Principles and Procedures

To schedule a funeral, call 612.333.1381.

The Basilica of Saint Mary is available for funerals every day of the week (based on availability), except Sundays and Holy Days.

The service may be celebrated either in The Basilica or in the Saint Joseph Chapel, ground level. The location you choose will depend on the number of people attending and the desired style of worship. The Saint Joseph Chapel seats about 100 people and provides a more intimate setting.

The Basilica of Saint Mary provides the following:

  • The use of The Basilica or Saint Joseph Chapel and Teresa of Calcutta Hall for a reception
  • The Basilica of Saint Mary funeral staff
  • A Funeral Planner to guide you through your decisions and schedule musician.
  • A Funeral Coordinator who will prepare the church and assist with the funeral
  • Musicians for your ceremony
  • A worship booklet designed for each funeral

The funeral rites

There are three aspects to the funeral rites according to the Catholic tradition:

  1. The Vigil for the Deceased: this service is part of the visitation when held the night before the funeral.

  2. The Funeral Liturgy: this service may happen with or without the celebration of the Eucharist.

  3. The Rite of Committal: this ceremony happens at the cemetery at the time of interment.

Cremation is allowed by the Catholic Church. The cremated remains should be treated with as much respect as the body.  Although not mandatory, it is preferred that the body be present for the funeral services and that cremation take place afterward.

If the body or the cremated remains are present, then a funeral Mass is celebrated, unless liturgical/pastoral reasons suggest a funeral liturgy outside of Mass. 

If neither the body nor the cremated remains are present, then a memorial service is celebrated, either with or without a Mass.

Participants in the funeral liturgy

  • The funeral party will be seated in the first row of pews.  
  • A priest or deacon. Guest priests or deacons are welcome to preside. We ask that they abide by The Basilica of Saint Mary’s liturgical customs.
  • Pall bearers. Family and friends are invited to carry the coffin or urn in and out of the church and to the place of burial.
  • Lectors (readers). Family or friends may proclaim the readings and read the intercessions.
  • Gift bearers. Family or friends may bring the gifts of bread and wine to the altar. 
  • Eucharistic ministers. Family or friends who are installed as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may help distribute communion.
  • Musicians. Only Basilica musicians maybe used. This ensures a beautiful, high quality liturgy as our musicians work together frequently and know the specific demands of our space.

The Cathedral Choir or other Basilica music groups may be available for a funeral.

Memorial table & guest book                 

During the visitation and reception, you may set up a memorial table with photos and mementos that capture the life of the deceased. A guest book is a wonderful way for guests to share their memories and messages.

Funeral decorations & flowers

The liturgical furnishings will reflect the season and cannot be moved, removed or replaced.

You may bring in one fresh flower arrangement for the top of the tabernacle or two for the high altar, one on either side of the tabernacle.

  • Artificial flowers or plants are not allowed.
  • After the service you may take your arrangements home or leave them in the church.

Funeral Timetable

Morning Funeral

  • 11:00am: visitation
  • Noon: beginning of funeral
  • 1:00pm: end of funeral 
  • 1:00pm: beginning of lunch
  • 2:30pm: departure for cemetery

Afternoon Funeral

  • Noon: visitation
  • 1:00pm: beginning of funeral
  • 2:00pm: end of funeral
  • 2:30pm: beginning of lunch
  • 4:00pm: departure for cemetery

The body will arrive at the church one half hour before the visitation or the service (if no visitation).

Be careful not to leave any of your belongings unattended.

The Basilica of Saint Mary is not responsible for loss or theft.

Fee Structure

1. Use of The Basilica of Saint Mary : $300

  • Includes the use of the building, janitorial staff, a funeral planner, and a funeral coordinator.
  • Includes printing of up to 125 funeral booklets. Extra booklets can be purchased at a rate of $50 for 100 copies.
  • This fee does not include the hiring of extra security or police officers.

2. Use of Teresa of Calcutta Hall for Receptions: $300

  • Includes use of the space, janitorial staff, the catering kitchen, audio-visuals, luncheon coordinator, and funeral ministry volunteers.
  • Table linens for upto 100 guests. Add $130 for 200 people and $195 for 300 people.
  • Beverages and paper products.
  • This fee does not include food, catering or ordering/pick-up of food.

3. Musicians

  • Keyboardist (piano/organ): $200
  • Basilica cantor/singer:  $150


  • A freewill offering may be given to the priest/deacon who officiates the service. The amount is up to the discretion of the family.

All fees are subject to change.