The Columbarium

The Columbarium

 

Give rest, O Christ, to your servants with your saints,

where sorrow and pain are no more,

neither sighing, but life everlasting.

 

You only are immortal, the creator and maker of mankind;

and we are mortal, formed of the earth, and to earth shall we return. For so did you ordain when you created me, saying,

“You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

 

All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Give rest, O Christ, to your servants with your saints,

where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing,

but life everlasting.

 



 

ABOUT THE COLUMBARIUM

Located in the Chapel on the south wall, our columbarium is comprised of five banks, each with 32 niches, for the repose of the dead.  It was constructed of bronze by Armento Liturgical Arts of Buffalo, New York.  The first two banks were installed in 1991 with the final fifth bank added in 2015. Inurnment of one’s cremated remains is particularly appropriate for members of Grace Episcopal Church who wish their ashes to be held within the peaceful and sacred space of the Chapel where services are held three times each week. 

 

REGULATIONS & MANAGEMENT

AUTHORITY:  The use and care of the columbarium are subject to the control of the Rector and Vestry of Grace Episcopal Church. The Vestry reserves the right to make, amend and repeal such regulations and policies as it deems appropriate.

OWNERSHIP: The columbarium and all niches remain the property of Grace Episcopal Church. Reservation of a niche and payment of the established one-time fee entitle the subscriber to the privilege of use ad infinitum.

COLUMBARIUM MANAGEMENT:  Management of the columbarium is entrusted to the Rector and Vestry.  From time to time, the Vestry and Rector shall review and establish reasonable procedures for the care and use of the columbarium, as well as collect and disburse funds as necessary for the proper maintenance of the columbarium.

ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES: The Parish Administrator shall be responsible for routine administrative duties, including:

·       Maintenance of records – purchased niches, available niches, contracts and records pertaining to each.

·       Selection of niches – working in conjunction with those who wish to reserve a space.

·       Contracts and payment records - the Rector shall sign these contracts on behalf of Grace Episcopal Church.  Contract copies shall be kept on file in the Parish Office, including instructions on funeral liturgies and other post mortem information.

·       Arrange for the niche plaque – these are printed on brass plates in accordance with the columbarium requirements and ordered from Armento as needed.

USE OF NICHES: Each niche may be used for the ashes of one person specified by a Subscriber who is responsible for the payment of the designated fee.

ELIGIBILITY: The ashes of any past or present member of Grace Episcopal Church, his or her spouse/partner, parents, or children, as well as others who in the opinion of the Rector and Vestry have a sufficient connection to the Parish, shall be eligible for inurnment in the columbarium.

RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER: Grace Episcopal Church shall endeavor to protect the ashes and their receptacles before and after they are inurned in the columbarium, but it shall have no responsibility for failure to do so. Grace Episcopal Church reserves the right to alter or to remove the columbarium, or any of the contents thereof, if deemed necessary and appropriate by the Rector and Vestry or subsequent governing authority.  Should this become necessary, the Church may place such urns in other suitable niches at its sole discretion.

RITES AND SERVICES: All rites and services, including officiants, in connection with the inurnment of ashes in the columbarium shall be those prescribed or approved by the Rector or Priest-in-Charge, in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

URNS OR CONTAINERS: The urns used in our columbarium have been specially constructed to fit the niches.  The urn is included in the reservation fee.  No other urn or container will be necessary.

PLAQUES AND INSCRIPTIONS: Each niche shall be marked by a plaque which is also included in the reservation fee and provided by Grace Episcopal Church.  Plaques shall include the name of the decedent with the dates of birth and death.

RESERVATION OF NICHES: Payment of the fee entitles the Subscriber to the use of the niche for inurnment of the cremated remains of a qualified person, but does not convey the ownership of a niche. No transfer of a reservation may be made without the prior written approval of the Rector.  In the event a Subscriber determines to cancel a reservation, this must be done in writing.  Upon receipt of this written directive, a refund of one-half the amount paid for the reservation shall be made to the Subscriber or their estate. Niches may be reserved in advance of need by payment of the specified fee. Reservation prior to need is strongly recommended.

FEE: Unless waived or determined otherwise by the Rector, reservation of a niche shall cost $500.00.  This fee includes the use of one niche for the ashes of one person, the niche urn, and plaque bearing name with dates of birth and death.

FLOWERS, WREATHS OR OTHER REMEMBRANCES are not permitted in the columbarium.  Memorial flowers for Chapel worship may be coordinated through the Parish Office.

REMOVAL OF CREMATED REMAINS at a later date by the heirs-at­ law of a decedent may transpire only after legal request of the decedent's estate in conjunction with proper court authority.

COLUMBARIUM FUND:   Funds received from the reservation of niches shall be deposited in a special account known as the Columbarium Fund, administered  by the Treasurer of the Parish, and overseen by authority of the Rector and Vestry.

ADVANCE PLANNING: It is highly recommended that the reservation of a niche include a meeting with the priest to make some advance decisions about one’s own funeral.  We have designed forms and worksheets to assist in this conversation and commend the practice as a loving legacy to those who will mourn.

 

Happy from now on

are those who die in the Lord!

So it is, says the Spirit,

for they rest from their labors.

(BCP p.492)

 

Rev. June 2015

 

 

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