Our columbarium provides a safe and secure place for the repose of the ashes of a loved one.
It is comprised of a series of vaults, each dedicated to a well-loved saint. If you would like further information on the Columbarium, please use the form on the Contact Us page of this site and select the option “Columbarium Enquiry“. Alternatively you may or contact the Parish Office by telephoning +44 (0)28 9032 4597.
Please note that currently NO spaces are available within the Columbarium, however, we hope to expand the columbarium in the future.
St Joseph’s Columbarium in St Patrick’s Church
Located at the front left-hand side of the church is a columbarium, for the repose of a loved one’s ashes. The columbarium is dedicated under the patronage of St Joseph and is a special place, where family members can visit, pray and be still, knowing that their loved one’s ashes are in a place associated with Christ and the sacraments. It has a series of dedicated vaults. The first phase containing 3 vaults: St Joseph, St Brigid and St Therese; and the second phase containing 2 vaults: St Anthony and The Sacred Heart.
Frequently Asked Questions:
“Remember you are dust, and unto dust you shall return” (Gn 2:7). These words remind us that we are fashioned from the dust of the earth. After our death our souls continue on their journey, by which God’s mercy will lead them into Paradise, our bodies return to the earth. However, as Catholics we believe that we who have been redeemed by the death of Christ, shall be raised up to the glory of his Resurrection. (Preface 1 of the Dead). Below we have tried to answer some questions which may arise regarding the Church’s position on cremation, the recommendations for the deposition of human ashes, the Columbarium and the anticipated benefits for our Church and community.
Can Catholics be cremated?
Yes. In May 1963, the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith lifted the prohibition forbidding Catholics to choose cremation. This permission was incorporated into the revised Code of Canon Law of 1983, as well as into the Order of Christian Funerals. It then became standard practice to celebrate the funeral liturgies with the body and then take the body to the crematorium. However, Requiem Mass, if it has not been celebrated, may now be celebrated with the ashes present. The Church encourages placement of ashes in a final resting place and permits cremation as long as the following conditions are met:
- ashes are respected as a body would be respected at burial
- the ashes are not divided
- the ashes are not scattered
- the ashes are not kept in someone’s living room or any home
Why do some people choose cremation?
There are many reasons why people choose cremation. Since 1963, the number of Catholics choosing cremation has grown. Some of the reasons for this are cost of burials in cemeteries, difficulty of getting to distant cemeteries, environmental concerns about the use of land and resources for burials, the lack of availability of desirable burial plots and the ability to keep the remains of loved ones nearby or to relocate cremated remains. The Church teaches that cremated remains are to be treated with the same respect as the full body of the departed. Inurnment in a columbarium meets this requirement.
What is inurnment? Interment?
Inurnment describes the placement of a person’s ashes in a niche in a columbarium after cremation. Interment refers to the placement of a person’s body in a casket in the ground or in a mausoleum.
What does the Church encourage be done with ashes of the faithful?
Ashes may be buried in a grave or inurned in a place designed to hold the cremated remains of the faithful. Many centuries ago, the dead were buried in underground tombs or niches, which we often refer to as catacombs. These were a series of different sized niches for the remains of the departed. Today we call this series of niches designed for cremated remains a Columbarium.
What is a Columbarium?
A Columbarium is a building, a room or a wall with niches for urns or boxes containing the cremated remains of the dead. Columbaria are also sometimes located in gardens or other outdoor locations. The word is derived from the Latin word “Columba” which means the dwelling place of a dove. This name may have been chosen because of the resemblance of the burial niches to dovecotes, or because the dove also is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
What is a niche?
A niche is a space in a columbarium for the inurnment of ashes.
What do the niches look like?
The niches are dignified and respectful of the architecture of the Church. They are sealed with cover cast bronze finish plates embossed with sheaves of wheat. Small brass plaques are fitted and will be engraved with the name of the deceased and dates of birth and death.
How do I determine the size and shape of urn?
The urns are specifically made for the niches and are included in the cost of the niche. No other type of urn is permitted to be used in the Columbarium. The urn should be collected from the parish and brought to the crematorium to ensure the respectful transfer of ashes from the crematorium to St Joseph’s Columbarium.
Why should I choose a niche at the Columbarium at St Patrick’s?
Burial within the church itself or in the adjacent churchyard was once a common practice. Historically, Christians from the earliest time have buried their dead in the consecrated areas in close proximity to their place of worship where they could be remembered and their remains safeguarded. The Columbarium at St Patrick’s will provide a resting place in a sacred and beautiful setting. St Patrick’s Church is our spiritual home where the deceased will be able to remain with community, family and friends for generations to come.
What funeral rites are celebrated when a person is cremated and inurned?
The funeral rites are very similar to those used at any funeral and graveside. The prayers at the crematorium are similar to those used at the graveside and special prayers are used for the placing of the urn into the Columbarium. All the usual funeral rites may be celebrated in the presence of cremated remains. During the liturgies, the cremated remains are treated with the same dignity and respect as the body. After the celebration of the rites the urn is brought to the Columbarium for inurnment.
Is the Columbarium open to the public?
Yes, the design allows anyone to visit and pray or light a candle. The Columbarium is open when the Church is open.
Can I place flowers at the niche?
No. There is no space for flowers. The trustees reserve the right to remove or destroy decorations which they deem to be unsightly or unfitting.
Can I visit the Columbarium at any time?
The columbarium will be open as often as the Church is open for remembrance and prayer.