“Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord:
And let light perpetual shine upon them”
What is a columbarium?
A columbarium is a group of small compartments called “niches” that hold the cremated remains of those who have died. It can be a place of remembrance, contemplation, meditation and prayer.
Cremation and the church
Christians believe that not even death and the inevitable decay of our physical bodies can separate us from God’s love or exclude us from life in God’s reign. Christians express this conviction as faith in the resurrection of the body.
Our participation in the resurrection does not depend on the preservation of our mortal bodies intact. St Paul teaches us that the resurrection body is a transformed body, and he likens the raising of the dead to a plant growing from a sown seed. The plant grows out of the seed, but is different from the seed.
We believe that all who have died in Christ will be raised in Christ, including those whose mortal bodies are unrecoverable or have been damaged or destroyed in death.
Cremation, therefore is entirely consistent with the Christian understanding of resurrection.
“So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.”
St. Thomas Vancouver
Columbarium Care Committee
The St Thomas’ Columbarium is administered by Columbarium Care Committee, authorized by the BC Consumer Protection Branch. The Columbarium Care Committee consists of the Rector of the Parish, at least one of the Church wardens, and persons appointed by the Parish Council.
St. Thomas’ members and their families as well as former members and friends of the congregation are eligible for interment in the Columbarium.
How is an internment conducted?
Ashes are interred during an Anglican service designed for this purpose. This is typically a very brief ceremony, or which can be part of the funeral service.
Family members are always welcome to return to St. Thomas’ to visit the Columbarium. Please contact the Rector to make arrangements for a visit to the columbarium.
Care and maintenance
The Columbarium and the meditation space around it are maintained by St. Thomas’ through the Perpetual Care fund. Each niche costs $500. This includes the license for the niche and a bronze identification plate.
Names of those interred in the St. Thomas’ Columbarium are recalled in prayer each year on All Souls’ Day.