in New York
One of the great promises of the Christian faith is that death has lost its power to separate us forever from our loved ones. Because of Easter – because Jesus Christ has been raised from death – we trust that we too shall enjoy eternal life in God’s heavenly kingdom.
Indeed, even long before Easter, the prophet Isaiah foretold a great gathering of God’s people: Lift up thine eyes round about and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side (Isaiah 60:4). Centuries later, St. Paul the Apostle would write: For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (1 Corinthians 15:52). In the meantime we wait with patience for the great Day of the Lord when all of God’s promises are fulfilled.
The columbarium of Grace Church was built in 2017 to be a visible reminder of God’s promises. It is a gift of Mr. Edward W. Keane, in memory of his wife Mary Burdell Keane, and is designed by parishioner and architect Grant Marani (a partner at Robert A.M. Stern Architects) to match the historic pews down to the last detail, including the brass nameplates. The pattern suggests that in the mystery we call the Communion of Saints, our departed loved ones are still with us, singing the praises of God in heaven as they did in these pews. We are one family of the living God – one Church in time and eternity.
The columbarium is located on the west wall of the south transept beneath the Nativity stained glass window. Behind the five carved walnut doors are 120 secure niches to contain in perpetuity the cremated ashes (cremains) of our beloved dead.
Thus, the columbarium offers not burial apart from the church, but a final resting place in the church amidst the ongoing rhythms and rituals of God’s people. These niches are available for purchase, not only at the time of death, but also in advance for those who desire the peace of mind that comes with having their affairs in order today. Being a parishioner of Grace Church is not required for the purchase of a niche. The columbarium is available to all in the community who love this neighborhood and appreciate the architectural and spiritual presence of Grace Church in it.
If you’d like to learn more about the Grace Church Columbarium, please fill out the form below and we will contact you shortly.
You may also call 212.254.2000 for more information.
Photos by Peter Aaron