The practical skills offered in Presiding at Funerals include:

dealing with loss and grief, visiting the bereaved family and talking sensitively of God and faith, relating with funeral directors, planning and conducting a service and engaging with cultural settings. We visit a funeral director, crematorium and cemetery as well as share our personal insights into this ministry.

2017 Course Dates:

Introduction to Grief & Loss June 27, September 23-24
Funerals: March 9, June 28, October 23

Full course: 17-19 October

All courses run at the Centre for Ministry
16 Masons Drive, North Parramatta

 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 pre-course readings booklet can 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 Registrations:

More information about this course including the online registration form can be found by clicking on the link provided below:


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