What is a columbarium?

A columbarium is a self-standing structure similar to a mausoleum with individual niches housing one or two urns of cremated remains.

A columbarium is a self-standing structure similar to a mausoleum with individual niches housing one or two urns of cremated remains instead of a full size casket.

Most historians believe the first cremations took place during the Stone Age, more than 5,000 years ago in Europe.

Over the centuries the practice spread to other parts of the world with the Romans being the first to use columbariums to store cremated remains in elaborately decorated urns.

While cremation was not always permitted in some religions, Buddhists were among the first to cremate their dead.

In the Jewish and early world religions, cremation was frowned upon for it was considered a pagan practice with many Christian societies only permitting cremation in the case of plague or war.

As cremation began to gain acceptance in Europe and North America more and more people chose cremation as an alternative to full body burial and modern cemeteries started to build Columbarium Walls.

Columbariums were constructed in response to a growing need to have a space in which to place an urn instead of on the shelf in the corner of the basement or back yard shed.

Columbariums are modern in design with granite and bronze fronts creating a simple and tasteful finished look.

Columbarium Niches are usually equal to or less expensive than traditional burials as they include the vault, the grave space, the marker plus the opening and closing in their price.

This is a special place where people can come and cherish the memory of loved ones who has been laid to rest here.

In response to this growing trend Compassionate Care Funerals with endorsement from the City of Williams Lake created and care for a beautiful cremation garden to the left of the entrance of Williams Lake Cemetery.

There is a winding pathway the leads you around the Columbarium’s passed the Log Gazebo playing soft music and around the circular scattering garden beside the trickling water feature and Columbarium Wall at the far end of the Gardens.

Serenity Gardens was featured in the November issue of Network Magazine across Canada as a modern cemetery in our community.


Ron Malmas is the Managing Director at Compassionate Care Funerals





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