Information on the Apostles Columbarium
Many Apostles members fondly remember the life and legacy of Leona Phelps. Leona was a founding member of Apostles and she is rightly described as ‘Apostles’ Matriarch’ for her legacy of prayer, love of others, and above all, her faithfulness to Christ. In all things, Leona sought to glorify the Lord.
In the final years of her life, Leona donated a columbarium to Apostles for the glory of God. While you may be familiar with a columbarium in an Anglican church, we recognize that a columbarium is new to many of our members and prompts a few questions. Some Frequently Asked Questions are below. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask!
What is a columbarium?
A columbarium is a building, room, or object with niches for the inurnment of cremated remains. The columbarium at Apostles has been installed at the front of the sanctuary, behind the main altar. Each niche is marked with the name of the person whose cremated remains are placed there.
Who is it for?
Past and present members of Apostles and their family members are eligible to subscribe to a columbarium niche. However, the columbarium is not only for those who have died, but also for those who are living. The columbarium reminds us that we are dust, and to dust we shall return. It also reminds us of the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us and are now rejoicing in the presence of Christ.
Why is it in the church? Why is it in the sanctuary near the altar?
From the earliest days of the Christian church, it has been customary for the physical remains of the saints to rest in or near the altar in a church. During the Protestant Reformation, cemeteries were sometimes constructed adjacent to the church building as well. This is not from some notion that Christians worship our ancestors or that physical remains possess some sort of magical power. Rather, the physical remains are present at the heart of the sanctuary to remind us of the faithfulness of past generations and encourage us to greater faithfulness in our own time. Whether in a cemetery adjacent to a church or a columbarium inside a church, the remains of our fellow believers remind us to honor their faith in the present and the future. They also remind us that when we gather to worship, we are joining in praise of God with other believers past and present, including those who have died. The remains of other believers are a tangible symbol of the full communion of saints, living and dead.
When will it be used?
The columbarium will be formally dedicated immediately following the 9am service on April 3, 2016. The ashes of Preston and Leona Phelps will be committed (installed in niches) at that time, and their family members will be present with us. Please plan to participate in this celebration of their lives!
How do I get more information? How do I reserve a niche?
For more information or to reserve a niche, contact the church office at 865-385-6686 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reservations are first come, first serve beginning Monday, April 4th. There are currently fourteen niches available, with plans to install an additional sixteen. Each niche holds the remains of one person. The cost to reserve a niche is as follows:
One niche $ 800.00 (urn, nameplate, and engraving)
Church administration fee 100.00
Contribution to Columbarium Fund 200.00
Reserving a niche will require full payment and the Columbarium Subscriber Agreement form to be completed. Forms are available in the office.