When a member or friend of First Parish in Concord dies, a memorial service is usually held in the church. One of the congregation’s ministers will officiate at this memorial service, planning the details with the deceased’s family. Very much like other worship services, a memorial service will have organ music, singing, prayers, readings, and a eulogy. Great care is taken in Unitarian Universalist memorial services to lift up the person’s life and to remember them well. Often one or more family members will offer a tribute to the deceased. Sometimes the gathered congregation is invited to offer brief remembrances as well. If the person has been cremated, the ashes may be present. If the person was in the armed forces, military honors may be part of the ceremonies. Even at the most tragic of deaths, a heartfelt effort is made to remember the person well and to celebrate their life. Tears, laughter, stories, and songs all pay tribute to the person who has died.

To begin the process of planning a memorial service, please reach out to Rev. Howard N. Dana directly at hdana@firstparish.org, or 978-369-9602 ext. 411. Once you have spoken to him, a date and time will be agreed upon and you will be assisted in all aspects of service arrangement. Sample music and readings are available for the Orders of Service you will create with the minister. If you choose to have a memorial reception following the service, a coordinator’s contact information will be provided to you. You will also be put in touch with our organist.