Chapel Hill hosts memorial services for church members as well as residents of Gig Harbor and the surrounding communities. Every service emphasizes our belief in eternal life. It is our hope that these services bless family and friends as we honor the memory of their loved one while giving glory to God for the gift of life.
We would be honored to assist you in planning a service for your loved one. Our facilities are open and available Saturdays through Thursdays on a weekly basis. Please direct your questions or inquiries regarding a service and available calendar dates via email to Kathy Berry or call 253.853.0210. You may plan ahead by making use of our Memorial Pre-Planning Booklet.
Prior to the Service
First of all, please accept our condolences. We are very sorry for your loss. Prior to the memorial service, you will meet with the pastor to develop the service. You may invite family members or a few other people who are close to you to this meeting. At that time you will normally share remembrances of the person to help the pastor in developing the eulogy. You will also discuss the order of service and choose hymns, music and other elements that are appropriate to your situation.
If you wish to have music, it is important to arrange for a vocalist and an instrumentalist as soon as possible. Please let the pastor know right away if you would like the church to provide these services.
Often a family will put together a memory board of pictures or other personal items that is placed in the reception area on the day of the service. Most office supply stores carry poster board. Please let the pastor’s office know if you will require an easel to display your photo collage.
You may wish to purchase a guest book for people to sign as they enter. On the day of the service, the ushers will make sure the guests sign the book.
On the Day of the Service
Unless instructed otherwise by the pastor, it is customary for the family to arrive 30-45 minutes preceding the service to set up the memory board or pictures and set out your personal guest book.
You and your family may gather in the Prayer Chapel or a waiting room about 20 minutes before the service. The pastor will enter the service with you and direct you to the reserved seating in front.
After the Service
The pastor will lead you and your family out at the end of the service. You may greet people or, if that is not comfortable for you, you may return to the pastor’s office or study until you are ready to meet others. At the end of the time together, you may take the flowers and the memory board. Please be sure to leave the church’s easel or stand.
In the Days That Follow
Stay in touch with the church. When the visitors have left and life returns to normal - for everyone else - it is always a difficult adjustment. Give your pastor a call and come to worship, even if you find yourself crying at the services. Remember this is one of the reasons the church exists. The Bible says, "Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Consider joining a support group. We have an ongoing group here at Chapel Hill called "Good Grief.” Call the church receptionist (253.851.7779) for more information. It might be just right for you.
If you notice a significant change in your weight or your sleeping patterns, contact your doctor.
Remember that the first year after the loss of a loved one is often especially painful. Do not be surprised if holidays and other occasions hurt you long after you thought your grief was over. It is entirely normal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I have the casket at the church?
We do not include a casket in memorial services at Chapel Hill. Our service emphasizes the fact that we believe in life eternal. Many people have had a viewing at their funeral home prior to the service, but in our worship service we believe the body is not the point. As the angel said to the women who were searching for Jesus’ body in the tomb, "He is not here. He has risen!”
What is appropriate to pay?
It is Chapel Hill’s desire to provide as much support as needed to ensure your loved one is honored and well-remembered. Our team is able to provide pastoral care and officiating, musicians, worship bulletins, ushers, and technical services as needed. Because costs may vary depending on your individual wishes for the service, please email Kathy Berry or call her at 253.853.0210 for more information regarding fees associated with a specific memorial service at Chapel Hill. Please note: if any fees pose a problem for you, please do not hesitate to contact the pastor’s office.
What if guests wish to bring food to the reception?
We ask that guests do not bring food to the church. Our Deacons will host a short post-service reception that includes home-baked cookies, coffee and punch. If you prefer a larger catered event, we have an on-site event coordinator and food service staff whom you may work with for a fee. We encourage families who are interested in a potluck to hold this event at the home of a family member or friend of the family.