Memorial Services

A Memorial Service is a celebration of life and a spiritual practice of being together in grief. In Unitarian Universalist congregations, these services are developed by the family of the deceased and the presiding minister to specially honor the memory of the individual.

The service usually includes the following elements:

  • A brief eulogy given by the minister, including a "sketch" of the the deceased's life.

  • Personal remembrances offered by 2-3  speakers (family and friends)

  • Readings of poetry and/or Scripture

  • A time for communal sharing

  • Keyboard music

Memorials for members of the UU Church in Jamaica Plain and their immediate family are part of our work as a church and are free.

Memorials for extended family or for people not connected to UUJP  require payment to the Minister ($250) and Musician ($250).

Memorials in the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • All memorials held during this crisis will be held online using Zoom.

  • Contact Rev. Bukey to organize and schedule a memorial.

  • Online memorials include keyboard music and may include singing hymns familiar to the congregation.

  • In addition, an in-person memorial can be held when physical distancing is ended and large gatherings can safely be resumed.

Sample Order of Service

Prelude (keyboard)                                   Andrei Baumann, Music Director  

Welcome and Chalice Lighting           Rev. Elizabeth Bukey, Minister

Musical Interlude (keyboard)

Reading                                                     (read by Rev. Bukey or by a loved one)

Eulogy/ "Life Sketch"                             Rev. Bukey

Remembrances                                       (3-5 people may speak; each person speaks for 3-5 minutes (300-500 words)


Communal Sharing of Memories       (An "open mic" for others to share briefly; optional.)

Reading                                                      (read by Rev. Bukey or by a loved one)

Musical Interlude (keyboard)

Prayer                                                           Rev. Bukey

Reading                                                        Rev. Bukey by Roland B. Gittelsohn, from The Gates of Prayer   


Benediction & Chalice Extinguishing   Rev. Bukey

Postlude (keyboard)                           

In the rising of the sun, and in its going down, we remember them.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we remember them.
In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring, we remember them.
In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, we remember them.
In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we remember them.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart, we remember them.
When we have joys we yearn to share, we remember them.

So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are now a part of us, 

                   as we remember them.