Graves Chapel

PIEDMONT EPISCOPAL CHURCH

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MADISON, VIRGINIA

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THE COLUMBARIUM

 

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PIEDMONT EPISCOPAL CHURCH

For many generations, the burial places for human bodies were in and around the church. Then, as time passed, customs changed, restrictions were imposed and people in many cases had to be buried elsewhere. Recently, concern in human affairs has brought about much interest in cremation of bodily remains. This has made it possible to once again return to the tradition of making one's final resting place on the grounds of the church. Such a Memorial Garden has been established at Piedmont Episcopal Church.

 

The Garden, which includes the Piedmont Columbarium, is located towards the rear of the Church cemetery, behind the Church building. The columbarium is where the ashes in urns can be placed in niches, two containers to a niche. This Garden is also a place in which to relax and enjoy the surrounding beauty.

 

Regarding cremation and the Memorial Garden

 

Cremation is an old tradition and has been widely practiced throughout the world from earliest times. As Christians we regard burning as a properly reverent way of disposing of objects blessed for religious use, such as prayer books, altar linens and palms. By common Christian consent, we agree that this is a reverent way of recycling that which has been set apart and used to the glory of God. Christians who favor cremation have every right or reason to cite this principle. Cremation was accepted by the Church of England and the Episcopal Church  years ago and the National Church supports cremation as an acceptable, proper and dignified way of treating the human body at the time of death. Almost a quarter of all Americans now choose cremation over other means of burial.

 

In response to this need, churches have established special facilities for the care and safekeeping of cremated remains. This may be either a special garden area, a columbarium, or both. The word columbarium is derived from the Latin for "dovecote," the compartmented housing for doves. Dove is also the symbol of God's Spirit and of peace.

 

Interment within the grounds of Piedmont provides a link visible to us in this life between deceased Christians and their church body, enabling family and friends to pay their respects and refresh their remembrances as a part of regular worship.

 

Piedmont’s Garden of many uses and facets

 

Beyond being a place for burial (cemetery and columbaria) and to remember the deceased, the garden at Piedmont is:

- alive and dynamic with plantings, a place for the living to sit, enjoy the beauty, meditate, and pray;

a place for small meetings, outdoor services, a classroom - an extension of our "indoor" church;

- in keeping with, and compliments, the architecture of our present church,

- a garden that looks like it "belongs," i.e., is a part of Piedmont; consistent with our rich history; a                                          garden that will be here 100 years in the future;

- a place where the community should feel welcome



The details

 

The Memorial Garden is set aside for the interment of ashes of those persons who are eligible and have chosen cremation.

 

Eligibility

Only cremated remains of members of Piedmont Episcopal Church or their immediate families may be interred in the Piedmont Columbarium. Immediate family includes spouse, children, parents, brothers or sisters. Others with Piedmont Episcopal Church connections may be eligible as established and approved by the Vestry.

 

Interment

The cremated remains will be interred in the columbarium. There are two spaces in each niche. Selection of niche location will be by the purchaser in the order of application.

 

Fees

The fee for interment in the columbarium is $500 per niche (2 urns) or $300 for a single urn. This fee includes a niche for the urn(s), the urn(s), interment, a memorial plaque with engraving, and perpetual care.

 

Memorial Plaque

Names and dates of persons interred in the columbarium will be on a plaque attached to the face of the niche.

 

Funeral Arrangements

As customary, arrangements for the funeral and burial will be made with the rector. Cremation arrangements must be handled by a funeral home.

 

Reservations

Reservations may be made by contacting a Memorial Garden Committee representative.

 

What are the benefits to using a columbarium?

For church members the economic advantages are many. A niche in a columbarium is modest in cost. The columbarium is liturgically satisfying and ecologically sound. This choice invites quiet meditation and reflection and is a peaceful gathering place for families and friends.

 

Title and Rights

No property right of any kind will be acquired by the purchaser and legal title to all columbarium niches will be retained by Piedmont Episcopal Church. Permission to use a niche for burial cannot be sold or transferred to any other person without the consent of the Church. Through a signed document the purchaser must agree to the Terms and Conditions associated with purchasing a niche. Niche selection will be granted in the order in which the applications are received.

 

How large is the Columbarium?

Individual niches are 7.5" wide by 7.5” high. They are 22.5" deep. Each niche will accommodate two standard urns. Each urn is 6” in diameter and 11” deep. There are a total of 36 niches.


Would you like more information?

Our Rector, Brad Jackson, is available to discuss cremation as an option for Christian burial. Please call the Church office at (540) 948-6787. For general information about the Columbarium, contact Roger Schreiner.

niche reservation form


 

 

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