What is a Columbarium?
A columbarium is a permanent resting place for cremated remains. Columbarium is derived from the Latin word devocate, or “a nesting place for doves.” The Early Christians in Rome used the term to describe the catacombs, where they not only interred the dead, but also sought refuge and worshipped during times of persecution. The dove of peace, symbol for the Holy Spirit, has always been associated with the Resurrection.
For more information in printable .pdf format, see ► In my Father’s house are many rooms: A Columbarium Walk-Through.
Where is our columbarium located?
Our columbarium is a separate, protected, sacred space for prayer and meditation. It occupies approximately 230-square feet in the southeast corner of the nave, the corner nearest Chapel and Temple streets. The image of the Risen Christ on the Road to Emmaus, as depicted in Louis Comfort's Tiffany stained glass window, overlooks the columbarium.
How was the space designed?
It was designed to blend with the early Gothic Revival context of our historic nave, the columbarium will resemble a small chapel with a central altar, surrounded by low walls containing hundreds of discrete compartments.
The compartments contain beautifully crafted boxes. Each box holds one person’s remains, with the name of that person engraved on the box and the outside panel of the compartment. The base of the columbarium altar will provide a space for those who prefer the alternative of combined ashes. We will record these names in a memorial book. This space will also have benches for rest, contemplation and prayer.