Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to the most asked questions are below. For additional information or questions please contact Rev. Phil Greenwald, Executive Pastor of Administration at 405-232-1371 or email@example.com.
- What is a Columbarium?
The Columbarium and Memorial Gardens at St. Luke’s is a secure and sacred facility for the inurnment of ashes. The peaceful setting creates a place for remembrance, reflection and quiet meditation. The word columbarium literally translates to “dwelling place of the doves,” a symbol of God’s spirit and peace.
- Why choose cremation?
Christians have chosen cremation as a viable option for burial for thousands of years. In recent years, cremation has become a popular option due to decreased costs, a desire to be environmentally sensitive, and the emphasis of the Church on eternal life and the heavenly body.
- What about a funeral?
Many members choose to have a regular funeral or memorial service. The service can be held in the church sanctuary or chapel, or at a funeral home. A service of committal can be held in the Memorial Gardens at a later date.
- What happens to the ashes?
Once the ashes are placed in a box or urn, they rest in a watertight, secure, enclosed structure behind the granite walls of the Columbarium. St. Luke’s offers urns for purchase at a minimal cost.
- What is the Memorial Wall?
Through the years, many members and guests have asked about a way to remember loved ones who are buried in other locations. The Memorial Wall is a beautiful granite slab with bronze plaques listing the names of loved ones. It provides a special place to visit as you remember, offer a prayer and give thanks to God for the special people in your life who are now in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Dr. Long often refers to these people as “The Saints on Whose Shoulders we Stand.” A plaque with this saying is placed at the top of the Memorial Wall.
Each bronze plaque costs $300 and allows for 1-2 lines with the first and last name of the person(s) you wish to remember (2 names maximum). The plaques will be placed on the wall in the order in which they are purchased. $200 is tax-deductible.
- What is the cost of purchasing a niche?
Individual niches can be purchased for $1,700. Double niches can be purchased for $3,200. We anticipate a price increase of 10-15% later this year. The purchase price includes an engraved plaque, opening and closing costs, and perpetual maintenance. There are no other fees. A written agreement outlines all the responsibilities of St. Luke’s for the care of the Memorial Gardens.
- What payment options exist?
There are several options for payment. St. Luke’s will accept cash, checks or credit cards. An automatic withdrawal can also be set up from a checking or savings account. A deposit is required to reserve the niche. Interest free payment plans may be arranged for up to 24 months.
- What tax benefits are available?
The purchase of a niche is tax-deductible for the full amount of the purchase, less $150 for the plaque. This makes the purchase a potential tax benefit.
- What if I/we own cemetary lots?
Cemetery lots can be sold or transferred to other persons or organizations. Lots may be re-sold at the current market value. Lots can also be donated to the church or another charitable organization; the full amount of the fair market value is then tax-deductible. Donated lots can be used for benevolence or sold to benefit the organization.
- What about visiting the memorial gardens?
The Columbarium and Memorial Gardens are open every Sunday for family and friends to visit. The facility is available at other times through an access code provided to loved ones of those inurned.
- Who can help make these and other arrangements?
We are ready to assist you in making final preparations. Many funeral homes offer excellent plans to ensure your wishes are followed. The ministers and staff of St. Luke’s will be glad to assist you with planning a service.
For more information, please contactContact Us
Rev. Phil Greenwald,
Executive Pastor of Administration at (405) 232-1371 or firstname.lastname@example.org