Host an Event

Whether you are planning a burial or a graveside memorial, our team is here to help. Regardless of if your family has burial space at Mount Auburn, we have chapels and ornamental gardens that can be used to host a commemorative event. 

Mount Auburn’s two historic chapels are available for a wide range of private functions from memorial services and celebrations of life to receptions following a service or burial.  In addition to indoor events, the lawn outside Bigelow Chapel along with Asa Gray Garden and Hazel Dell, just a short walk from Story Chapel, are warm-weather options for outdoor ceremonies and receptions. 

Our rental fees vary based on the day of the week and the duration of use, ensuring that you have the flexibility to create a personalized event that fits your budget and preferences. Rental periods are designed to encompass all aspects of your event, including catering setup and client access prior to the start time. Additional services such as reception coordination, equipment rental, and setup may also be available for your convenience. 


The Bigelow Chapel Gathering Wing allows for intimate receptions to accompany your memorial service with full service and drop off catering options. Bigelow Chapel Lawn is available seasonally to host large full-service receptions with the rental of a Sperry Tent. Use of Bigelow Lawn without a tent will require the additional rental of one of our chapels to be used in case of inclement weather. 

Story Chapel can host a drop off style catered reception that will be set up in the side aisle next to the ceremony space. Additional outdoor ceremonies can take place in Asa Gray Garden and Hazel Dell which are both walking distance from Story Chapel. Indoor facilities for you and your guests will be available in Story Chapel with the booking of either of those spaces.  

Our dedicated Events Team is available to discuss reception layouts, logistics, and venue options, ensuring that every detail is tailored to your preferences. 

All food and beverages must be provided by one of our approved caterers listed below.  

Hourly Chapel Rental Rates

  • Bigelow Chapel - $600 per hour
    • Historic Chapel - Accommodates up to 60 guests  
    • Gathering Wing - Accommodates up to 40 guests 
  • Bigelow Chapel with Lawn - $800 per hour
    • Accommodates up to 120 guests 
  • Story Chapel - $600 per hour
    • Accommodates up to 150 guests
  • Story Chapel with Hazel Dell - $800 per hour
    • Accommodates up to 150 guests 
  • Story Chapel with Asa Gray Garden - $800 per hour
    • Accommodates up to 50 guests 
  • Weekend Fee - $1,000
    • All weekend rentals will incur an additional $1000.

Private Event FAQ's

How do I contact the cemetery?

Assign one person as the main contact for questions regarding the event. All contact should be conducted by the main contact person or a Funeral Director. Inquiries can be made by email,, or phone 617-607-1929.  

Can I come in for a site visit?

Site visits are available by appointment only. Please contact to make an appointment.  

Can I bring music to play during the event?

Yes, both chapels can support smart devices to play music. If you are interested in having music played during the event, please contact our events office to coordinate playlists and the specifics of what you are envisioning. All music requests must be received at least 24 hours prior to the service. 

Do you have any instruments?

Yes, there is a pipe organ in Story Chapel. See preferred vendor list for local musicians and rentals. 

How does MAC accommodate guests with accessibility needs?

Both chapels are handicap accessible. Limited handicap parking is reserved in front of the chapel. You may also encourage guests to be dropped off at entrance if they have difficulties walking. Assisted listening devices are available by request.  

When do I have to pay?

Payment in full is required in advance of the event date. We accept payment by check or credit card.  

When can I arrive to set up?

Please let our staff know when you plan to arrive to setup for your service. Please note that you will be billed for all time spent in the chapel, whether for setup, guest arrival, or the actual event.  

When can I have flowers delivered?

Floral arrangements must be delivered the day of the service. Please have them delivered directly to the chapel.  

Can I play a slideshow or video?

Yes, our events team can work with you in advance to prepare for a slideshow and video to play during your service or reception hosted in one of our chapels. Please request this service at least 48 hours in advance of your service.  

Do you livestream?

Yes, we offer video recording services in all areas of the cemetery. Livestreaming is available in our historic chapels and in some locations on the grounds. Please consult with our events team to verify livestreaming availability graveside. 

Can I bring food?

No, food and beverages must be provided by an approved caterer during a reception.  

Are there microphones?

Yes, each chapel has a lectern and microphone set up. We have wireless microphones available for speakers unable to access the lectern.  

Can I bring candles?

No, no open flames are allowed. Altar candles will be provided by Mount Auburn by request. 

Who will be onsite for the day of service?

There will be a venue manager at the chapel during the setup, service, and clean up. They will assist with directing guests, answering questions, and troubleshooting. Security staff will be at the gate to greet and direct guests. If there is a burial, our staff will lead guests to grave and assist with the burial. 

How will Bigelow Chapel be set up when I arrive for a Chapel Service?

Rows of chairs will be arranged to accommodate up to 60 guests with an aisle down the center. Complimentary tissue packets and pitchers of water will be put out for guests.  

How will Story Chapel be set up when I arrive for a Chapel Service?

The entire chapel can accommodate up to 150 guests with chairs set up on the main floor and in the balcony. The balcony is only accessible by stairs. There will be a podium placed in the naïve for your officiant and guests to use during your service. Complimentary tissue packets and pitchers of water will be put out for guests.  

Can I reserve seats?

Yes, chairs can be designated “reserved” for immediate family and speakers. 

Where can I place guest books and photos?

A guest book and photos can be set up in lobby of each chapel. Easels are available. Do not hang any items in the chapel unless approved by staff.  

When should guests arrive?

We ask that guests plan to arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before the service. Our staff will be at the main gate entrance on Mount Auburn Street to direct your family and guests to the chapel.  

Where do guests park?

Staff will instruct guests where to park. Please keep all wheels of vehicles on the pavement. Parking nearest the chapel is reserved for drop-off handicap parking only. Do not block any roads, ramps or entry ways. 

Approved Caterers 

  • Ovenbird Cafe 
    • email: 
    • phone: 617-489-5007 
  • Jules Catering 
    • email: 
    • phone: 617-628-5977 
  • Cuisine Chez Vous
    • email: 
    • phone: 617-576-3652 
  • Johnny Burke Catering  
    • email: 
    • 617-312-1408 

Preferred Event Vendors

Are you in need of an officiant, a florist, or musician for your event? Mount Auburn has curated a list of local vendors who can help ensure your private gathering is an occasion that exceeds your expectations.