End-of-life services witness to our trust in God’s gift of eternal life.

Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church provides funerals, memorial and committal services for members, immediate family and friends of our faith community. These services praise God for the gift of life, witness to our trust in eternal life in Jesus Christ, remember and celebrate the life of the departed, and minister to the bereaved.

Advance Planning

Because it is difficult to plan or act wisely in a time of grief, we encourage our members to make calm appraisal of their intents and desires concerning an end-of-life service and final resting place before death is imminent. Our pastors are available to discuss your wishes and help with planning. We are happy to keep a record of your preferences, as well as any other documents related to end-of-life planning. 

For more information, and an end-of-life planning form, download Witness to the Resurrection: Planning a Funeral, Memorial Service or Committal Service. This document also contains suggested Scripture and music for end-of-life services.

Ministry at Time of Death

When a death has occurred or is imminent, please contact the church as soon as possible (212.247.0490, ext. 3007) so that we may provide pastoral care to the dying and to family and friends. If the church office is closed, please leave a message for the pastor on call.

Arranging a Service

A funeral takes place within days following death, with a closed casket or urn present. A memorial service, in which remains are not present, may take place at any time suitable for the bereaved. A committal service takes place at a cemetery or columbarium, and may follow a funeral or take place separately.

Please notify the Office of Congregational Care and Outreach to schedule a day, time and place for the service (whether at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, a funeral home or cemetery). Contact Lance Hurst at congregationalcare@fapc.org.

Depending on which clergy are available, you may choose the pastor to conduct the service. The pastor will arrange a meeting for family and friends to discuss the outline of the service, and select Scriptures, hymns and additional music, as well as participants. This will be an opportunity for the bereaved to share memories and pray over how best to honor and celebrate the life of the departed.

Complete details on planning a funeral, memorial or committal service are available in this document.