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Funerals & Memorial Services

Church exterior

The death of a loved one can be a period of great emotional and spiritual challenge.

At this time, you may be seeking a service to remember and to celebrate the life of a loved one. Perhaps you may be putting some initial plans in place for the future. Regardless, Port Nelson United Church is here to offer you and your loved ones support and care.

For more information, please contact the church office at

Initial Call to the Minister or Church

Typically, a member of the family or a representative from a funeral home (if a funeral home is to be involved) contacts the church office or a minister. Depending on availability and any preferences stated by the family, one of our ministers will take the lead in helping to plan the funeral or memorial service. The minister will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Visit with the Minister

In addition to offering care, the minister will want to meet, when possible, in person with family members to make plans. Any family and friends are welcome at this meeting.

Order of Service

While there is flexibility, here is a suggested order of service:

  • Gathering Music
  • Opening Words
  • Lighting of the Christ Candle
  • A Time of Remembering
  • Readings and Reflections
  • Prayers, and The Lord’s Prayer
  • Words of Commendation and Blessing


If involved with the service, a funeral home will normally handle costs. However, if you wish to handle fees, the following apply:

  • Minister: $250
  • Music Director: $200
  • Funeral Coordinator: $125
  • Sound system: $100 (up to two hours; $50 per additional hour)
  • Sound system and Live Streaming: $200 (up to two hours; $100 per additional hour)
  • Setup/Cleanup (if service occurs on weekend): $60 flat fee

Please note there is no cost for use of the church.


For services held in the church, our Director of Music typically plays the piano and/or organ as people gather as well as at the end of the service. A choir may be present to assist with the singing of any hymns that are chosen. You may also wish to have additional solos or instrumental music (fees may apply). All music should be complementary to the service planned. Requests and choices may be discussed with the minister or with the Director of Music.


Often, a reception takes place following the funeral or memorial service. It is a time to greet family and friends and to share memories and stories of the deceased. This may take place at the funeral home, at the church or at another location. If it is to be held at the church, our Funeral Coordinator will attend to the details. She will contact you prior to the service about your preferences. Members of the church will be pleased to assist at the reception. Catering costs for food and beverages will be passed on to you.

Decorations & Flowers

Flowers may be delivered to the church the day of the service. The funeral home staff or the funeral coordinator will place the flowers. Please try to avoid lilies and other fragrant flowers as many people have allergies. Note that any seasonal decorations (e.g., Christmas, Thanksgiving) will remain in place.

Pre-Service Visitation

Prior to services at the church, you may wish to greet friends and family, or you may wish to gather privately as close family. Space for both options is available.

Use of Pall

The church has a funeral pall that may be placed on the casket (if present) during the service. The pall is a large white cloth with an embroidered gold cross. It is a symbol of new life and serves as a reminder that in the presence of God we are all equal. The use of the pall can be discussed with the minister.

Pall Bearers

If a casket is present, you may wish to have family members or friends act as pall bearers. Typically, pall bearers will be seated at the front and will accompany the casket out of the church or funeral home at the end of the service.


The church office can prepare a funeral bulletin that outlines the order of service. This is optional. We have a number of covers, or you may wish to supply the church office with a picture of your loved one to include on the cover of the bulletin.


Following the funeral or memorial service, we will continue to hold you in our prayers, and offer you support as appropriate and possible. You will also receive an invitation to attend our Annual Memorial Service held in late October or early November. Your loved one will be named and remembered as part of this service.

If you know of anyone who has been asked to speak at a funeral/memorial/celebration of life, Rev. Michael Brooks has created a new video that might be of interest. Here are Michael’s 10 tips for better eulogies: