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How to Write a Sympathy Thank You to the Clergy

by Rhomylly Forbes

After the loss of a loved one, it is still considered good manners for the family to send brief thank-you notes to people who were particularly helpful during the passing, funeral and immediately after. This may include people who sent flowers, helped with an after-funeral gathering, pallbearers and, of course, the minister who officiated at the funeral. Most sympathy thank-you notes can be very short, but you may want to say a few extra things to the clergyperson who helped you and your family through a difficult time.

Make sure you have the correct salutation. Different denominations refer to their clergy in different ways. "Dear Pastor Smith" is not necessarily the same as "Dear Father Smith" or "Dear Reverend Smith." Check with the church secretary if you are uncertain what salutation to use.

Specifically thank your clergyperson for his or her help. If the minister only officiated at the funeral, thank her for that. If the priest came to the hospital to administer last rites, thank him for that. If the pastor called you every few days in the last weeks of your loved one's illness, express your thanks in the note.

Share how much the help meant to you. Include a sentence or two about how much the minister's assistance meant to you and your family. Comments such as "Knowing we could call you anytime, day or night, meant so much" or "I will always remember the beautiful eulogy you gave for Bob" are always appreciated.

Keep the closing short. A quick, "Again, thank you so much. Sincerely, _____" is sufficient.

Items you will need
  • Blank card
  • Pen

About the Author

I am a senior journalism major at University of Wisconsin - Green Bay.{{}}

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