Funerals and Memorial Services
A funeral or memorial service is an important rite of passage that helps us honor a loved one by celebrating life even as we are grieving loss. Many families find such a service especially meaningful as they share stories and hear how much their loved one meant to others.
In Christian faith, we witness to the Good News that death is not the end, but a transition from this life to life everlasting. Death brings the real pain of loss, but it does not separate us from the love of God nor from the love of family and friends.
You may contact the church office or our pastor at any time to let us know of a loved one's death or in anticipation of an imminent death. The pastor is The Reverend Dr. Robert Marrone. You may phone 603-924-3272 or email email@example.com to contact him.
After a loved one dies, you likely will be working with a funeral home. The funeral director should contact the church and consult with the pastor to confirm the date and time of the service. The funeral director will handle all fees, including honoraria for the pastor and organist. If you are not using a funeral home's services, the pastor will advise you about any costs when you meet to discuss the service.
Union Congregational Church is rooted in the Peterborough community, and we offer our sanctuary for funeral and memorial services to community members as well as to church members. Alternatively, please contact the pastor, or ask the funeral director to do so, if you would like a service held at a funeral home.
Union Congregational Church's pastor officiates at all services held in the church. Other clergy may participate at the invitation of our pastor.
Likewise, our organist plays for all services held in the church. Other musicians may participate by invitation.
Preparing for the Service
You will meet with our pastor to plan the service. The meeting may take place at the church, a funeral home, or your home, depending on which location is most convenient for you and your family.
We can produce a bulletin for the service, or you are welcome to provide your own bulletin.
A casket is always closed for a service in the church. Flowers, photographs, and personal mementos will be arranged at the front of the sanctuary if you wish to have them present at the service.
The service is conducted using the liturgy found in the United Church of Christ Book of Worship. Our pastor and staff will help you choose scripture, music, and anything else you would like to include.
Fraternal and military rites are not part of the church service, and these should take place at the graveside or the fraternal organization's place of meeting. There may be exceptions, on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the pastor.
Our pastor and organist
Our organist is Mary Ann Fleming. She can be contacted through the contact form.
The parlor, Fellowship Hall, and kitchen may be used for receptions following the service. The church's hospitality committee can arrange light refreshments, or you may arrange catering on your own.
Occupancy capacity: Sanctuary, approximately 200; Chapel, 35; Parlor, 25; Fellowship Hall, 150.
Limited capacity due to COVID outbreaks: Sanctuary, 50; Chapel, 18; Parlor, 12; Fellowship Hall, 45.
(This will only be in effect during high community transition times, as monitored by the CDC.)
The church is accessible to persons in wheelchairs. First-floor bathrooms are also accessible.
There is a sound system with "Walkman-type" audio enhancement. The service will be recorded.
The service can be broadcast via Facebook Live and/or our YouTube channel.
If you wish to use the commercial-style kitchen or Fellowship Hall, please ask for additional information.
Union Congregational Church maintains a tobacco-free and alcohol-free campus.
Fee Schedule for Funerals and Memorial Services
If the funeral director billing is made by the funeral home, the minister and organist receive a check from the funeral director. In the case of a memorial service, it's the family's responsibility to pay directly the minister, organist, and sexton. The fees break down this way:
Women's Fellowship Reception
Parlor (for reception)
Fellowship Hall (for reception)
Kitchen (full use, if Women's Fellowship isn't providing the reception)
(The family may make a donation.)
(The family may make a donation.)