We have a Columbarium at Covenant Presbyterian Church, where members, friends, and their loved ones may have their cremated remains memorialized in a dedicated space near the sanctuary. The Columbarium is located in a small comfortable space near the sanctuary, with a window overlooking the courtyard.
The Columbarium itself is a vertical vault with multiple recessed niche compartments. Each niche can hold up to two bronze-plated urns with earthly remains after cremation. Each niche compartment has a granite face plate, with the name(s), along with years of birth and death.
Our Columbarium was built in 2007, as part of the major overhaul of the building. Since then, many Covenant families have been grateful for the Columbarium. If needed, we have room to expand in the future.
Pastor Charlie Berthoud was recently interviewed by the Wisconsin State Journal for an article, "With Cremation on the Rise, Churches Building Columbaria to House Remains" by Matthew DeFour on the popularity of columbariums.
Cremation & Christian Faith
Jesus said...,"I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me,
even though they die,
will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die." John 11:25-26
Christians trust God to be Lord of both life and death, and trust in Jesus Christ and the power of his resurrection. They commit their bodies to the earthly finality expressed in the words, "ashes to ashes and dust to dust," doing so in sure and certain hope of God's power to raise them to new and everlasting life. Consequently, cremation is not only an appropriate Christian means of caring for the body once one has died, increasingly, it is also a matter of good and faithful stewardship.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of each niche?
Each niche costs $1,000, whether it is used for one or two urns. Of this amount, approximately $640 is tax deductible. We ask that people pay in full, prior to the time of usage.
Can we use our own urn?
The purchase price includes the cost of one or two urns, which are custom fit for this columbarium, so using personalized urns is not possible.
Should we wait until death occurs before purchasing a niche?
The time of purchase is a family decision. But when death occurs, a family faces not only the emotions of grief, but a variety of logistical decisions. So if the choice has been made to use the columbarium, purchasing a niche in advance is one less decision to make. Plus, advance purchase can allow discussions about which niche to purchase.
When can we visit the Meditation Room?
The Meditation Room (where the Columbarium is located) is available for friends and family to visit any time the church is open. It is across from the entrance to the sanctuary, toward the church office.
Is there a special service when the urn is placed in the niche?
Ordinarily, a pastor will lead a brief service, usually about 5 minutes, with scripture and prayer. The family and friends may spend as much time as they like in the Meditation Room before and/or after the service. A family will usually have a longer memorial service in the sanctuary, with music, scripture, prayer, and reflections. The memorial service may occur on the same day that remains are placed in the columbarium, either before or after.
Do I have to be a member?
Ordinarily the columbarium is for current and former members and their families.
Can I pick the spot where my/our urns will go?
Yes. Many spaces have already been reserved.
Who do I contact to get more information about the Columbarium?
If you are interested in purchasing a niche, please contact the church office at (608) 233-6297 or send an e-mail to Mary Kieta, Office Administrator.
How do I reserve a niche at Covenant's Columbarium?
Download the Application for Reservation for Niche(s) and then either e-mail it to Mary Kieta, Office Administrator or bring it to the church office and set up a time to meet with Mary Kieta to receive payment and discuss final preparations.
How do I begin to plan a loved one's funeral or memorial service?
Listed below are links to funeral and memorial service planning materials that can help guide you through the process. If you are a Covenant member and would like to schedule a funeral or memorial service at Covenant, please contact Mary Kieta, Office Administrator or call (608) 233-6297.