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In life and in death, we belong to God

Bedside Memorial and Procession of Honor

The heart of Presbyterian Homes & Services exists in our mission: To honor God by enriching the lives and touching the hearts of older adults. We are often privileged to care for members of our communities in their final days. Each individual makes an indelible mark on our lives and we honor God by the way we serve residents from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave. For this reason, we offer a meaningful way to thank God for a life lived and completed.

The Bedside Memorial and Procession of Honor are among the end of life services offered at all PHS communities. The purpose is to extend spiritual care and respect for a resident who has died and those who mourn the loss of that person. Regardless of the time of day or day of the week, staff members on duty come together and offer this service when the time is appropriate.

Bedside Memorial

Stained glass windowWith the approval of family, either near the time of death or shortly thereafter, a staff member initiates the services for those who have gathered at the bedside or other designated place. The Bedside Memorial offers a time of prayer, reading of Scripture and reflection. Those gathered have an opportunity to share memories and exchange blessings of love, grief and comfort.

Procession of Honor

Following the Bedside Memorial, the Procession of Honor begins as the body is lovingly escorted to the front door of the community. Employees, volunteers and neighbors line the halls in quiet respect as the procession passes by. A final blessing is given before the funeral coach departs. This gives everyone in the community who have known and cared for that individual an opportunity to be present and mourn together.

Thoughful words from a grateful family

Dan Lindh, CEO of PHS received a letter from a resident's family expressing their experience of Bedside Memorial and Procession of Honor that included the following words:

“...our entire family was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support by the staff and caregivers... Not only have they provided great care over the last 2 years, but they surrounded [mother's] bed to say goodbye and to share personal memories of what she meant to them. Most were crying. All the staff lined up for the Procession of Honor which clearly demonstrated the dignity of life and the importance of the resident going out the same door that they came in. I am certain that you would have been so proud of your employees in the way they displayed love to our family.”

As an organization rooted in the Christian faith, we understand our service as ministry steeped in the grace and mercy of God. The Bedside Memorial and Procession of Honor create sacred space to enfold the grief of those who have lost one they love, express gratitude for their life and hold tight to memories that remain and sustain.

*With believers in every time and place, we rejoice that nothing in life or in death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

*from “A Brief Statement of Faith,” Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)

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