Fr Alan advocates Columbarium use on All Souls Day

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Fr Alan advocates Columbarium use on All Souls Day

On All Souls Day, Dean of St John’s Cathedral in Norwich, Fr Alan Hodgson, emphasised the sanctity of post-cremation rites, advocating for the columbarium’s use over keeping or scattering ashes, followed by a reverent Blessing of the Tombs ceremony. Celia McKenna reports.

On All Souls Day, November 2, during Mass at St John the Baptist Cathedral, Fr Alan spoke about the importance of looking after the ashes of loved ones after cremation. He explained that ashes should never be scattered, kept at home, nor turned into jewellery or divided amongst family members. He went on to describe the columbarium as being an ideal place to entomb our families and friends. This peaceful place, under the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, is a place of quiet retreat and beauty and can be visited regularly by family members.

After Mass, Fr Alan and around 50 parishioners gathered in the columbarium for the annual Blessing of the Tombs. It was a beautiful and edifying service which showed the correct amount of dignity and respect for our loved ones who rest there.

After the service, there was an ‘Open Day’ where visitors could ask about the columbarium and how they could reserve one of the empty niches for use in the future. A niche in the columbarium costs £2,000 but is discounted by £275 for parishioners of St. John’s and members of the Friends of the Cathedral.