I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor rulers,
nor things present, nor things to come …
will be able to separate us from
the love of God in Christ Jesus.

~ Romans 8:38-39

Columbarium History

The Church historically has laid the dead to rest with reverence and care in special places set apart in church yards and cathedrals. Now, in keeping with this tradition, churches have established special facilities for the care and safekeeping of cremated remains in Columbariums. The name, Columbarium, is derived from the Latin Columba or “Dovecote,” the dove being the symbol of God’s spirit and peace.

Burial in the church is an ancient tradition. The catacombs in Rome stand as a memorial to the faithful departed. Many monasteries contain an ossuary where the bones of the monks are stored.

In addition, we believe our Christian faith, with its emphasis on death as a new beginning, calls us to offer an alternative to the cost of many burial practices with expensive plots and headstones. Further, we believe that, as Christians, we are stewards of God’s creation. As such, we have a responsibility to make a simple provision for investment in the future by using less space.

Cremation with memorialization is an alternative that provides a respectful way to handle our mortal bodies that is both cost effective and better for the care of our earthly home.

Burial of the Dead

Cremated remains of members of the parish and their families will be interred in the Columbarium as part of a full funeral service or in a simple ceremony where relatives and friends of the deceased are invited to participate. The ashes will be placed in one of the niches in the wall and covered with a simple wooden cover held firmly in place with decorative brass screws. A simple engraved brass tag will list the name of the deceased.

Burial Urns

After receiving the cremated remains at the church from the funeral home, they are placed into a custom urn designed specifically to fit in our columbarium.

The St. Luke's Columbarium

The Columbarium is designed to house the urns containing ashes from cremation. It was established in 1978 to be a final resting place for loved ones, allowing the parish to follow the ancient custom of burying the dead in hallowed space where generations of families have gathered and will continue to gather and worship.

The St. Luke’s Church Columbarium is housed on the South wall of the Crossing in the Church. Many former parishioners of St. Luke’s and their family members are interred in this sacred place. Simple brass tags mark the location of the ashes with the name of the departed and the year of their birth and death.

There is ample available space in the left and right sections of the columbarium. 

The fee for interment in the St. Luke’s Church Columbarium is $1,000 per person/niche, which includes the cost of the custom urn. This payment can be made at any time before the ashes are placed in the church. All proceeds go towards the St. Luke’s Foundation, a fund set aside for the maintenance of the Church buildings.

When a niche is reserved with payment, a location can be selected.

All Saints Memorial Plaques

St. Luke’s offers small memorial plaques as part of our All Saints’ Chapel. This is a thoughtful opportunity to permanently remember loved ones who have been part of this place and our lives. The plaques are inscribed and mounted on the Memorial Wall for a $250 contribution.

Please contact our Rector, the Reverend John A. Mennell, with any questions. You may also contact the Parish Office by telephone at 973-744-6220 or send an email to