In 1963, the Vatican lifted the ban on cremation for Catholics. In doing so, the Church allowed cremation in certain circumstances. However, the Church made no allowances for any prayer or rituals for use with cremated remains. On March 21, 1997, the Vatican granted permission for cremated remains of a body in church for the liturgical rites of burial. It is still, however, the Church’s preference to administer the full complement of funeral rites with the body present and then cremate afterwards.
Glass Front Niches: Entering the Administration Building, you are greeted by two adjoining rooms adorned with glass front niches. Each room is graced by a shrine, one of Mary Gate of Heaven and the other, Peter receiving the Keys to Heaven from Christ. Each shrine is surrounded by memorial candles. The rooms provide a personalized and elegant setting for your loved one in a climate controlled setting. Beautiful urns, one personal item and one religious item are displayed through glass fronts to remember a life worth celebrating.
Garden of Gethsemane: The columbaria found within the Garden of Gethsemane blends into the hillside in an organic manner in that the buildings are curved. Families are greeted by soaring trees, a waterfall and a magnificent mosaic of Christ’s Agony in the Garden. A pavilion is also present within this area, accented with limestone benches to give families a place for reflection and repose.
Bell Tower Columbaria: The sounds of carillon bells ring through the air every quarter hour within the Bell Tower Columbaria. The niches, which are clad in beautiful black granite, surround the Bell Tower and a beautiful fountain. Families can rest on granite benches for reflection and prayer while the bells chime and the water bubbles from the fountains.
St. John Vianney: Named after the great saint whose shrine is the name sake of this section, this columbarium houses single niches, all clad in black granite with engraved memorials. The columbarium rests in one of the original sections of the Cemetery and is amongst soaring trees and peaceful, lush grounds.
In-Ground Cremation Burials:The burying of cremated remains within a traditional grave is an option Gate of Heaven Cemetery offers. Up to two urns can be buried within one grave in this traditional manner, thus keeping spouses together at the time of need. This option is available throughout most sections of the Cemetery.