What Do African-American Funeral Resolutions Consist Of?

In many African-American churches, making a funeral resolution is a rite of passage. It may be presented by a member of the clergy, a family member, or a close friend, and is usually a solemn and reverent element of the service. The resolution usually starts with the person’s name, then moves on to an introduction of the person’s faith, “whereas” comments about the person, “therefore” statements or resolutions, and a conclusion.

A resolution is a written piece that is read during the service and kept by the deceased’s family. The resolution begins with the title, “Resolution in loving memory of…” as is customary. The following section of the faith introduction acknowledges that the deceased was a godly person who had died.

The “whereas” statements are the longest part of the resolution and include personal characteristics as well as Bible verses. Statements such as “Whereas” can take up to two pages of the resolution. They are an opportunity to honour a person’s relationship with God, work for the church, community service, and family love. They’re also a good place to acknowledge the person’s major achievements.

The resolution usually includes “hence” statements, sometimes known as funeral resolutions, that provide the congregation instructions on how to deal with the death. This section should include information about the resolution, including who is involved, as well as when, when, and how it will be resolved. These resolutions may specify a period of grief or suggest that the congregation support the family of the deceased.

A formal conclusion, which may include a Bible verse or a sentence like “Respectfully submitted by,” concludes the resolution.

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