For a private
funeral service in the Minneapolis, MN area,
(if you don't have a favorite church of
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
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
Embalm body, buy casket.
Embalm body, buy casket.
Cremate body, buy urn.
Funeral at church,
then burial at cemetery.
(Usually use the church's minister)
Funeral at funeral parlor,
then burial at cemetery.
(Usually the funeral parlor can assign you a minister)
Have a memorial while spreading ashes.
(If you'd like, Rev. Tomkin can give a memorial at that
Note that there are other options and variations, but these are
three basic ones, just to give you an idea of your available
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.
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
How the memorial usually goes: We
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
- 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),
in Saint Paul, MN.