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Guidelines for tipping a pastor for funeral services

Updated November 21, 2016

Because performing funerals is an expected part of a pastor's job, especially for church members, the general consensus is that tipping is not necessary. However, tipping a pastor for speaking at a funeral remains customary and is perhaps the best way of showing your gratitude. While tips range from large to small, you should always be discreet when tipping and tip according to how pleased you are with the service.

Observing Tradition

Depending on what the funeral service is like, tradition calls for tipping the pastor between £32 and £130. It is fine to go with your intuition within this range, but if you're unsure, you should ask the funeral director, who will tell you what's customary and give you his opinion on what he thinks is appropriate based on your situation.

Other Factors

If you aren't sure what to tip, or you want to tip outside the customary range, you can think about the factors that went into your loved one's funeral. Tip more for a longer service, or a service that went into a lot of depth about the deceased's life. Tip more if the pastor performed both a traditional service and a graveside service, or tip separately for each service. If there were multiple pastors speaking, you can choose to tip the head pastor more, or you may tip all of the pastors a modest sum. If you know the pastor very well, tip him more than you would a pastor you didn't know personally. If the pastor did an exceptional job speaking as well as working with you and your loved ones, tip very well. Perhaps the most important factor is what you really can afford to tip. It is never necessary to tip so heavily that you compromise your bank balance. If you can only afford a modest tip, then tip modestly.

Refusal

Some pastors will refuse your tip, no matter how large or small. This is done because of their religious viewpoints or because funeral services are already included in their salaries. If the pastor who conducted your loved one's funeral refuses your tip, don't press her to take it. Simply say thank you in person and always send a thank you note a week or so later. If you know the pastor personally and wish to do something special, you could send flowers or take her to dinner to show your gratitude.

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