Funeral Reception

On this day of grief and sadness, we’ll help everything go as smoothly as possible. We handle many of the details so family and friends can focus on celebrating the life of their loved one.

If you have questions about planning the reception, please contact Wendy Cichanski Caduff at 612.317.3474.

Basilica funeral ministry volunteers

  • Set buffet tables with linen cloths, food, paper plates, paper napkins and plastic ware
  • Prepare and serve water, lemonade and regular and decaf coffee
  • Set round tables for 8 with ivory cloths and mirror and votive centerpieces
  • Welcome and direct guests
  • Replenish buffet table as necessary
  • Clean-up

Catering & food

You provide all food for the reception and may choose to serve a luncheon, light buffet, or desserts and coffee.

All food items, whether catered or provided by you, should arrive ready to be placed on the buffet table and should be able to be served at room temperature. There is a beverage preparation area, but no kitchen or ovens, and very limited refrigeration.

Catering services range from dropping off ready-to-serve trays to a full service event with waitstaff. Here are a few the Basilica has used for receptions:

  • Bucca del Beppo - 612.288.0138
  • D’Amico - 612.238.4444
  • Kowalski’s Catering - 1.888.972.7890
  • Lunds & Byerlys - 952.897.9800
  • Sammy's Avenue Eatery - 612.767.6278

You can bring in food such as deli trays from Costco, Sam’s Club or Kowalski’s. If you purchase trays for pick-up, it is a good idea to give that responsibility to a family friend who is willing to miss some of the funeral liturgy.

If you choose to serve hot food, you may want to consider hiring some of the catering staff to stay on site throughout your reception. If you choose not to pay for staff, The Basilica requires that you ask and pay for a “driver set-up” which means the driver will set-up the hot food with chafing dishes before leaving the site. At that point, Basilica volunteers can take over the serving and management of the food. Lunds & Byerlys charges $35 for a driver set-up. This minimal fee helps our senior volunteers do what they are good at: assuring your guests will be well taken care of.

You are encouraged to take leftover food home with you. Friends and family may drop by or your own family may appreciate something ready-made later in the day.

Ask a family friend who will not be going to the cemetery to be responsible for dropping things off at your home.


Flowers that have been brought down to the reception can be a wonderful gift for family and friends to take home. Our volunteers can put them on the buffet tables at the end of the reception.

Audio & video support

At the reception the sharing of memories is an appropriate way to honor your deceased loved one. The Basilica is able to provide the following (these requests must be communicated at least 24 hours in advance of the funeral reception):

  • A handheld microphone with sound through the Teresa of Calcutta Hall sound system for the sharing of memories and stories. It is recommended that you designate someone to facilitate this time of sharing.
  • Projecting a slide show of memories onto the main screen of the Teresa of Calcutta Hall. Slide shows need to be set up using MS PowerPoint and should not include audio files or music. The Basilica will provide the LCD projector and laptop computer (you are also welcome to bring your own laptop but please be sure to bring your own adapters). We are not equipped to play videos or DVDs. It is strongly recommended that you load your MS PowerPoint slide show onto a USB drive and provide to The Basilica’s funeral coordinator at least 24 hours in advance so that it can be tested to avoid problems on the day of the funeral liturgy.