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Funerals/Appropriate Church Memorial Protocol


Hello Erin, please assist me with the correct protocol for our families' situation. My uncle recently passed and it has been left to me to make his final arrangements. He has been cremated, and a plot is secured. He was not a devout Catholic. I would like to arrange for a small memorial service for some of his close family and friends at the nearby Catholic Church, but I don't know how to approach them with this request. I feel awkward because I am not a member, nor was he devout, even though I know I shouldn't feel this way. I am uncertain how much is appropriate to donate, and if this is handled through the funeral home. Should I make these arrangements, or should the FH do so? Sorry to be so scattered, but this is a very overwhelming time for our family. Thank you for any assistance you can provide.


I would ask the funeral home you are working with for a referral on a priest to call to officiate at the service. The priest can either do the service at the funeral home (No mass could be said) or in the priests church (Where mass could be said). As far as an honorarium, also ask the funeral home as to what would be appropriate.

I hope this helps,

Erin Phelps


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Erin Phelps


I can answer any questions about funerals,embalming, cremation, green burial, home funerals, burial on your own land, scattering of cremated remains and any other death related questions you may have.


I have worked in the death care industry since 1977, owning my own funeral home since 1990. I worked as an EMT at a funeral home based ambulance service for 6 years gain much experience there. When I opened my funeral home, my goal was to provide honest, straightforward, significant and affordable services to the families who called upon me for my services. Since Sept. 2008, I have served as a member of the Oregon State Mortuary & Cemetery Board, which regulates the operation of mortuarys and cemeteries in Oregon. I have been a regular attendee and speaker at various funeral related seminars over the years and am a frequent contributor to "Mortuary Management" magazine. I was one of the first funeral directors in Oregon to offer "Green" or "Natural" burial services and to offer assistance to families who wish to take care of their own family members at home. I also have vast experience in the repatriation of a deceased to their country of origin.

Oregon Funeral Directors Association, International Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association, Cremation Association of America, Funeral Ethics Association Natural End Funeral Services - Charter Member.

Mortuary Management Funeral Monitor Funeral Service Insider

Attended the University of Oregon Associates of Science Degree - Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham, Oregon

Awards and Honors
Top 10 Eye Enucleators in Oregon. Nationally Board Certified Funeral Director/Embalmer Honored in "Funeral Monitor", Aug. 2007 for my business practices.

Past/Present Clients
Since 1990, I have served over 10,000 families, requesting the gamute of services ranging from the simplest to the most elaborate. Servicing christian, jewish, muslim, buddhist, hindu and humanists, along with families from every continent in the world.

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