Funerals at Grace United Church
Preparing for a funeral and dealing with the death of one we love is a difficult time. A community of faith can be an important support in the grieving process and in planning the funeral service. It reminds us that we are not alone, and that we have companions with us on the journey. It is an opportunity to call upon God to give us strength and courage.
Grace United Church is here to support you and your family, as you make arrangements to celebrate the life of a loved one. A funeral, celebration of life or memorial is a service of worship in which we give thanks for the life of a loved one while we grieve our loss.
Drawing on our faith we are empowered by our hope of resurrection, which enables us to face death, offer thanksgiving for the gift of life, and celebrate our Christian hope.
We offer this information in the spirit of respect and cooperation. In being clear about what we can offer, our traditions and our expectations, we can make the preparations for funerals and memorials at the church easier for your family.
Please contact the Minister or the Office Administrator to begin the coordination of details by calling 905-335-0090 or email mailto:office@GraceUnitedChurchBurlington.com.
The Administrator will ask you some questions about your wishes and then will check to make sure Grace can meet your needs. Once a date has been set you will be given the contact information for the Funeral Coordinator who can help you with the non-service related aspects of the funeral (i.e. flowers, ushers, and information on catering and rentals and arrangements for use of the reception facilities). Please note that only the Minister can confirm his availability to officiate on a given date and time.
We Offer Our Minister
The most common request received from a grieving family is for our Minister to assist in preparing and presiding at a funeral or memorial service. The Minister will always respectfully receive requests to prepare and preside at a funeral or memorial service for members, and adherents of Grace United Church, and for members of the wider community. Our Minister is happy to preside at funeral and memorial services in any funeral home or suitable facility. As noted above, only the Minister can confirm his availability to officiate on a given date and time. There are times when the Minister will be on vacation or study leave and will not be able to personally preside at a service. During these times arrangements will be in place for another minister to cover emergency pastoral care situations and they will be able to confirm their availability.
All arrangements are to be made through the Minister, including the time and date of the service, the order of service, the choice of hymns and the participation of others.
The Minister welcomes participation of family members and friends during the service of celebration.
We Offer Our Facilities
While our Minister is happy to preside at funeral and memorial services in any funeral home we also welcome requests for services to be held in our Sanctuary, which can accommodate a maximum of 250 people. It is expected that when our Sanctuary is requested our Minister will preside at the requested service.
The Grace Sanctuary and reception space will be available for the family for 1 ½ hours prior to the service and then for 2 hours following the service. Please with the exception of the minister and the musician all those helping at the funeral are volunteers.
We Offer Our Musician
Music at a funeral or memorial service is optional. When there is a request for a musician it is expected that our Director of Music will be given the first opportunity to provide music. When asked to provide music for a service, it is the Director of Music who can confirm his availability to the office, Minister and Funeral Coordinator. All music must be appropriate to the service and agreed upon by both the Minister and the Director of Music.
We also offer a soloist (when available) for services at the church.
We Offer Sound and Video Operators
We use only our own trained people to operate our sound and video system. We can deliver PowerPoint slide shows upon request and need 24 hours’ notice for this service. If the family wishes to show a slide show before or after the service this must be received by the church 24 hours before the service.
We Offer Reception Facilities
Arrangements for a reception can be made for either the rear of the Sanctuary (if fewer than 150 funeral attendees) or the loft of the church. Grace United Church does not offer food services but can provide you with catering information.
There are two options the family can chose regarding receptions:
1) Grace will set up tables for the reception but all other items (tablecloths, plates etc.) must be provided by and setup by the family. No reception support will be available from Grace. The space will be open for 1 ½ hours before the service to allow for set up.
2) Grace will provide the set-up of the reception space (tablecloths etc.) and will provide servers to help with the food tables. We will also supply coffee, tea and water. The space will be open for 1 ½ hours before the service to allow for set up. See fee listed below Funeral Reception Support.
Please note that our church policy is that alcoholic beverages are not permitted on church property. We are also Grace is a nut free and fragrance free environment. Food containing nuts will not be allowed into the building.
The family is responsible for creation of Bulletins for the service, if desired. A sample order of service will be provided so the family can see a typical set up. The Minister will supply the family an outline of the service 24 hours after their meeting with the family. Any changes/additions are made to the Order of Service by the family this must be approved by the Minister.
The family is also responsible for flowers/Altar displays that are to be in the Sanctuary or reception area. If a photo display is desired the family is responsible for set up and take down of display. The Funeral Co-ordinator will work to arrange a time for the family to come to Grace to set up these displays. This will be limited to 1 ½ hours to allow for set up.
If Funeral Reception Support is not requested the family will need to supply Greeters, Ushers, Reception Staff.
The family is responsible for catering, rental of additional furniture elements (tall tables) and whatever else is needed for the reception.
Please notify the Funeral Coordinator as soon as your plans have been finalized, so we can be prepared to support your needs.
It is our honour and privilege to serve those who call on us in time of need. We hope this information makes clear our traditions and expectations for funerals and memorial services at the church and helps in making a difficult time easier for you and your family.
Donations to the Church
Memorial gifts from family and friends in memory of the deceased may be made to Grace United Church. Donation cards will be set out on the Guest Book table. Income tax receipts will be offered to all persons making a donation of $20 or more.
Fees for these services will be provided when service is booked.