An Invitation to Our Memorial Garden & Columbarium
A Place Of:
The 1876 author of this prayer, from our Book of Common Prayer, might have had our Memorial Garden in mind when he wrote:
"O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then, Lord, in thy mercy grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at last" ( p. 833).
What is a Memorial Garden?
Our Memorial Garden is a professionally designed English flowering garden with a central and circular meditation walk. It was constructed during the summer of 1999 and contains an in-ground columbarium. It is located between the Church and Rectory of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church.
What is a columbarium?
The word comes from two Latin words, "columb" and "arium," which mean dove and space -- a "dovecote," a small space used for the keeping and breeding of doves. Ancient Romans used the word to describe a burial placee with niches for the ashes of a deceased person.
Is it appropriate to be cremated?
Since the earliest times, the Church has been concerned about the reverent care of the dead and has provided property for Christian burial of bodies and cremains. Today, many Episcopal churches, as well as a number of churches from other Christian denominations, provide a space or area to hold the cremains of deceased members and their families. Yes, it is appropriate for Christians to be cremated!
Cremation (reducing a deceased persons body to ashes) has long been an accepted practice within the Anglican Communion. As the cost of burial land and body burial services increase, cremation provides a way for Christians to exercise responsible stewardship of both land and the financial resources of their families.
Why choose our Memorial Garden?
Our Memorial Garden and columbarium provide space that is both sacred and contemplative. It is located on our church grounds as a functional part of our beautiful Memorial Garden. It is a peaceful place to assemble for prayer, love and remembrance of the departed. It is a strong symbol of our belief in the "community of saints" -- all the faithful, living and dead. The flowering trees and perennial flower provide a strong reminder of God's continuous and restoring creation.
Why is this an Anglican tradition?
Anglicans are an incarnational people; that is, we see God present and manifest in all of creation. In the very first book of the Bible (Genesis), God's Sprit blew life into the earth and its waters, and in John's Gospel, "the Word [Jesus] became flesh and dwelt among us."
Why are harmony and beauty important?
A beautiful church, and surrounding premises like our Memorial Garden, fills all of us with a sense of God's beauty and harmony. Beauty in our worship and harmony in our lives are values to be cultivated by a people of God. Beauty touches our spiritual lives, and the benefits we receive over the years from our beautiful church buildings and its grounds are priceless.
One or two sets of cremains may be interred in the garden columbarium. This is available to parish members and their families. A suitable engraved marker will be provided. Space may be reserved prior to a person's death. [A gift of $1000 is suggested and may be paid to the church over a period of three years.]
What you can do?
Our new garden is truly a memorial to the harmony and beauty of God. It is a place of remembrance, prayer, fellowship and meditation. We hope you and your family will support this project through memorial gifts or by reserving your place in our columbarium.
For further information, please contact us.
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