewarding the pastor for his service on the day.

It’s those varied roles that tend to complicate the process of knowing exactly how to properly pay the pastor. When speaking to a pastor about a reward or payment for the service is not the easiest conversation to have. What is given to the pastor is a cost that in most cases the insurance will not cover. It is accepted etiquette to pay the pastor for their service at a funeral even if you refer to it as a donation instead of as payment.

Do I Pay My Pastor For A Funeral?

Role of the pastor 

The pastor is the one who assists the family in many ways in the lead-up to a funeral.  Knowing the exact role to play varies for the pastor depending on the person who has passed and their family.

The role that the pastor plays is not limited only to the funeral service. Their role begins after the death as the pastor serves as a vehicle of support for the family of the deceased in the lead-up to the funeral. It is the role of the pastor to comfort the bereaved family, guide them through the grieving process, and guide them through the process of planning the funeral. This range that the pastor has during this process is what makes it hard to have a conversation about payment with a pastor.

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Difference between the pastor, priest, and minister 

Some people make the mistake at times to confuse a pastor, priest, and a minister thinking that they all serve the same purpose. That is a misconception because the role of each differs distinctly. A priest is a person that mediates the relationship between man and God. Whereas a pastor refers to the person who according to the biblical definition is the shepherd, meaning the one that leads the congregation. The pastor’s role bears similarity to that of a priest.

Reach out to a pastor 

After the death, the first thing that needs to be done is to reach out to the pastor for him to conduct the service. That phone call will depend on the family’s religious inclination. Unfortunately, there are cases where the person who passed was not a regular attendee at church then the option available to you is to contact churches from nearby churches to officiate the funeral service while enquiring about how exactly their congregation functions.

Discussing payment 

Discussing the amount due to the pastor for officiating the funeral service tends to be a sensitive and tricky subject. Some people are not eager to initiate let alone have that conversation. However, it remains an important part of the process and cannot be forgotten. The insurance may cover most of the funeral expenses but the fees of the pastor are not included in the list of expenses that the life insurance will cover.

What that means is that the amount due to the pastor comes from your wallet. In some instances, the pastor will tell you what their expected fee is from the start. Those who do not request payment instead ask that you make a donation that goes directly to the church. With regards to the donations and what form they may be in, they can either be cash donations or a gift of sorts. Cash donations normally range from $150-$200. Gifts are normally more specific.

Etiquette to follow 

Since the day of the funeral is usually a very emotional period for the family of the deceased. This means that handing over the payment to the pastor is something that is best done before the funeral service because on the day it may be difficult with emotions running high. This can be done by you or if you’re not feeling up to it you could ask the director of the funeral or a trusted friend to do it for you. 

It is best to place the cash in an envelope that is perfectly sealed, the outside of the envelope should have the name of the pastor written on it. Commonly, it is good practice to thank the pastor for his service in a note of thanks.


Paying your pastor for officiating the funeral service is acceptable, the method of payment is dependent on the pastor. This means you could pay in either cash or by giving a gift to the church that was stated as a need by the pastor. When it comes to gifts, the pastor won’t ask for something that is beyond your means. Through this article we have learned about Do I Pay My Pastor For A Funeral?

Do I Pay My Pastor For A Funeral?

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