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Columbarium

WHAT IS A COLUMBARIUM AND WHO DOES IT BENEFIT?

The word “columbarium” comes from the Latin word “columbary,” which is a structure for the nesting of doves – the dove being the symbol of God’s spirit and peace. The term relates to a tradition used for centuries, both here and abroad, where a burial vault is provided for the containment of urns holding cremated human remains.

It has long been a tradition for a church to offer its grounds as a final resting place for its members. A columbarium is a contemporary setting for the church graveyard. The setting allows for ease of visitation and for meditation and prayer.

The Columbarium for our church will be composed of walls with niches (vaults) to store the ashes (cremains) of our Church members and certain specific family members, as well as those of current and former ordained ministers of the Church and certain specific members of their families.

PROJECT HISTORY

As First Presbyterian has no property available for the construction of a traditional graveyard, and with the knowledge that it was a long-term goal of the congregation that had never been completed, a task force facilitated by former Minister Rev. Richard Carr and church members was formed to investigate the establishment and construction of a columbarium.

After a great deal of discussion and prayerful consideration, the task force submitted a recommendation for the Columbarium to the Session in 2019, which was accepted and approved.

LOCATION & PROJECT PHASES AT FIRST PRESBYTERIAN

Image 6-30-21 at 1.19 PMPlans are to construct the Columbarium on the terrace and porch area where we conduct Punch on the Porch in good weather. The project will be implemented in two phases. The first will include construction of two low columbarium walls between existing planters, which will contain a total of 48 double-urn niches. Also included in the initial phase will be the installation of memorial plaques onto the sides of the existing planters, plus exterior lighting and landscaping for a Memorial Garden.

Phase two will be constructed at a later date in the covered area of the porch. This phase will include construction of a columbarium wall containing 50 double-urn niches, as well as the addition of 72 memorial plaques to the walls.

It is intended that the project will be self-funded with no additional fund raising required.

DESIGN DETAILS

fullsizeoutput_767Niche: A niche can accommodate up to 2 urns and includes a cover, which is engraved with names, date(s) of birth and date(s) of death.

Memorial Plaque: A memorial plaque can be purchased to memorialize members of our church family whose remains are or may be located elsewhere.

WHY AT OUR CHURCH?

Interment on church grounds is a visible statement of faith in life eternal. It reminds us that the church ministers to the spiritual needs of its members - from baptism through life to death. A Columbarium and Memorial Garden provide an apt place and apt way for accomplishing the following purposes:

We honor God in whose Creation nothing is lost by setting aside places that mark our transition from birth to death to life - all in the eternal sight and love of God.

We honor the dead by getting their remains where they need to be. And in that movement, the living get where they need to be.

 

If you desire further information, have questions, or wish to purchase a niche or plaque, please contact the church office (803) 328-2467 or PO Box 1011 Rock Hill, SC 29732.