Armenian Apostolic Church

Funeral – Թաղում

All rites and rituals must be carried out according to the Canons of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church and are subject to the approval of the Pastor. Families can make necessary arrangements with the funeral home of their choice. However, it is recommended that the Pastor be present when arrangements are being made in order to expedite the process and avoid possible confusion. The Pastor may be contacted at the church office or on his cell phone (847-644-7389) in case of emergencies.

According to Canon Law, no funeral may take place on Saturday afternoons after 3:00 PM or on Sundays. Again, all efforts should be made to contact the Pastor before any arrangements are made.

The ritual of burial is divided into three sections:

  • Home Service/Wake – Dan Gark
  • Church Service – Yegeghetsvo Gark
  • Graveside Service – Kerezmanee Gark

Home Service shall be performed on the night preceding the funeral at the funeral home or at church. Church Service may never be performed at the funeral home or anywhere else outside of the church.
No compatriotic, fraternal or any other organization may perform services at the church during either Home Service or Church Service or at the Graveside Service. Instead, such organizations should perform services at the funeral home or the memorial meal (Hokejash).

Also, no lay person may speak or give eulogies in the sanctuary during either Home Service or Church Service at the Graveside Service. Instead, lay people should speak at the funeral home or the memorial meal (Hokejash). In accordance with church protocol, in order for a priest other than the Pastor to participate in services, the request must be made by the family to the Pastor who will then extend the invitation to the requested priest. Please consult the Pastor before making arrangements of this kind.

It is recommended that a brief biography of the deceased be provided to the Pastor at least one day prior to the funeral.

In the case of cremation and/or suicide, the Pastor must be informed prior to making funeral arrangements. As such situations are outside the Canons of the Armenian Apostolic Church, special instructions must be received by the Pastor from the ecclesiastical authority (i.e., the Primate).

Finally, if the family choses St. James Armenian Church for IN LIEU OF FLOWERS donations, the Parish will receive these donations directly from family and friends (click here to read the policy for in lieu donations) . If the donations are made at the funeral home, the funeral director will forward the donations to St. James. All donations will then be recorded, and a list of these donations will be provided to the family shortly thereafter. All envelopes with “St. James Armenian Church” printed on the outside shall be opened ONLY by a representative designated by the Pastor-most likely the Parish Treasurer. Should the family request that IN LIEU OF FLOWERS donations be made to any other organization, envelopes must be provided by that organization or the family.