Funerals and the Columbarium
The Service of Witness to the Resurrection
The name of the service on the occasion of death is “The Service of Witness to the Resurrection,” clearly stating our fundamental belief that in Christ, death has been conquered and the promise of eternal life is affirmed. Whether the casket is present or not, neither the name nor purpose of the service change.
As Christians, our theology shapes not only our beliefs about death, but also how we celebrate the life of the one who has died. We acknowledge that death brings loss, sorrow, and grief to all. However, in the face of death, Christians affirm with tears and joy the hope of the gospel.
At the Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, we do not bear bereavement in isolation but are sustained by the power of the Holy Spirit in our community of faith. We offer a ministry of love and hope to all who grieve. We need to grieve in order to be open to the healing help God offers.
The Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church opens our doors to those who may wish to hold a Service of Witness to the Resurrection in our sanctuary or chapel.
For a complete overview of our beliefs, practices, and polices concerning scheduling and conducting a funeral or memorial service at this church, please see the booklet The Service of Witness to the Resurrection, and the accompanying fee schedule.
Please know that our pastors stand ready to assist you at every stage of your life’s journey, including making preparations for death. Please feel free to contact any one of them for information, assistance, or to clarify your desires.
The Columbarium - A Memorial Garden on Church Grounds
Christian belief honors the body as the earthly temple of the soul. When we die, the soul is freed from the body to return to God through Jesus. It was Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you…that where I am, there you may be also.” The Church through the ages has always sought to treat the body after death with reverence, and to designate dignified places for repose for whatever remains of the material part by which we have been known here, be it dust or ashes.
The Columbarium at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church is a consecrated place where the remains of the deceased may be placed with the name and dates of birth and death recorded. It is a place for reflection and remembrance, a part of the church’s ongoing ministry to both the living and the dead. The Columbarium was established to serve members of the church. Ashes of others may be placed there with the permission of the Session.
A cap stone covers each Columbarium niche containing four spaces. For inurnment, the cap stone is removed to provide placement of an urn in its designated space, then the cap stone is replaced and the joint between the stone is resealed.
The sale of both niches and spaces includes the cost and installation of standard bronze plaques(s) for name and dates. Also available is a full-cost option that includes the prepaid costs for urn(s) and inurnment.
The Session oversees all operations and maintenance of the Columbarium. Current prices always include amounts for future upkeep and repair. The Columbarium’s reservation space agreement includes a “Terms and Conditions” statement, which describes how the Session will manage this memorial space and future requests.
The Memorial Wall
On the wall of the Christian Education building facing the Columbarium, three stone memorial tablets have been installed with the inscription “Lovingly Remembered Here, Interred Elsewhere.” Here bronze memorial plaques bearing the names of loved ones who had a relationship with the Church may be installed.
The Administrative Assistant and/or the Pastors welcome any questions you may have about the Columbarium and the Memorial Wall.
At the time a niche or space in The Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church Columbarium is purchased, the family is provided with a copy of the Columbarium Agreement – Terms and Conditions.
When the need arises to utilize a space in the Columbarium, it will be the responsibility of the family to:
- Notify the Church of expected use of the Columbarium space;
- Arrange for the cremation of the remains;
- Pick up a standard bronze urn from the Church, have the urn permanently marked with the name and dates of birth and death of the deceased, and arrange to have the ashes placed in the urn. If you wish to use a different urn, it must fit in a space 6 x 6 x 9” deep. Some urns provided by funeral directors may be too large.
- Deliver or make arrangements for delivery of the urn containing the ashes to the Church prior to or at time of interment;
- Make arrangements with the Pastor for the interment service.
- If you paid for the urn and the interment costs at the time you purchased the space, there will be no additional expense. If you deferred payment for the urn and interment costs, there will be an additional payment to cover this expense.
- The Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church will be responsible for removing the capstone and replacing it after the interment.
- A bronze plaque (showing only the name and dates of birth and death of the deceased) is standard for this Columbarium and is provided by the church without additional cost. The church will arrange for the engraving and installation of the plaque. This generally takes several weeks.
If you have questions or need assistance in any way, please do not hesitate to notify the Church Office at 202-363-2202.