All people should be able to ceremonially mark important life events in the ways that are meaningful to them. Whether you feel connected to a particular religious tradition, to several, or to none, we would be glad to help you design a ceremony for:
- a wedding or civil union
- a child naming or dedication
- a funeral or memorial service
- other significant transitions
Ceremonies are performed by our lay chaplains: members of our congregation who are specially selected and trained for this important role. Currently, our lay chaplains are Normand Gosselin and Shoshanna Green. They are legally empowered to perform weddings, and one of them will be pleased to meet with you and help you plan a ceremony that reflects your values and your spiritual principles. Ceremonies may be in English, in French, or bilingual.
Ceremonies for members are performed by Rev. Diane Rollert.
We welcome the opportunity to serve interfaith families and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. And we are happy to perform a ceremony in the location of your choosing, whether it's our own church, a rented hall, your home or a friend's, or a park or forest clearing.
For more information on creating a unique and transformative ceremony or rite of passage, please fill out the form or contact the UCM office at 514-485-9933 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fees for our services vary depending on the ceremony. An accurate figure can be given by the lay chaplain after your initial meeting.
A wedding is a public statement of love and commitment, a wonderful opportunity to celebrate two people's coming together in love. Our lay chaplains are delighted to officiate at these joyous events, and they are skilled at combining and honoring multiple faiths, traditions, and cultures that may be represented in a couple or a family. Weddings have no set liturgy or predetermined format, except for the few elements required by law. A lay chaplain will work with you to create a unique ceremony that incorporates the elements and traditions you find meaningful and the words that best express your love for each other.
We are proud to offer wedding ceremonies to mixed-faith couples, to divorced people, and to same-sex couples and transgender people. The first same-sex wedding in Canada was performed by a Unitarian Universalist minister in 1974, and we remain committed to honoring and celebrating love in all its forms.
Funerals and Memorial Services
Funeral and memorial services are a time to come together, celebrating the life of a loved one and offering comfort to those who are grieving. A lay chaplain will meet with the deceased person's family and friends as appropriate, listening and learning, and guiding the creation of a personalized ceremony. We can officiate at ceremonies in funeral homes, at gravesides, in places where ashes are placed or scattered, and in private homes, as well as in our church's sanctuary.
Sometimes a person who is very ill will meet with a lay chaplain to discuss and plan the service they would like to be held for them. This can be a powerful experience for the dying person and makes the service especially meaningful.
A child dedication or naming service is a way to welcome a child into the world and into your family. It honors the child's distinct identity and unique potential. The service might include such elements as a pledge of love and care by parents and godparents, a welcome by the extended family or community, and a blessing in one or more religious traditions. Older siblings can be included. A ceremony for an infant might include the giving of the child's name, and an older child (whether joining your family by adoption, as a result of a marriage, or in some other way) might even help plan and participate in their ceremony.
Our lives include many moments of gain and loss, many departures and arrivals. Each of these can have spiritual significance or sacredness, and our religious tradition honors the importance they have for you. Perhaps you would like to mourn the death of a pet, celebrate the achievement of a long-held dream, or claim a new or true name or gender. A lay chaplain will be glad to meet with you to discuss how you might ceremonially mark or commemorate these personal milestones.
Renting Our Space
At the Unitarian Church of Montreal, our large sanctuary (seating up to 190 guests with the doors closed and overflow seating available) or the more intimate Thomas Room are available for rent and are suitable for any rite of passage. Read more details about renting our space.
Want more information about ceremonies?