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Judi's avatar

What is a reasonable honorarium for clergy at a memorial service?

Asked by Judi (39824points) January 4th, 2011 from iPhone

Mom died last week and we are planning her memorial. She was very active in her church and a faithful in her tithes. She would want us to give an honorarium to the pastor but we have no idea how much. She was Lutheran if that makes a difference.

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7 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

I was going to say between one and two hundred dollars, but since she was an active member, I’d go with the higher end. Maybe $250 or $300. She would have wanted it that way.

But I’d just ask the church what the usual honorarium is. Someone will tell you.

Judi's avatar

We tried to ask the pastor and he said whatever we felt.

chyna's avatar

I think one hundred would be a good amount.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Judi first, I hope you are coping okay with your loss. I think it would depend on where the church service is located. Manhattan would be different than say somewhere in the rural Dakotas. I found a website that broke down the amount of time a clergy spends doing various duties for a memorial with graveside services and it said standard was between $150 to $300; depending on the location. So if there isn’t a graveside service, I’d think $200 would be more than adequate regardless of location. Best wishes.

marinelife's avatar

I am so sorry for your loss. Here are two different references:

“The minister’s honorarium

Finally, it is customary to give the minister an “honorarium,” for his/her leadership. The amount of such honorariums is usually up to you. In less affluent neighborhoods a $100 honorarium might be appropriate; in more privileged communities a $250 honorarium (or larger) might work. Naturally, you should take into account the time spent by the clergy in working with you in planning and counseling prior to the service.”


” Members Of Tarrytown United Methodist Church:

* No honorarium is expected from members of the congregation because this is part of a pastor’s responsibilities.
*However, if the family chooses to make a special gift to pastor, the amount is to be decided by the family.
*If special travel is required, expenses of the clergy should be covered.


*An honorarium of at least that of the organist ($150) is appropriate.”


WestRiverrat's avatar

Ask the funeral director. They know what the going rate is in their communities, and they are used to dealing with these details for the bereaved.

I know some that even have the honorariums figured into their costs when they price the funeral services.

BarnacleBill's avatar

So sorry for your loss, Judi. I would go with $250, as she was active in the chuch, and would have had a relationship with the minister. He will have spent time preparing what he had to say, as well as attending the service, and will most likely have about 5 hours of time invested.

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