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On Sunday, November 3, from 2 – 4 pm, at St. Stephen the Martyr / St. Faith Parishes 11725-93 Street NW, the Prayer Book Society of Canada, Edmonton Branch will present a public session exploring the green burial trend in burial practices.

For a burial to be considered “green,” it must consist of no embalming, a cloth shroud or simple coffin and no grave liner. Once buried the body is left to decompose and return to the earth, it is a full realization of the ancient burial rite: “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

With a green burial, families may assume many of the responsibilities which in recent times were relegated to funeral homes: even the preparation of the body at home. Our presenters will explore some of the practical challenges families are likely to face, as well as spiritual considerations:

  • Marc Turgeon, Director of Cemeteries, Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton, will speak from the perspective of a cemetery already conducting green burials;
  • Gina Vliet, founder of Charon Consulting – which aspires to foster a positive death culture, to bring death out of the closet so to speak – will address such practical issues as the handling and transporting of a body that has not been embalmed;
  • The Rev. Heather Liddell, Chaplain at the UofA and The Rev. Arthur Dyck of St. Faith’s Parish, will examine spiritual implications from a Christian perspective.


*People seek to have a green burial to minimize their impact on the local and global environment. Green burial is an environmentally sensitive practice: the body is returned to the earth to decompose naturally and contribute to new life.