Presiding at Funerals Training

Event Details

This is a 3-day training course for those seeking recognition as a registered funeral presider.

If you are seeking authorisation to become a Lay Presider, please seek the approval of your presbytery before registering for this course.

The practical skills offered include:

  • dealing with loss and grief,
  • visiting the bereved family,
  • talking sensitively of God and faith,
  • relating with funeral directors,
  • planning and conducting a service and
  • engaging with cultural settings.

A full day of field trips to: a funeral director, crematorium and cemetery is also included.

Summary: Leading and presiding at funerals combines a range of important skills and knowledge.  This three-day workshop explores the practicalities around planning and leading a funeral – and combines this with the exploration of the basis behind grief and loss, and how the grieving person can be supported in a healthy way. If you feel called to learn more, this three-day course can assist you with the tools to effectively preside at a funeral.

Dates: Tuesday, 28 Aug. – Thursday, 30 August 2018
Times: Start: 9:30 a.m. / Finish: 5:30 p.m. (each day)
Venue: Uniting Church Centre for Ministry
16 Masons Drive, North Parramatta
Cost: $320 for three full days of training
(includes: course materials and a catered
morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea on each day).
Facilitator(s): Rev Bronwyn Murphy
Pre-course Reading:

The pre-course reading list has been set (see below) –

Content: Instructions:
2 hours in total 1. Introduction to ‘Praying Our Goodbyes’ by Joyce Rupp This serves as an introduction to the course
2. Indonesian and South Pacific Understandings of Death Please read all readings then select one to reflect on.


See assessment task description below.

3. Jewish Understandings of Death
4. Death in Islam
5. Hindu Understandings of Death and Grief
6. A Hindu Funeral Story
7. Aboriginal Understandings of Death
8. An Atheist in Church: In propaganda, you can’t beat God…
9. Dying We Live: Do We Survive Our Death? by Tyrone Inbody

A copy of the readings booklet will be e-mailed to you upon registration.

Pre-course Assignment Task (Written Reflection or Cultural Response):

a). Please choose one reading from Readings 1-9 (as listed above, and on page 4 of the Pre-course Readings booklet) and prepare a one page written reflection (300 words) on one of these readings and discuss how it contrasts with your own Christian context and understanding.

Bring this with you on day one of the course for discussion in a small group.


b). Write your own cultural response to death and the funeral service using the Indonesian and South Pacific responses (Reading No.2) as a guide.

Bring this ready to share with your small group on day one of the course.

Questions to consider are:

  1. Please give a brief introduction to your cultural context in Australia.
  2. How is death understood according to your cultural heritage?
  3. What is the physical process and time frame that follows a death in your culture?
  4. What part does the funeral service play in saying goodbye? Describe how the funeral works.
  5. What things might it be helpful for a Funeral Presider to be aware of, e.g. things to remember, and things to avoid.
  6. Please include any relevant information that might help Funeral Presiders engage with your culture in the future.
Online Payment and Registration Form:

Please register and pay in advance, via the online ‘Tickets’ payment and registration form that appears below.
Please Note: Registrations Close – Wednesday, 22 August at 11:30 p.m.
{EVENTBRITE Rego – coming soon}

Payment Processing Instructions:

To pay by credit card:

  1. select the quantity of tickets you wish to purchase.  Then,
  2. click on the green ‘Order Now’ button.  Then,
  3. complete the Online Registration Form that appears next.  Then,
  4. click on either the: MasterCard, Visa, or PayPal icons that appear at the bottom of the registration form to progress to payment processing.  Then,
  5. select your preferred method of payment (i.e. ‘Pay with Credit or Debit Card’ – the grey button that appears on the screen).  Then,
  6. on the following ‘PayPal Guest Checkout’ screen, submit your: credit card, billing address, and contact details, then click ‘Pay Now’ to complete your purchase.
    (When paying by credit card, you are under no obligation to accept the offer to: ‘Create a PayPal account?’ near the bottom of the checkout screen.)

To pay by cheque:

  1. select the quantity of registration tickets you wish to purchase.  Then,
  2. click on the green ‘Order Now’ button.  Then,
  3. complete the Online Registration Form that appears next.  Then,
  4. click on the blue word ‘Show’ that appears under the ‘Other Payment Options’ text at the bottom of the registration form.  Then,
  5. click on the blue ‘Pay By Cheque’ button that appears at the bottom of the registration form to complete your registration.  Then,
  6. post your cheque, made payable to: ‘Uniting Mission and Education’, to the address provided on your invoice.

Please, no cash upon arrival at the course.

On-site Overnight Accommodation Enquiries:

Note: Accommodation on-site at the Centre for Ministry, North Parramatta is not included in your course registration.  However, a limited supply of on-site accommodation may still be available at the time of making your registration to attend.  In order to ease the process, those wishing to make an enquiry about the availability of on-site accommodation, are asked to make mention that your enquiry is related to your attendance at this course.

The Uniting Venues booking office can be contacted directly on – Ph: 1300 138 125, E-mail:
Web: (choose ‘North Parramatta’ from the ‘Preferred centre’ drop-down list)

Travelling to the Centre for Ministry:

The Centre for Ministry is accessible by public transport.  Please click on this link for more information about travelling to the centre via public transport.  A free visitor car park is also available on-site, as well as in the overflow car park in the paddock diagonally opposite the centre’s driveway entrance.

Short-term Education Grants:

UME offers short-term education grants for those in financial need.  Please click on this link for more information and a downloadable application form.

More Information:

If you would like more information about this course, please contact, either:
Bronwyn Murphy | Mob: 0428 411 830
Rohan England | | Ph: 02 8838 8912

Uniting Mission & Education | A leading theological education provider for the Uniting Church in Australia

2018 Education Prospectus – download the full copy (2MB) – 2018 Education Prospectus

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