Minneapolis wedding officiant Rev Coleman, for a chapel with a Minnesota wedding

Funeral and Memorial Services

For a private funeral service in the Minneapolis, MN area,
(if you don't have a favorite church of funeral home)

Private funeral servicesIf you are reading this page, I am sorry for your loss, or for your pending loss. The death of a loved one is a really difficult time, and I'm sorry. Pain and loss can be shared, which can help families and friends grow closer, and funerals and memorials can be a ritual that helps people remember their loved ones in a group way, giving each other condolences and support. When someone dies, the feelings of loss are intense, and it can be helpful to share these feelings with loved ones. It's one of the main reasons why funeral services and memorials are held - it's a chance for us to grow closer, and to remember our loved ones in a group way. The process can help with healing, so we don't feel as alone.

Here is some information about how funerals and cremations work, which can be helpful in determining plans. It can be frustrating that there isn't simple, clear, information on the web about logistics, prices, and how things work - I hope that the following helps.

There are basically three ways of having a Minnesota funeral - while there are many different variations, these are the basic ways. This chart can help point you in the right direction, at least, so you know what some of the options are. Prices vary a lot, of course, but these are good rules of thumb.

If you have a favorite/family
If you have a favorite/family funeral home
(Spreading ashes)
Casket option
Embalm body, buy casket.
(Funeral parlor)
Casket option
Embalm body, buy casket.
(Funeral parlor)
Cremation urn
Cremate body, buy urn.
(Funeral parlor*)
Headstone at cemetery
Funeral at church,
then burial at cemetery.
(Usually use the church's minister)
Headstone at cemetery
Funeral at funeral parlor,
then burial at cemetery.
(Usually the funeral parlor can assign you a minister)
Personalized baptism in Minneapolis, MN
Have a memorial while spreading ashes.
(If you'd like, Rev. Tomkin can give a memorial at that time)

Private memorial service
Note that there are other options and variations, but these are three basic ones, just to give you an idea of your available choices.

If you do wish to spread the ashes, you can do so anywhere in Minnesota. Whether it's at your home, or in a park, or over a river, you don't need a permit, it's just a matter of courtesy and decorum. It's nice to have a memorial at that time. Loved ones may give readings, read poems, or tell stories, and before afterwards I may lead us in prayer, talk about our hopes in coming together in remembrance, leading and helping coordinate the ceremony in a sensitive, loving way.

Private memorial service
One favorite site for spreading the ashes is a walk-bridge over a river. A walk-bridge can be quite nice because there are no cars to worry about, and the ashes can be spread into the water and carried off downstream. The walk-bridge can then be a place you can always go back to, when you want to remember your loved ones. The best place to spread ashes is on private land where you have permission from the owner, but an example of a local Twin Cities public walk-bridges over the Mississippi River is the landing on the Wabasha Street Bridge in St Paul, MN. You may choose anywhere you wish, of course - these are just suggestions.

In an afternoon (often a Sunday afternoon) of love and sharing, you may remember your loved one in a way that honors their life. In the picture below, the funeral/spreading of ashes was held in a creek, because there was no walk-bridge (again, you may choose any place you'd like).

How the memorial usually goes: Personalized baptism in Minneapolis, MNWe gather around, make introductions, and then we get started. We may gather in a circle, gather our thoughts, then we begin with:

  • Introduction and Prayer
  • Blessing
  • Moment of Silence for those who cannot be with us
  • Gospel reading
  • Words from loved ones, such as stories or thoughts about the person who has passed away (this element is optional)
  • Thoughts for the future (basically, a loving message to remember and honor the loved one who has passed away)
  • Prayer and Blessing

Your Minneapolis funeral memorial/spreading-of-ashes may be anywhere in the Minneapolis, MN area, and the timing is usually 20-30 minutes. If there is a song or reading by a friend (not common), it would be longer, but usually 20-30 minutes is about right. Then there's some hugs, and then often the family heads off to someone's home, to break bread together and spend some more time together, eating, and talking about their loved one. A private memorial is not only a time for ritual of remembrance, but an occasion for family to come together to support each other.

I hope the above gives you an idea of how a Minneapolis funeral memorial or spreading ashes might go. You'll receive a complete scripting of the event beforehand, just to make sure all the names are correct and to make sure everything meets your approval. Most people choose to have spread their loved ones ashes outdoors, usually on a Sunday afternoon, with the children, spouse, and other relatives attending. I will travel to anywhere in the Minneapolis and St Paul, Minnesota metro area. There is an honorarium of $300.

If you are interested, lease give me a call at (612) 986-5528. I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope I can help on this day of remembering your loved one.

Top two photos by Tom Coady, third photo by Chelsea Cooper, river photo by Seth Anderson.
Please do not distribute.
*You may use any funeral parlor in the Minneapolis, MN area, but one that offers very reasonable rates (but no venue for services), is Crescent Tide in Saint Paul, MN.