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The Columbarium

Allowing members to choose the sanctity of their church as an enduring place of rest, holding true to our Christian heritage

Columbarium in early Rome meant, simply, a nesting place for doves. When Christians, relegated to Rome's catacombs, began using cliff-side niches to seal away ashes of the faithful who died, the term "Columbarium" took on its present meaning: sacred compartments for storage of cremated remains.

Why Select a Columbarium?

SPIRITUAL SITE FOR FINAL REPOSE. In a return to church tradition, it provides members of the Church and their families the opportunity to choose the shadow of the church, which has been central to their lives, as their final resting place. The site is a place of beauty and dignity where friends and family can visit and meditate at any time.

SIMPLICITY OF ARRANGEMENTS. It eliminates the pressures of choosing a burial site, casket, vault and monument. It provides a place for internment immediately adjacent to the Sanctuary.

SUBSTANTIAL FINANCIAL SAVINGS. The combined cost of a columbarium niche and cremation are less than one-fourth the cost of a casket, burial site and marker.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Columbarium located?

The Columbarium is located on the north side of the campus between the Sanctuary and the Education Building.

How many niches will the Columbarium have?

The columbarium will have capacity for 760 niches in Phase I. 440 of these niches are currently built out and available. Each niche has the capacity to hold two urns. In the future, additional niches will be added.

Who oversees the Columbarium?

The Columbarium is a ministry of First United Methodist Church Richardson and functions under the authority of the Board of Trustees. The Business Office of the Church oversees its operation under the guidance of the Board of Trustees. 

Who may use the Columbarium?

Inurnment in the Columbarium is limited to present or past Church members and members of their immediate families, including spouses, parents and children. It is also available to ordained or diaconal ministers of the United Methodist Church.

What is the fee?

The fee to purchase a double niche in the columbarium is $4,500. There are no single niche options. See below for what the fee covers and financing options.

What is included in the fee?

The niche fee includes opening and closing the niche for inurnment, two urns, two top of urn engravings, two engraved niche faceplates, and perpetual care. Each niche will accommodate two urns. The fee does not cover the cost of cremation.

How do I purchase a niche and pay the fees?

Applications and payments for the Columbarium are online! Please complete an application and pay any fees online here. The Church accepts Bank Draft, Visa, Mastercard and Discover. (Bank Draft is significantly less expensive for the Church to process than credit cards!) Church staff will verify church membership for eligibility and will follow up with you within a few days to select a niche location and get any other information we will need. You will not get final paperwork until a location is selected. 

May I finance the fees?

Yes. A $900 deposit is required. The remaining amount may be financed at $300/month for 12 months with 0% interest. You will not be able to select a niche location or inurn anyone in the columbarium until the fee has been paid in full. Financing is an option on the online application.

May I select the niche location?

Currently we are allowing purchasers to select their niche location. However, at some point in time, niche assignments may be managed by the Church Business Office/Board of Trustees and assigned on a first-come-first-served basis.

May I honor a loved one by purchasing a niche?

Yes. Niches may be used as a memory marker when your loved one is buried or interned at another location. Pricing is the same whether or not you inurn anyone.

What happens if I purchase a niche and decide not to use it?

After approval from the Board of Trustees, FUMCR will repurchase your unused niche for 75% of the purchase price. Once cremains are placed in a niche, no refund will be made even if the cremains are removed by the heirs. The niche cannot be sold to or used by anyone other than those listed in the original Application Form.

What if I have already made other burial arrangements?

Should you prefer inurnment in our Columbarium, you should contact the facility with which you made arrangements to learn how those arrangements can be terminated. Some refund may be due on services paid for, but in most cases you will need to sell burial plots or mausoleum slots through a broker or the newspaper.

What if I have additional questions?

If you would like more information on The Columbarium, please contact Karen Varner at kvarner@fumcr.com / 972.996.0138. She will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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