From earliest Christian times, the parish church provided the final resting place for the mortal remains of deceased members of Christian communities, and burial within the churchyard was once a very common practice. But because not all deceased were associated with a church, secular cemeteries became an integral part in the planning of any community. An additional challenge to the church as the location of one’s final resting place came in the recognition of cremation as proper within the Anglican Communion and not in conflict with the Resurrection of the Body. The interment of ashes within the churchyard reestablishes the respect of the Church for the reverent burial of her dead. Accordingly, the family of St. Mark’s created a columbarium along the north and east walls of the chapel, a consecrated dwelling place established for the members of the parish and their relatives.
What is a columbarium?
The Latin word columbarium means the dwelling place of a dove based on the Latin columba, the bird remembered in the New Testament as the symbol of the Holy Spirit. In ancient Rome, early Christians referred to their burial niches in the catacombs as colombaria, noting the resemblance to the nesting boxes provided for doves. In later years the word came to mean an area of consecrated church ground used for the burial of cremated remains.
Who oversees the care of the St. Mark’s Columbarium?
The Columbarium Committee of St. Mark’s Vestry oversees the perpetual care and landscaping of the Columbarium and its gardens.
What does it cost to have a place in the Columbarium for the interment of ashes?
The St. Mark’s Columbarium contains eighty wall niches and sixty in-ground plots.
✤ One niche costs $800
✤ Two side-by-side niches cost $1500
✤ In-ground plot costs $550
Purchasers receive a license for each niche or plot purchased. The purchaser also receives a bronze plaque bearing the deceased’s name and birth and death dates. The plaque is attached to the face of the niche or to a bronze tableau on the chapel wall above the in-ground plots.
Whom do I contact for more information?
the church office at 630-858-1020 or our rector, The Rev. George Smith, at 630-858-1020, ext 222