The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) is frequently called up on to assist with the celebration of the lives of deceased members of the Oberlin College community, and we are honored to offer these services. We hope this information will be helpful in making arrangements.

To Reserve Space

To make a reservation, please fill out this online reservation form .

Those interested in planning a memorial service should contact the director of ORSL to make an appointment for a consultation or to seek a referral. At the first consultation with the chosen celebrant, the life of the deceased and the circumstances of death will be discussed and planning can begin for the service.

As is customary, those interested in planning the memorial service pay the celebrant a fee directly.

Ordinarily the college’s Fairchild Chapel is the desired space for holding a memorial service. The celebrant of the service can make this reservation. When desired, other spaces may be available by special arrangement.

The celebrant of the service can arrange for approved organ and or piano music for memorial services. The celebrant will discuss these needs with those involved in planning the service. The celebrant and the musician can consult with those involved in planning the service regarding instrumental pieces and hymns as well as the inclusion of soloists or choirs.

As is customary, those interested in planning the memorial service pay the musicians a fee directly.

The celebrant of the service can order flowers to be delivered and placed on the chancel table for the service.

The celebrant of the service can arrange for printed orders of service to be designed and printed for the service. An electronic photograph and the obituary of the deceased should be sent for the covers of the printed order of service. Information regarding receptions and donations may also be included.

The celebrant of the service can arrange for a reception following the service for additional catering fees.

Those involved in planning the service should arrange to provide one or two large photographs of the deceased, one of which may be placed near the entrance of the chapel and the other in the chancel.

On occasion family and friends will create a movie slideshow of photographs of the deceased to be played during the service. Arrangements for this can be made with the celebrant of the service and may require additional audiovisual fees.

The focus of a memorial service should be the celebration of the life of the deceased, and the content of the service should be crafted to highlight the unique qualities of that individual and to address the needs of the living. The manner of doing this can be discussed with the celebrant of the service.

Many memorial services include memorial reflections or eulogies given by family, friends, and colleagues of the deceased. Ordinarily three persons representing various aspects of the deceased’s life are invited to speak. These speeches should not exceed five minutes in length. All participants in the service should arrive 30 minutes before the service to meet the celebrant and to receive instruction.

Those involved in planning the service are responsible for providing ushers, which can be a meaningful way for those who will not be speaking to participate in the service. Services in Fairchild Chapel should have at least two ushers, who are responsible for distributing orders of service and hymnals and seating guests.

When the service starts, ushers should take seats near the door of the chapel to assist any late guests. All participants should arrive 30 minutes before the service to meet the celebrant and to receive instruction.

Those involved in planning the service should discuss with the celebrant whether the casket or urn containing the bodily remains of the deceased will be present. If so, suitable arrangements will be made for the placement and covering of the casket or urn.

The celebrant of the service can arrange for memorial services to be listed on the college’s online Events Calendar. Other publicity should be arranged by those involved in planning the service.

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life has no provision for parking at Bosworth Hall, the site of Fairchild Chapel. Those involved in planning the service should encourage guests to park off campus on Main Street or North Professor Street or may contact the Office of Safety and Security for consultation at (440) 775-8444.

Fairchild Chapel is accessible by means of a ramp from the cloister behind Bosworth Hall on the west side.

Those involved in planning the service should make checks payable to their respective parties.

No honoraria or fees are charged for memorial services for students who were enrolled at the Oberlin College at the time of death.

Persons wishing to make additional contributions to the work of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life are encouraged to do so. Contributions are tax-deductible and checks may be made payable to Oberlin College with “Campus Ministry Fund” in the memo line and sent in care of the director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

This is a suitable option for memorial contributions in memory of deceased members of the college community.