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Asbury Columbarium and Prayer Garden

Since one of the most difficult and stressful decisions we make in our lifetime is choosing funeral and cemetery arrangements after a death, pre-planning has become a thoughtful and meaningful gift for those left behind.

Asbury United Methodist Church is honored to offer you an option to consider; we have designed a Columbarium which will provide a permanent resting place for our loved one’s mortal remains.

What is a columbarium?
The word “columbarium” comes from the Latin word “columbary” which is a structure for the nesting of doves – the dove being the symbol of God’s Spirit and peace. The term relates to a tradition used for centuries, both here and abroad, where a burial vault is provided for the containment of urns holding cremated human remains.

Is cremation biblically sound?
Cremation is essentially a hastening of the natural process that occurs following death and is widely recognized as a theologically valid process for the deceased. Other large United Methodist congregations, such as Boston Avenue (Tulsa), Church of the Resurrection (Kansas City), and Chapelwood (Houston) have all added a columbarium in the past few years. This ancient practice has particular relevance for us today since land surrounding churches is less readily available.

What are the benefits?
Families who choose cremation rather than conventional burial will find Asbury a wonderful option.

  • Beautiful and peaceful – There is a gathering space for services, surrounded by landscaped shrubbery, trees and flowers. Benches will be provided for prayer and quiet time.
  • Prayer garden – In addition to the Columbarium, there is an associated prayer garden. This special area will be treated with reverence and respect.
  • Convenience – The location will allow the funeral/inurnment services to be held in the Columbarium area followed by a memorial service in the Chapel or church Sanctuary.
  • Cost – Cremation and inurnment costs are commonly less cost of a traditional burial.

How was the project funded?
The Columbarium was totally funded through sales of niches in the Columbarium. (The general budget did not subsidize the construction costs.) While all members of the Asbury family will benefit from the use of the prayer garden, the Columbarium itself was paid for by members and their families who plan on using it. Since the initial construction costs are covered, further sales revenues will be used to increase the number of niches as needed.

What is the cost of a niche?
The cost is $3,500 of which $2,000 is a tax-deductible donation to the church. The cost does not include cremation, which will be arranged by each family with the funeral home of their choice. The niches are faced with commemorative granite panels which can be engraved with family names as well as birth and death dates.

How will the garden be maintained?
A portion of future sales revenues will be used for ongoing maintenance and enhancement of the garden.

If you desire more information, please email   or call the church office and ask for our columbarium administrator, 918.492.1771.