The Memorial Prayer Garden
“I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”
- Ps. 121:1
The Memorial Prayer Garden was dedicated on September 8, 2013, and was designed as a peaceful place for prayer, reflection and remembrance. The garden is located on a gentle hill on the north side of the church property. The plantings define a partially enclosed space with views of the mountains to the north and the church building and fields below. A portion of the garden is designated as a place where people may place the cremated remains of loved ones.
The use of the garden is not limited to church members, and is available to all persons. Visiting hours for the garden are dawn to dusk. The garden is currently reached by a mown path that winds around the church’s crop fields. In good weather, it is also possible to drive up directly to the garden site.
Inside the church building will be a memorial plaque on which the names of all the persons whose ashes have been scattered or buried in the garden will be listed, along with their date of birth and date of death. Near the plaque will be a remembrance album, in which a page will be available for each family to share a photo and/or written memento of their deceased loved one. Additionally, the records of all persons whose ashes have been scattered or buried in the garden will be noted in the Parish Register.
“O Lord, support us all the day long of this troubled life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then, in your mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Anyone who wishes to scatter or bury the ashes of loved ones in the garden should contact the pastor or the council president of BSULC. There is a great deal of flexibility in the timing of the service. It could occur immediately before or after a memorial service at the church, or could take place many weeks or months later at the convenience of the family. The details of the internment service can also vary considerably, according to circumstance and the needs and wishes of the family, and should be scheduled and planned in consultation with the pastor.
Ashes may be scattered or buried only in the designated area of the garden. If ashes are buried, they are to be deposited directly in the ground (no urns or other containers). No individual grave markers, holiday decorations, or memorial flowers are permitted in the garden. The garden is not a place for the deposition of pets’ ashes.
Contributions toward the cost of maintaining and improving the garden are always welcome and much needed; gifts may be made to “Big Spring United Lutheran Church” and designated for the “Memorial Prayer Garden Fund”. For the use of the garden to inter cremated remains, the requested donation for BSULC members and immediate family is $100. The requested donation for persons who are not members of the congregation is $500. Those who can give less are still most welcome to use the garden.
For additional information, please contact:
Big Spring United Lutheran Church
101 Crossroad School Road
Newville, PA 17241