Funeral Information

As a ministry to the greater university community, Trinity College makes its chapel available for funerals and memorial services. The available times for use of the chapel are limited: funerals and memorial services are generally restricted to weekdays and Saturdays, based on availability. We do not charge for the rental of the facilities, but there is a fee paid to the musician, to the verger (the person responsible for setup and clean-up), and to the officiant. For more information, please contact the chaplain at chaplain@trinity.utoronto.ca or by telephone 416-978-3288.

A public funeral service is important: The form and language of funerals have evolved over many centuries to give comfort when ordinary words falter. The essay starting on page 565 of The Book of Alternative Services (with appended references), is a useful resource to begin planning a funeral.

Pre-planning

These kinds of decisions ought to be made with next-of-kin, and recorded with a funeral company.

Disposal of remains: Is the body to be buried? If so, at which cemetery? If cremation is intended, are the ashes to be buried or scattered? (Some jurisdictions have restrictions on scattering of ashes.)

Location and personnel: What kinds of numbers might reasonably be expected to attend, and therefore what is the most appropriate place in which to hold this service? What time of day? Who should co-ordinate this service? Should there be one or more greeters from the family, to hand out service leaflets? Who should speak during the service and should this be a sermon about God, or a eulogy on the deceased? (The Anglican custom is to focus on God's love, and on our faith in everlasting life.) Who should assist in reading the lessons and the prayers?

Service details: Which funeral liturgy is desired (Book of Common Prayer, Book of Alternative Services, etc.)? Which pattern (a "service of the Word" or a requiem Eucharist)? What should the lessons be (see a suggested list on page 604 of The Book of Alternative Services)? What should the music be for prelude, hymns, and postlude? Who shall produce the pew bulletin? (Always ensure that a draft copy is examined by the officiant.)

Pallbearers: It is customary to have six pallbearers, and tradition has added a further six honorary pallbearers. Nowadays, funeral homes often provide personnel for the actual movement of remains, so it is probably not necessary to name more than six persons if pallbearers are desired.

After the service: If burial is planned, will it be a private event? If cremation, will that be private? Is there to be a reception following the service? If so, will the family attend? (It is increasingly customary for the officiant to accompany the remains to the crematorium, while the family remains with the community.) What food and drink are to be served? To whom are the costs to be billed?

Funeral homes are able to offer advice and assistance with the planning process; if you would like to plan a service for the Trinity College Chapel, please feel free to consult the chaplain.