How to write a thank you letter for a church service

Updated April 17, 2017

You have decided to sit down and write a thank-you letter expressing appreciation to your minister, priest or rabbi. He may have officiated at your wedding, the christening of your child or the funeral of a loved one. Take time to compose a sincere and appropriate message. Some clergymen and clergywomen keep their notes and letters for many years. They often reread these positive testimonials during difficult and challenging times.

Use good-quality stationery or thank-you cards and a fine-quality pen. Clear a desk or other writing surface and give yourself enough room to write freely and neatly.

Address the letter properly. Each denomination uses a different title for their clergy. For example, "Father Taylor," "Pastor Taylor," "Reverend Taylor." If you are uncertain, telephone the church secretary or a parish council member.

Write from the heart and keep the note short and simple. In most cases, three to five sentences is appropriate. For example: "It meant so much to have our son christened in your church. You selected readings that resonated with everyone and inspired us with your short homily. I am so glad we decided to videotape the service. We look forward to reliving this special day with our son. Once again, thank you so much and best of luck with your ministry."

Thank the clergywoman for any support she provided you and your family. Some ministers help grieving relatives plan and organise the funeral and burial services. For example: "We appreciate all your fine efforts on our behalf. When our mother passed away, you took time from your busy schedule to help us plan and organise the funeral and burial service. You delivered an outstanding eulogy, capturing the spirit and essence of our mother's character. Many of our friends and relatives commented on your warm, eloquent manner. It was wonderful to hear the choir sing all of Mom's favourite hymns. Thank you for providing such a memorable funeral service."

Sign the message using your full name. If you are writing on behalf of the family, use the following closing: "With warmest regards, The Clarkson Family."

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About the Author

In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio opened a wordsmith business. She has been published in the "Guelph Daily Mercury," "Waterloo Record" and "Winnipeg Free Press". A retired school teacher, Guidoccio has a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and psychology from Laurentian University, a Bachelor of education from the University of Western Ontario and a Career Development Practitioner Diploma from Conestoga College.