For centuries it was common practice for people of faith to bury loved ones on church property. In the United States, since the period of Civil war, the use of embalming and new laws regulating the burial of the dead gave rise to the “funeral industry.” In combination with increasingly smaller amounts of land available to churches (especially urban ones) these factors led to the decline of a centuries-old tradition in the church and resulted in the nearly exclusive use of public cemeteries for the burial of the dead.
In recent decades cremation with the internment of ashes in a columbarium rather than burial in public cemeteries has become increasingly common. In fact, the use of cremation has enabled the church to reclaim the century old tradition of the burial of loved ones on church property.
The Toombs Memorial Garden at St. George’s offers parishioners the opportunity to inter the ashes of their loved ones in a beautiful, private and tranquil setting just outside the West transept of the church. Completed in 2010, the Toombs Memorial Garden incorporates 52 niches for Christian burial in a granite columbarium as well as an adjacent area for customized granite memorial plaques for the remembrance of loved ones buried elsewhere.
Because of rules regulating ownership of church property, subscribers are granted a permanent "use permit" rather than actual ownership of their selected niches. Niches and memorial plaques are selected on a first-come, first-served basis. Subscriptions for niches are offered at a cost of $1,200 each and customized memorial plaques can be purchased for $600.00 each.
We invite you to review the frequently asked questions, niche reservation form and memorial plaque reservation forms below. If you wish to subscribe a niche in the columbarium or order a memorial plaque please complete a reservation form, include your check or money order payable to the “St. George ’s Episcopal Church” (w/memo designating columbarium or memorial plaque), and return to the church marking the envelope “ATTN: Toombs Memorial Garden.”
If you have any questions, please contact the church office, at (504) 899-2811.
Please send your completed form to:
St. George’s Episcopal Church
4600 St. Charles Avenue,
New Orleans, LA 70115
Attention: Toombs Memorial Garden