If your loved one was an active member or was related to an active member of the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, our Facility & Events Coordinator, Joanie Bear, is available to answer any questions and help plan the memorial.

Scheduling, coordinating, and carrying out the memorial service can be a difficult prospect, especially while also coping with grief over the loss of the departed loved one. This can be especially difficult if you or your family is not a member of a church, or your departed loved one did not wish to have a service held within a traditional church.

The Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara (USSB) can provide the comfort of a “traditional” church environment for those who need it without many of the strictures of other churches. Families without a church affiliation or with mixed religious beliefs are welcome to commemorate the lives of their loved ones in our space.

Facility Fees
USSB can provide you and your family with up to 5 hours at our facility. Depending on your specific needs, our facility fees vary.

All three options outlined below include a staff member/AV technician who can provide day-of support for you and your vendors, coffee/tea service, and tables and chairs.

  • Service Only (typically held in our Sanctuary) – $1,000. (3 hours)
  • Reception Only (without a formal service) includes – Parish Hall, Parish Courtyard, and Commercial Kitchen – $2,500. (4 hours)
  • Service & Reception – Sanctuary, Parish Hall, Parish Courtyard, and Commercial Kitchen – $3,250. (5 hours)

The time periods include time for setup, the service, and cleanup.

Planning a Memorial Service
Planning your loved one’s service planning is the responsibility of the family and officiants. If the family would like the assistance of a minister, we have some officiants we can recommend. USSB does not provide an officiant as part of our memorial package.

Sound Technician
A sound technician for the service is provided by USSB event staff. They will oversee the microphones and sound system in both the Sanctuary and Parish Hall and can help make sure all the music and voices you would like present are heard. Music for the service is to be arranged and selected by the family. The sound systems in Parish Hall and our Sanctuary are capable of playing music on cell phones, and laptops. Please have your playlist organized and ready before the day of the service.

Picture Slideshows
Picture slideshows can be projected on our large, drop-down screen in Parish Hall. You will need to bring your own laptop; USSB event staff can help with setup. Please arrange a time to test equipment compatibility with the Facility & Events Coordinator several days before the day of the memorial, if possible, in case adaptors or updates are needed.

Musicians, Officiants, and Caterers
Unitarian Society musicians are available upon request and by separate financial arrangement. Use of our sanctuary’s Steinway piano is by special arrangement for professional musicians.

Memorial Brochure
A printed memorial program is the responsibility of the family. USSB staff will provide samples upon request.

The obituary is the responsibility of the family.

Memorial Flowers
Memorial flowers are the responsibility of the family, unless other arrangements are made. Saturday memorials will need to make arrangements with the Facility & Events Coordinator if the family wishes to leave flowers behind for our Sunday worship service. Delivery time for flowers should be arranged by the florist with Unitarian Society.

To arrange flower deliveries, please contact the USSB Office Manager at (805) 965-4583 x224; or email ussb@ussb.org.

Memorial Reception
Memorial receptions are typically held in Parish Hall (seating for 110) and/or in the adjacent Parish Courtyard with (seating for up to 200). USSB can recommend some excellent caterers for your memorial reception, if needed. Caterers may set up for the memorial service using our professional kitchen, which is included in the price of the rental.

Complimentary Coffee & Tea Service
Complimentary coffee and tea for up to 150 guests is provided by USSB Event staff. This includes:

  • Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee
  • Tea, sugar, stir sticks (please provide your own cream)
  • Pitchers of water

Setting Up, Taking Down, and Recruiting a Cleaning Crew
Family is responsible for arranging for the setting up and taking down of tables and chairs inside Parish Hall. If you would prefer to hire a rental or cleaning company, please contact the Facility & Events Coordinator and we can arrange this for you at an additional fee.

Tables & Chairs
As part of your memorial event the Unitarian Society provides:

  • 8 six-foot-long banquet tables
  • 100 chairs (indoor use only) Please note: indoor tables and chairs must be set up and taken down by family and friends
  • 2 medium-sized octagonal wood tables
  • 3 large rectangular wood tables

We do not provide linens.

Outdoor Setups
If you want to have tables and chairs outdoors, please contact the Facility & Events Coordinator, as there are extra fees for an outdoor setup. If you rent outdoor tables and chairs from USSB, our staff will set them up and put them away for you.

If the family prefers a different setup for the memorial reception please contact the USSB Facility & Events Coordinator.

Questions or Reservations
If you have any other questions, or would like to reserve a date for a memorial service, please email our Facility & Events Coordinator, Joanie Bear, or call her at (805) 965-4583 x 223.

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