The role of a minister / officiant at a funeral or memorial service is to help friends and family honor the life and death of a loved one. Ministers give friends and family an opportunity to mourn in whatever way they need to in order to heal. They do this by practicing compassion, listening carefully, and showing up prepared, ready to deliver an authentic and meaningful eulogy. Being able to gracefully navigate last minute changes, difficult emotions, and unexpected mishaps is also essential.
A good funeral requires the sensitivity and comfort only a minister can provide. Families have just lost loved ones, either tragically taken or have suffered through long illnesses. They are searching for comfort. No matter how old a person has lived or how long a family has prepared for the departure of their loved ones, it is still "too sudden" for many family members.
There are times in the minister’s life when they called upon him to comfort the family. These may be during times of disasters, senseless deaths involving crimes, a death of a child, the loss of the main provider in the home, wartime casualties, etc. Family member often are looking for answers or reasons why this has just happened, as well as seeking comfort.
The role of the minister is vital during these crucial times. A ministers role is more than just speaking words of comfort, it is listening and being there when family members need a minister the most.