St George’s Garden of Remembrance
Many churches, St George’s among them, have Memorial Gardens or Gardens of Remembrance, in which cremated remains are interred. These gardens are witness to the Christian belief in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to our assurance that we share in his resurrection to eternal life.
Relatives may choose to have the ashes of those who have died interred in St George’s Garden of Remembrance. The church views cremation as an acceleration of the natural process of decomposition, the Biblical concept of ‘earth to earth’. There is thus no difference in principle between the interment of a body or its ashes.
As Christians we believe that our physical body is only the temporary dwelling of the soul. After death we have a spiritual body. Thus, while we treat a human body or its ashes with due respect, it is not seen as a continuation of the human person we have known and loved. That person is living a new life now in a new dimension.
Ashes are interred rather than scattered. This means that we do not treat either a body in a grave or ashes in the ground as a ‘relic’ or a shrine to be revered in some way. The interment of ashes provides a place of remembrance for those we love.
The service of interment takes place using the Prayer Book Service and the names of those interred are recorded in a Memorial Book kept in the church, and they are remembered at the altar close to the anniversary of the death and also at the All Souls Mass each year.
The ashes of many former parishioners and the relatives are interred here as well as the ashes from the Memorial Garden of St Phillip’s, West Heidelberg, which were re-interred at St George’s when that church was closed.
The parish warmly commends the use of our Memorial Garden for the placing of the ashes of our loved ones.
May it be a place of peace and prayer and point us always to Jesus who is “The Resurrection and the Life”.