Funeral Procedures


Reserved parking will be made available by our Temple Sentinels for the hearse and cars belong-ing to the funeral home as well as other family cars to the extent that space is available. Upon conclusion of the service, cars going to the interment should line up as instructed by the Funeral Director.

Arrival of Your Loved One

Your loved one should arrive at the church at least one (1) hour before the visitation hour. The hearse should park in front of the church’s main entrance. Your loved one will be brought into the sanctuary through the main entrance, the Narthex, and placed in the center of the pulpit. Flowers should be brought in the same way.


Family members are to be seated prior to the start of the service in the seats located to the left of the pulpit beginning on the second row.
The order of line-up is as follows:
Officiating Minister
Other Clergy
Others participating in the service
For an Official Metropolitan service:
The officiating minister and pulpit participants should continue to the rostrum. Other clergy, diaconate and program participants should continue processional and sit to the right of the pulpit beginning on the second row. Individuals who are designated pallbearers should sit to the right of the pulpit on the first row. All other guests will sit in the rows behind the family and rows as insructed by the ushers.
At the conclusion of the service, the funeral director will give flowers to the designated flower bearers who will proceed up the center aisle and line up on the sidewalk closest to the church. The pallbearers will follow the direction of the funeral director and place the casket into the hearse.


The ministerial staff designee will work in coordination with the family and funeral director on the following arrangements:
preferred date and time of service
estimated number of attendees
special needs, i.e. wheelchair access, etc.
draft and finalize the service program
equipment desired, i.e. stand for guest register and reserved seating
signs, etc.
time deceased will be brought to the church
delivery of flowers and other articles

Bereavement Ministry

After the ministerial staff designee has met with the family to finalize final arrangements, a member of the Bereavement Ministry will contact the family to provide words of comfort and assistance during this very difficult time.

Masonic, Sorority and Fraternal Services

No Masonic, Eastern Star, Sorority or Fraternal organizations should make any plans for participation in the wake, homegoing service, or burial without prior approval and clearance from the Senior Servant or his designee.

Policy & Procedures

At the time our services are needed please contact the church at 202-238-5000 and advise us of your loss. If after 6 p.m. or before 10 a.m., please leave a voice mail message, and a minister will return your call. We will do our very best to contact the family within 24 hours of notification.
Dr. Jesse L. Wood is your initial contact. He is responsible for making the first contact with the family. He will establish in concert with the family the date and time of the service. He will assign a member of the ministerial team to meet with the family to ascertain the desires of the family and shape the program for the homegoing service. They will contact the appropriate parties at the church with the preliminary data and requests you have provided. We will do our best to meet and honor your requests. No Metropolitan ministry member or person should make any plans for participation in the wake, home-going service, or burial, without clearance from the Senior Servant and/or his designee, Dr. Jesse L. Wood


Space will be made available in designated areas of the church for a repast. All repasts are at the expense of the family. Maximum capacity for a repast is 120 persons. Metropolitan does not have a full-service kitchen, therefore, all food must be catered. Metropolitan will provide a list of in-house caterers from which a family can choose. If a family chooses to use an outside caterer, that person must provide in advance, evidence of a minimum of 1 million dollars of liability insurance, a copy of their license and food handler’s permit

Other Costs

If your loved one is a member of the Metropolitan Baptist Church there is no charge for the use of the sanctuary, officiant, and musician. If the deceased is not a member, applicable costs will be discussed by the ministerial staff at the time of the initial visitation.

Order of Service

The order of service should follow as printed in the program. Licensed ministers, guest soloists, musicians and others should use the podium to the left of the pul-pit (i.e. scripture readings, acknowledgements etc.).

Homegoing Service

It is preferred that all funerals take place between Tuesday and Thursday, generally with a family visitation beginning at 10:00 am and the Homegoing service beginning at 11:00 a.m. Other dates and times are at the discretion of the Senior Servant or his designee.
The casket is open during the scheduled time of the family visitation and closed thereafter during the funeral service. Under no circumstances will the service be conducted with an open casket.
After having met with the family, the ministerial staff will share with the Senior Servant the family’s desires and wishes for the program order of service. The Senior Servant or his designee will make the necessary changes and/or corrections to the pro-gram and will have the final word on the finished document.
All programs done by the family outside of Metropolitan must be approved by the Senior Servant or his designee before the program is printed. All decisions relative to music selections, solos, musicians, etc. come under the purview of the Director of Music, Mr. Fred Mason III. Please avoid any last minute changes to the order of worship.
Dr. Jesse L. Wood will serve as the worship leader of all Metropolitan funerals, except as he delegates this responsibility to other ministers or at the discretion of the Senior Servant. Dr. Wood will also bear the responsibility for the burial and administering of the final rites except as he delegates this responsibility to other ministers.

Our Ministerial Staff

Ministerial staff, Servants (Deacons) and the Metropolitan church family join in prayer as you grieve the passing of your loved one. May you know the Lord’s comfort, and may His love surround you during this time of loss.
Because the transition from life temporal to life eternal is such a sensitive time, we have established procedures to assist you through the bereavement process. As you follow these guidelines you may be assured that everything will be done for your comfort and convenience.
We will do our very best to honor your reasonable requests as we are able. We know that Homegoing Services are worship services designed to comfort and encourage the family and bring glory and honor to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we strive diligently to meet the needs and requests of the family, we keep in mind that all funeral services are worship services, and therefore adhere to the worship protocol of the Metropolitan Baptist Church.
All final decisions for the service will be made by the Senior Servant or Executive Pastor, Dr. Jesse L. Wood.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5