Funerals and Celebrations of Life

General statement

BCUC is committed to offering faith celebrations that remember and honour those who have died and to providing spiritual support and care to those who are grieving. These pastoral care services are a significant ministry of BCUC through its Pastoral and Spiritual Care Team and they are available to all people in the community, whether they are affiliated with the United Church of Canada or not. BCUC professes that a Christian funeral, also known as “ a celebration of life” is an extension in the life of faith; therefore, we encourage individuals and families to hold these faith celebrations in the church sanctuary of BCUC.

The officiating minister

The incumbent minister has the right to first refusal to officiate at, or participate in funeral and memorial services held at BCUC, funeral home chapels and other appropriate locations. This includes the services of inurnment, interment or committal. The minister will meet with the family for prayer and coordinate with them regarding the funeral or memorial service at the church office. If the bereaved family would like to invite other clergy to officiate or participate in the funeral or memorial service, such requests should be discussed with the incumbent minister for approval and coordination.

Service details

If required, BCUC Church Office will prepare a service bulletin for the funeral / memorial service if such service is held in the church sanctuary. A small fee may be charged.

In celebration of the life of the deceased, family and/or friends may place flowers, a photo of the deceased, a candle, and/or the urn (in the case of a cremation) in the Sanctuary, front foyer and/or the narthex or main hall of the church. Following the service, with the family’s consent some or all of the flowers may be left at the church and/or they may be delivered to persons living in nursing/retirement homes.

Most often a committal service or interment at the gravesite will follow the funeral service. In case of inclement weather, the committal service may be held at a different date.

Music

Music for funeral / memorial services held at BCUC, including requests for the participation of an organist or pianist should be arranged with the officiating minister. The musician at BCUC has the right to first refusal and there is a suggested fee of $150 for the church organist/pianist.

The family is allowed to invite a soloist for the service. However, if the soloist requires the church organist/ pianist for accompaniment, an extra $25.00 will be charged. Please note that the choirs of BCUC are not normally involved in funeral or memorial services. However, the choir may be requested by the bereaved through consultation with the church organist/musician.

Reception

Members of UCW can provide catered light reception after the service at a nominal cost. This service can be arranged through the Church Office.