Service of Remembrance

When a member of the Cornell community dies, a Service of Remembrance is often prepared through the collaborative efforts of Cornell United Religious Work (CURW), the family of the deceased, and appropriate university offices or departments.

A university Service of Remembrance honors a current student or alumnus/alumna, as well as current or retired faculty, staff member, administrators or trustees. 

This Service honors the life and impact of the deceased on the Cornell community. It is neither a religious service nor a funeral.

An early contact with the Office of Spirituality and Meaning Making, begins the process of procuring an appropriate space. The staff will provide additional guidelines and assist colleagues, family, and friends of the deceased to confirm the time and date of the service and answer questions about planning the service.

The Order of Service and content of the program is determined and paid for by family, friends or by the university department or program. Should the Service be followed by a reception, the management and costs are the responsibility of the family, friends or university department or program.

Currently, Office of Spirituality and Meaning Making/Cornell United Religious Work is searching for a new director and until further notice we are unable to lead services. However we can still provide administrative support to assist you in coordinating the service. As the Service of Remembrance is neither a religious ceremony or funeral another colleague, chaplain, or friend may lead the service.

The University Organist has the responsibility and privilege of managing and supervising the use of all three chapel organs. If an organ is to be used, it is the University organist who is invited to perform. Any other organist must be approved through the University organist. A stipend for the organist  from the department program, family or friends, is expected and offered on the day of the Service. (This cost is communicated by the organist when making arrangements)

There are no fees, however, for the use of chapel.


Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making and Cornell United Religious Work
(607) 255-6002

Annette Richards, Ph.D.
University Organist or 607-255-7102


David Yearsley, Ph.D.
Assistant University Organist or 607-255-9024