Planning A Memorial or Funeral Service at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church


Types of Services:

Funeral: a type of service at which the body is present in a casket and the service will be followed by burial in a cemetery or in a crypt in a mausoleum. A funeral service normally takes place in the church (preferred) or in the chapel of a funeral home. The family may also have a graveside or crypt side service only. Any viewing of the body in the casket would take place at the funeral home prior to the service. At the service, the casket remains closed. The funeral home will work with the church to arrange details for transporting the casket to the church.

Memorial: a type of service at which the body is not present. The burial may already have taken place or the remains cremated. After cremation, the family may opt to scatter the ashes, place them in a columbarium niche (see further information below), or to inter them in the ground in a cemetery plot. Committal services are appropriate for both placement in a columbarium and internment in the ground of cremated remains.

Either of these services may be private or public. Private services include family members or close friends that are personally invited by the family. There is generally not an obituary in a newspaper, and the service is brief. If an obituary is written, a sentence indicating “Family service (or memorial) has been held” is included after the private service has occurred. Public services are announced in the newspaper in the obituary. The address of the church or chapel is included. The burial or committal of the body follows the service, and announcement can be made in a program or by the celebrant if this portion is to be privately attended. A reception usually follows a public service at the church or a place chosen by the family.


Columbarium at St. Dunstan’s Church:

The Columbarium on the campus of St. Dunstan’s Church is unique to the Seattle area. It contains 180 niches with bronze face plates and a beautiful outdoor altar. A Memorial service is held in the church sanctuary; the ashes are carried in procession to the Columbarium and placed on the altar; the Committal portion of the service is read and the ashes placed in their niche. A reception follows in the church narthex. If a niche is purchased, the price is $850 and includes:

  • A certificate of ownership issued to the purchaser;
  • A permanent bronze face plaque, with name and dates;
  • The right to a memorial service at St. Dunstan’s;
  • Easy access for future visits.


There is no charge for use of the church for parishioners for services, music, or receptions. However, an honorarium or donation is expected for any person not a member of the congregation according to the following fee schedule:

  • Priest: $250;
  • Sanctuary: $250;
  • Musician: $250, plus $50 for rehearsing soloists;
  • Soloist: $150;
  • Reception: $150.

All rates and fees are subject to change without notice.

Please call the church office at 206-363-4319 if you have any further questions.

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