Offering rites for sacred moments of transition is one important role that Saint Mark's plays in the community. Funerals at the cathedral must be performed within certain guidelines. Please review the information below carefully and contact the cathedral to take the next steps.
The faith community at Saint Mark’s is honored to offer the hospitality of the cathedral to you in this time of loss and sorrow. As Christians, we proclaim that in death, life is changed, not ended, and we hope our ministry will help you to move forward with assurance that the person you love has passed through death into new life in God, and that in your grief, Christ makes himself present in compassion.
Funeral and memorial services at Saint Mark’s are based on the order of service provided in The Book of Common Prayer. These liturgies celebrate the life of the person who has died; offer comfort and hope to all who mourn, and commend the deceased to God. Cathedral staff and clergy will help your family plan the service and choose readings, prayers, hymns, and music. Livestreaming of funerals may be available, if desired.
To inquire about scheduling a funeral please contact Cathedral Sacristan Michael Seewer at email@example.com, or one of the clergy at 206.323.0300. Here are some resources to help you:
- The Saint Mark's funeral planning form (docx format)
- The Saint Mark's funeral planning form (pdf format)
The Chapel of the Resurrection, which includes a columbarium, was opened in 1969. A columbarium is a permanent resting place for cremated remains. Anyone is welcome to be buried in the Chapel of the Resurrection. Read about the columbarium, including fees, here.
The possibility of interring ashes in a garden area of the front lawn has recently been discussed, and one interment has taken place in this way. Please ask if you are interested in learning more about this option.
Funeral services have several alternative names (e.g., the Burial Rite, a memorial service, a celebration of life, a requiem mass, etc.), but they all attend to the liturgical work of marking the occasion when one has died.
Participating Clergy and Musicians
A member of Saint Mark’s clergy is typically the officiating priest at the service. We are happy to welcome assisting clergy from outside the cathedral, but it is appropriate for the Dean to extend any invitations to other clergy. One of the cathedral organists typically provides music for the service. We are also happy to welcome assisting musicians from outside the cathedral, but ask that you consult first with the Canon for Cathedral Music before extending an invitation.
It is appropriate to include a Eucharist (communion service) as part of a funeral. There is a profound mystery expressed in the burial rite that affirms, in the mystical ways of God, we share the eucharistic feast with those who have gone before, including the one whose life we celebrate on that particular day.
We encourage you to consider having Eucharist, even if your family and friends may not practice such faith traditions. All are welcome at God’s table and the clergy will take great care to extend a welcome to all present as part of Saint Mark’s inclusive hospitality.
Remains of Your Loved One
Our faith is an incarnational (embodied) faith. We recommend, if it is possible, that either the body or the ashes of your loved one be present at the service. We honor the body or the ashes which represent it as the vessel that contained the gift of the person we love. The presence of that reminder as we worship reminds us anew that the Christian hope of risen life in Christ is now a reality for our loved one.