At some point in our lives, all of us will be faced with planning a funeral or memorial service for a loved one. The ministers of ESG United Church are here to help you through this process. Funerals and memorial services are considered part of the ministers’ pastoral care to our congregation, and even, at times, outreach to our community.

Please contact our Pastoral Care Minister, Don Parsons at  416-481-1141 x351 to talk about planning a funeral or memorial service.


The minister will want to meet with members of the family or close friends to plan the service and gain details about the person’s life story. This meeting may take place at the church, in a family member’s home or on occasion, at the funeral home that is handling arrangements.

The Service

The service may be a funeral (which means a casket containing the person’s body is present) or a memorial service (with or without an urn with the ashes present).

A brief service of committal may also take place at the time of interment of the body or ashes at a cemetery or crematorium.

The minister will outline the service with those gathered to do the planning. It normally includes scripture readings, a short meditation, prayers, a time of remembrance about the person’s life, and often hymns. Family members or appropriate others may be asked to share remembrances or read scripture. An order of service bulletin will be prepared if desired. Greeters may be members of the church or family and friends. The funeral home will discuss pallbearers with you if there is a casket present.


Our Director of Music will play for the service, if available, and is open to finding appropriate hymns, music, soloists or instrumentalists to fit the occasion. If you would like a friend or relative to add their musical talent to the service, please feel free to discuss this our Director of Music.

The Setting

The service may be held in the sanctuary (80 people permitted under current Public Health Guidelines), at the funeral home chapel or graveside. Flowers, candles, a guest book, pictures and memorabilia are welcomed. Memorial cards for donations to be made to the church in the deceased’s memory are also available. Arrangements for donations to other charities or organizations should be made through the funeral home or the organization itself.


ESG is equipped with a semi-circular drop-off driveway, a gently sloped sidewalk, wheelchair-accessible doors and an elevator. We also have assistive hearing devices.


We are pleased to have receptions in our church following the service. Although we do not have people to prepare food on-site, our Funeral Coordinator will work with you to find appropriate caterers and resources. (Note: we are not currently offering receptions at the church due to COVID-19 restrictions)


Our schedule of fees payable to individuals assisting with the service is below. Payment may be made by cheque payable to each person involved, and delivered to the funeral coordinator on the day of the service.

  • Minister $400
  • Organist/Pianist $250
  • Soloist $175
  • Funeral Coordinator $75 (service only) / $125 (service with reception)
  • Livestream Video Producer $250
  • Sound Technician $75
  • Custodian (applies on weekends only) $120 for up to three hours commencing one hour before the start of the service. If required, additional time is billable at $40 per hour.

There is no fee for use of the church sanctuary for a funeral or memorial service. Payment of the fee for the reception room (if a reception will follow the service) may be made by cheque to ESG United Church, or by Electronic Funds Transfer to

After Care

The minister will be in touch with you in the weeks and months that follow the service as you live through your grief. During the year you will be notified of a 4-week grief group program and special services of remembrance that you are encouraged to attend.