Memorial Services and Funerals

The Dean and staff of Marsh Chapel are available for guidance and support for those who have suffered a loss in their family. Marsh Chapel is available for memorial or funeral services for BU staff, alumni, faculty and students. Those in need of pastoral leadership for memorial and funeral services should contact the Chapel Director, Ms. Heidi Freimanis-Cordts (617-358-3390) to discuss arrangements. The Chapel does not normally host memorials or funerals for non-BU affiliated persons.

Chapel Director will meet with family members in the weeks prior to the service to discuss liturgy, participants, music, and other logistical considerations in order to provide the most gracious, dignified and personal service possible.  The general structure includes time for prayer and reflections. Most services last 30 to 45 minutes.

A Letter of Condolence and Pastoral Care from Dean Robert Allan Hill

The Chapel staff will help in the planning process, but the families should already have discussed their desires prior to meeting with the Chapel. Here are things to consider in the planning process:

Speakers: In most cases, it is suggested that 2-3 remembrances of 5 minutes each, written out in advance, be included in the memorial service or funeral.

Program: Orders of worship and programs from past services are available through the director for reference. The Chapel can only provide basic black and white printing services, and a simple template.

Register and other supplies: Families are encouraged to provide and bring a guest register for use prior to the service.

Music: Music for memorial services and funerals can be coordinated through the Chapel Director, Ms. Heidi Freimanis-Cordts, and the Associate Director of Music, Justin Thomas Blackwell. A request for permission to use any recorded music must at the service be made to the Dean of Marsh Chapel.

Reception: There are University spaces nearby for gathering and refreshment following the service, such as the Castle and Barrister’s Hall at the Law School. Please visit the BU Events and Conferences website for more information about these spaces.

Fees: Use of space: $500 for staff and faculty planning a service; $1,000 for alumni planning a service.  Organist: $350, soloists may be hired as well for an additional fee. Clergy honorarium: $500. Fees should be paid 48 hours prior to the service itself.  All fees may be waved at the discretion of the Dean, especially in the case of memorial services for current students.