Mission resources

Myrrhbearers Burial Society

We are in the beginning stages of setting up Myrrhbearers Traditional Christian Burial Society, a not-for-profit organisation that will have as its aims:

  • educating Orthodox Christians on the availability and feasibility of traditional Christian funerary and burial practices, including care for and preparation of the departed's body at home (avoiding embalming) and natural ('green') burial
  • disseminating information and preplanning kits on a Christian ending to life to Orthodox churches in the greater Toronto area
  • training people in Orthodox churches through workshops and other courses to implement in their communities and families the full traditional Christian burial
  • supporting Orthodox churches and families in the use of traditional funerary and burial practices, including deploying teams to work with families to care for their departed in their homes
  • collaborating with existing funeral homes and service providers as far as possible to facilitate the provision of traditional burial practices to those who choose them
  • providing (where necessary) a comprehensive burial service as a social not-for-profit enterprise

Why a ’burial society‘?

The terminology ’burial society‘ recalls the Jewish chevra kadisha (Aramaic: חֶבְרָה קַדִישָא, Ḥebh'ra Qaddisha "holy society"), which is an organisation of Jewish men and women who see to it that the bodies of deceased Jews are prepared for burial according to Jewish tradition and are protected from desecration, willful or not, until burial. Two of the main requirements are the showing of proper respect for a corpse, and the ritual cleansing of the body and subsequent dressing for burial.


Burial Shroud


Our main guidebook for this project is A Christian Ending: A Handbook for Burial in the Ancient Christian Tradition by Deacon Mark and Elizabeth Barna.

In addition to the book and website, Deacon Mark Barna has a podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.

Useful Links and Potential Collaborators

Natural / green burial associations

Cemeteries offering natural burial plots in Toronto and surrounding area

Funeral homes in Toronto

News articles