Introduction to Presiding at Funerals

Introduction to Presiding at Funerals

Introduction to Presiding at Funerals

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 talk to your Presbytery’s Pastoral Relations Committee (PRC) before registering for this course.

The practical skills offered include:

  • dealing with loss and grief,
  • visiting the bereaved 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 3-day course 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 course can assist you with the tools to effectively preside at a funeral.

Jump to Payment and Registration.

Dates: Wednesday, 25 Nov. –
Friday, 27 November 2020
Times: Start: 9 a.m. / Finish: 5 p.m. (each day)
Venue: Uniting Church Centre for Ministry
16 Masons Drive, North Parramatta
Early-bird rego available until
Monday, 26 October:-
$100 per person
$125 per person
Includes course materials.
Catering: B.Y.O. Lunch
A simple morning tea, and afternoon tea will be provided.
Facilitator(s): Matthew Trounce
UME Grant: Short-term Education Grants are available for those in financial need.
Please go to the UME Scholarships page for more information.


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

Click on the blue ‘Register Here’ button below to register and pay in advance online.  Registration in advance using this form is essential.

Please Note:-
Early-bird Registrations close on: Monday, 26 October 2020.
Full-fee Registrations close on:  Thursday, 19 November 2020.


Payment Processing Instructions

If you’re unfamiliar with the Eventbrite online registration process, please read through our step-by-step guide to completing your payment and registration –

Click here for step-by-step guide.


On-site COVID-19 Health & Safety Measures

Uniting Venues North Parramatta | COVID-19 Health & Safety Measures | PDF 1 page
UME Vital Leadership COVID-19 Update – Retreat & Courses | PDF 1 page


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


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.


More Information

If you would like more information about this course, please contact:

UME Reception | | Ph: 02 8838 8912