The burial office is an Easter liturgy. Episcopalians believe that when we die, God will raise us from death in the fullness of our being and that we will live with Christ in the communion of the saints. We believe in everlasting life, a new existence, in which we will be united with all the people of God, in the joy of fully knowing and loving God and each other. Our assurance as Christians is that nothing, not even death, shall separate us from the love of God.
The funeral rite for burial of a baptized Christian is a service including anthems, psalms, scripture readings, and prayers, for which the Book of Common Prayer provides both traditional and contemporary liturgies. This rite may serve as the liturgy of the word at a Requiem Eucharist. When there is communion at the Burial of the Dead, the commendation and the committal follow the communion of the people and the post-communion prayer. The burial rites also include the Apostles’ Creed, a special form of the prayers of the people, forms for the consecration of the grave, and additional prayers that may be added after the Lord’s Prayer. The Book of Common Prayer also provides an Order for Burial, which permits the composition of a rite to suit particular circumstances “when, for pastoral considerations, neither of the burial rites in this Book is deemed appropriate” (Book of Common Prayer, pp. 506-507), as well as appropriate texts for the burial of a person who was not a baptized Christian or who rejected the Christian faith.
When planning a funeral at the Cathedral, the family and loved ones will meet with one of the clergy to discuss the outline and content of the service.
The Cathedral has perhaps the most beautiful columbarium in the State of Maryland. Designed by Tom Gamper, it has won a National Award from one of the committees of the American Institute of Architects, and has made an unused portion of the Cathedral into a very sacred space. Located off of the Peace Chapel, it now has been the site of many interments.
92 of the 144 niches in the Columbarium have been sold, with just 52 available (at this writing). The current price for a niche, which can contain up to two urns, is $1,500. Five more niches have been sold in this past year.
The Columbarium Committee feels that the Columbarium, like the Peace Chapel, is a wonderful asset to the Cathedral, both now and in the future. We are glad that there are yet niches available for members of the Cathedral and the Diocese. The Columbarium is open and available to all our members, and to others in the Diocese.