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funerals & memorials

Memorial and Funeral Guidelines for St. Wilfrid’s Episcopal Church

St. Wilfrid’s and the clergy wish to be as helpful as possible to your family during this difficult time. The church is made available on a priority basis for funerals of members and is offered to non-members as our schedule allows. The Rector shall approve the scheduling and planning of funerals and memorial services.

There is a chapel that seats 70 people for smaller services. The Chapel has a piano and needs only one arrangement of altar flowers. For larger services the church seats 400 and organ or piano may be used. One or two large arrangements of altar flowers are needed for the church. The family makes arrangements for the flowers and traditionally the altar flowers are left in the church for Sunday worship. All other flowers will be displayed in the entrance to the church around the baptismal font. It is our custom that if there is a casket, it be closed. If there are ashes it is recommended that they be at the service, if possible.

This is an Episcopal Church so we use the Book of Common Prayer at funerals and memorial services. It allows for individual choices of readings, music and even style of service. The planning will be done with a priest of the parish, unless the Rector approves another arrangement. For a Christian who has been a regular communicant of an Episcopal Church, it is always appropriate to include Holy Eucharist. Everyone attending will be invited to participate by receiving communion (if that is his or her church custom) or by being blessed at the altar rail.

There are often questions about family members and friends speaking at funerals. The most important guideline is that the funeral/memorial is meant for close family and friends to attend. It is a ministry of the church to the family and friends and a celebration of the life of the deceased. Please know you are not expected to speak. Clergy will give a homily appropriate to the occasion. If others wish to make remarks, they should be written out in advance, they should be personal (not general comments on religion or death) and the total time for remembrances is limited to 15 minutes.

The Music Director, through the parish administrator, may arrange for organ and/or piano music. If there are special requests for soloists and worship music, it should be cleared with the minister conducting the service. The charge for our organist or pianist is $200.

Receptions may be held in Sacquety Hall following the service. The fee for church members is $100; for non-members the fee is $100 per hour.

We have a Memorial Garden where church members only may request to have ashes interred for a donation of $250 to the St. Wilfrid’s Perpetual Care Fund. A marker may be ordered with the name and years of birth and death. The cost for a marker in February 2009 was $145. Total cost for perpetual care and marker was $395 in February 2009. There is a handling fee of $50 to add another name and inter additional ashes.

There is no charge for the church or chapel for funeral/memorial services. For non-members, the clergy honorarium is suggested at a minimum of $200.00.

Contact the Parish Administrator for more information and availability.

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