Here at St. Stephen’s the Vestry has recently approved plans for a small columbarium and appointed a Columbarium Committee to oversee the project and its maintenance. Initially, the Columbarium will be small (roughly 2 feet wide x 8 feet high) and will be located indoors in the back corner of the Nave.
The placement near the entrance to the church is not without precedent: The traditional location of the Baptismal font is at the entrance, just as Baptism is the way one enters the Church as the Body of Christ. In early churches, once designated church buildings rather than homes were used, martyrs were frequently buried under the threshold to the baptismal chapel as a reminder to those who were about to be baptized about the cost of discipleship and the mantle borne by those who had gone before them in faith.
It will be crafted by a local carpenter to match the wooden interior of the walls and will house 8 “single” niches (for a single urn) and 12 “double” niches (that can accommodate two urns). The cost is $1,000 per person and includes perpetual upkeep and maintenance of the Columbarium.
A family provides their own urn and any urn may be used, provided it fits within the space—not all do, so double check the Columbarium specs with the funeral director or ask us about urn manufacturers who make the size needed. Niches will be marked with an engraved brass plaque, provided by the parish.
Our goal is to have a small unit installed in the nave and solemnly blessed for use on All Saints Sunday, November 3, at the 10am liturgy. The first inurements will happen immediately after, and going forward on the Wednesday after All Saints we will have an annual All Souls Requiem liturgy, in remembrance of those inured in our Columbarium, as well as all faithful departed who are friends and family of the parish.
This initial unit is small, allowing it to be built immediately with minimal startup expenses, but the Columbarium Committees hopes that when a capital campaign is conducted the side chapel will be renovated and the columbarium relocated to the chapel as part of a larger columbarium plan for the remodeled space.
Applications and an information packet about the Columbarium are available in the Parish Office. Please direct any questions about the Columbarium or the application process, to the Parish Office.