Saint Mark’s Memorial Garden
“Loving and gracious God, we pray to you for those we love, but see no longer: Grant them your peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and, in your loving wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purpose of your perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen”
Book of Common Prayer, page 504
From the earliest of times Christians have desired to be interred on the holy ground of churches and cathedrals. The first Christian altars often held the remains of venerated saints and mystics. There is comfort in the face of things we do not understand to know that the earthly remains of loved ones and even oneself are in a place dedicated to God and the proclamation of God’s eternal kingdom.
The Memorial Garden at Saint Mark’s
The Saint Mark’s Memorial Garden is the final resting place for the ashes of a number of parishioners and their families. Located on the far western portion of the church grounds, the garden is a place for quiet reflection and prayer It often sees special events such as the All Saints Day reading of the Necrology. All Saints Day is always the first Sunday in November, and anyone is invited to join in this brief service at 9:15 am.
The burial area itself is laid out along each side of the walkway. While each location is recorded, urns are not used and the ashes are placed directly in the earth.
Learn more about Memorial Services at Saint Mark’s here.
Is Cremation Christian?
Absolutely. Holy Scripture tells us that we shall receive new bodies at our own resurrection. Many churches have a columbarium or memorial garden as part of their property. In a world where we are increasingly aware of our land and its many uses—as well as the significant cost of funeral arrangements—the Memorial Garden is a significant part of Saint Mark’s ministry.
Who May be Placed in the Garden?
The garden is open to receive the ashes of any parishioner, former parishioner, or member of their immediate family.
It is recommended that a spot be reserved well in advance as part of pre-planning for ones funeral arrangements. This process may be started by speaking to a member of the clergy.
What Does It Cost?
There is no charge to be interred in the garden. Many people make a $200 donation to cover the church’s expenses (such as the cost of engraving the name and dates of each person interred on the granite tablets just inside the entrance—this is done once each year in November). Occasionally a larger memorial gift is made and asked to be put toward the garden’s perpetual care. These gifts are appreciated as grounds upkeep is ongoing and costly.
To make a memorial gift please click HERE.
Download a PDF of Saint Mark’s Memorial Service Booklet here.