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Columbariums as a Disposition Option


Columbariums are vaults, or sometimes simply walls, with niches to store remains for those who have opted for cremation. The word comes from the Latin name for the dwelling place of a dove (columba), which Christians believe is the symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Some cemeteries have columbariums, which range from simple to ornate structures. Lately, there's a lot more interest in columbariums because more and more people are considering cremation. It's estimated that nationwide more than 25 percent of families nationwide choose cremation, according to Cremation Society of Greater Cincinnati.

In some regions, including California, Florida and the New England states, cremation rates are as high as 70 percent, says the society's Elvin Ellison. Some churches are building columbariums instead of the traditional church graveyard to take care of their departed faithfuls.

Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, offers its clergy and members a memorial wall ($200) and a columbarium ($99-$1,200) for the clergy and members. It's open to nonmembers ($1,700) subject to approval by the board, and it's space-efficient, modern and less costly option when considering body disposition.


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