January 2010 Ordained Servant

A Journal for Church Officers

E-ISSN 1931-7115

Ministry to the Dying - Part 1



Death: An Old-new Terror

Pastoral Care for the Dying, Part I

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From the Editor. I had only been in the ministry three months and I was called on to perform my first funeral. I'm sure we had touched upon funerals in pastoral theology, but the coverage was minimal, and to make matters worse, I had never been in a funeral home, been to a funeral, or seen a dead body. The funeral parlor was packed with standing room only, and the head of the deceased woman in an open casket was a foot from my left elbow. I was terrified and hoped that my feeling would not show and detract from my ministry to the grieving. The Lord saw me through, but I vowed to be better prepared in the future, and to help young men pursuing the ministry to be better prepared than I was. I believe it is the church's, not the seminary's primary duty to help in this preparation.

In this issue and the next Pastor Gordon Cook covers the difficult, but essential, matter of ministering to the dying and those around them. Later this year Pastor Cook will be writing on ministry to the grieving. May the Lord bless our ministries with the gospel courage and biblical wisdom to face the last enemy of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, death.

Don't miss Joel Beeke's excellent article from our archives, "Pastoring the Dying and the Mourning."

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds

From the Archives: "DEATH AND DYING"


  • "A Life and Death Matter." (G. I. Williamson) 8:2 (Apr. 1999): 39-41.
  • "Pastoring the Dying and the Mourning." (Joel R. Beeke) 13:4 (Oct. 2004): 76-87.

Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high quality editorials, articles, and book reviews we endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic Presbyterianism.

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Contact the Editor: Gregory Edward Reynolds

Editorial address: Dr. Gregory Edward Reynolds,
827 Chestnut St.
Manchester, NH 03104-2522
Telephone: 603-668-3069

Electronic mail: reynolds.1@opc.org

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