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Columbarium

The Columbarium at St. Philip the Deacon

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For centuries, Christian communities have had cemeteries connected to their church locations. These burial grounds have created beautiful spaces to remember loved ones, have simplified the logistics of burials, and have allowed congregations to honor the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before them.

For congregations in cities and suburbs, these kinds of traditional cemeteries haven’t been possible due to space limitations, but Columbaria—walls with niches designed to receive and store cremation urns—have become a popular alternative. Like traditional burial grounds, these structures allow families and friends to remember and honor loved ones in a setting that is directly connected to the life of the congregation.

In response to a strong interest among the members of St. Philip the Deacon, a Columbarium wall was built on the north side of the church, just off of our Chapel entrance.

“Blessed in the sight of the LORD is the homecoming of his faithful ones.” - Psalm 116:15

The Columbarium currently includes 200 niches, each of which can be used to hold either one or two cremation urns.

Each of the 8 x 8 inch niches has a Cambrian black granite exterior door, which will be engraved with the name and birth and death dates of the individual or individuals inurned there. A matching granite forms a capstone on the wall, and on the north side, the wall is surrounded by brick to match the exterior of the church.

A foundation for a second wall—which could hold an additional 200 niches—was poured at the same time as the first Columbarium wall, allowing us to double the total capacity of the Columbarium in the future.

— CHRISTIAN WISDOM —

“Without silence words lose their meaning, without listening speaking no longer heals, without distance closeness cannot cure.”

Henri Nouwen