In death as in life, God promises to be faithful to us.  As you prepare your own celebration of life or a memorial for someone you love, be assured that you are held in prayer.


This page will assist you in planning a celebration of life in the Christian tradition. We believe that it is important to participate in a rite to grieve our loss, to celebrate the life of each individual, and to proclaim our belief that death is not the end. 

Visitation of the Sick and Last Rites

If you or a loved one are ill or in hospital, please keep your church family informed. Pastoral visitors are available to visit and pray with you and bring you the sacrament of Holy Communion if you desire. When death is near, it is appropriate for you or a loved one to contact the priest directly. The sacrament of anointing and prayers for the dying are together called Last Rites for a soul about to enter the life beyond death.

Arranging a Service

As soon as is practical after a death has occurred, the church should be contacted to set up a meeting with the family regarding the planning of a celebration of life. Please do not release any information to media (newspapers, internet etc.) before confirming the date and time of the service with the parish office and the clergy performing the service. Considerations you may want to take into account are traveling relatives and times for funeral services or crematoriums to ready the remains.

Services in the Church

Normally, a celebration of life will be held at Holy Trinity Cathedral as the Christian place of worship where the deceased was associated.  In rare instances, the priest may be able to take a funeral service at a care facility or other appropriate place for pastoral reasons.

Graveside Services

A graveside interment or scattering of ashes may immediately follow the service in the church or take place at a later date. Please speak to the priest. A simple outside service of prayers may also be arranged.

The Cathedral Memorial Garden

Parishioners of Holy Trinity Cathedral may request their ashes to be scattered in the Memorial Garden beside the Cathedral. Separate arrangements by the next of kin are required. There is a fee for the service of scattering of ashes which goes towards the maintenance of the grounds.

Services for Persons without Church Affiliation

We are able to assist families of former members of the church or persons with no church background, depending on their needs and the availability of the priest and facilities. Although a deceased person may not have had a current association with a Christian community, that does not lessen the grace that God has for each human being.

Casket or Cremation?

The remains of the deceased are typically present for the funeral service, either in a casket or as ashes in an urn or other container. In the rare event that the remains are not available, a memorial service or requiem mass may be celebrated. It is the policy of the Anglican Church not to have an open casket at the funeral; viewings may be pre-arranged at another location, e.g. a funeral home. Once the casket or urn is brought to the church, it is covered with a fine cloth called a “pall” and will not be seen during the service. This symbolizes that whether rich or poor, buried in cardboard or walnut, we are equal before God.

Information for the Death Register

The church keeps records of all births, marriages, and deaths celebrated in the parish. This information is passed to the Anglican Archives of British Columbia for statistical and genealogical purposes. The following information will be needed for the entry:

  • full name of deceased,

  • date of birth and death,

  • date and place of death,

  • name and address of next of kin.                   


If you would like music at a service, our church musician will provide this service on organ and/or piano.  The honorarium for the musician is included in the fee structure. If you decide to have family or friends help with the music for your service, they are welcome to work with the musician. In the event that our church musician is unavailable, we will work to find another qualified musician to substitute.


Decoration of the church is arranged by contacting Holy Trinity Cathedral Altar Guild through the Parish Office. The honorarium for the Altar Guild is included in the fee structure. The Altar Guild will ready a small table for the urn and perhaps a picture (to be supplied by the family), and put out a pall for the casket or urn. Flower arrangements are to be provided by the family or friends, and may be delivered to the church on the date with prior consultation. These may be removed from the church after the service or remain as a thanksgiving at the following Sunday service.


It is sometimes possible to provide space for a reception in the parish hall immediately following the service. Please include this in your first conversation regarding dates and times. Food and drink are to be provided by an outside caterer, who may have use of the kitchen if available. A separate rental agreement and insurance is needed, along with a private occasion liquor license (if applicable) and individuals with Serve-it-Right certification.

Grief Counseling

The church can offer referrals to counseling upon request. The ongoing worship life of the community is a great comfort and support for many, and we warmly welcome recently bereaved families to stay and share with the people of Holy Trinity Cathedral as they grieve. 

Suggested Donation for a Service

Please contact the Parish Office for information on suggested donations, cost of the church musician, and hall rental for a reception. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please speak privately to the priest.