A columbarium is a place for the respectful and usually public storage of cinerary urns (i.e. urns holding a deceased’s cremated remains). The term comes from the Latin word columba (dove) and originally referred to compartmentalized housing for doves and pigeons called a dovecote.

Today's columbaria can be either free standing units, or part of a mausoleum or another building. Some manufacturers produce columbaria that are built entirely off-site and brought to the cemetery by a large truck. Many modern crematoria have columbaria.

In other cases, columbaria are built into church structures. In the Roman Catholic Church, although traditional burial is still preferred, cremation is permitted provided that the cremated remains are buried or entombed. As a result, columbaria can be found within some Catholic cemeteries.

Columbaria are often closely associated with Buddhist temples, which from ancient times have housed cremated ashes. In Buddhism, ashes of the deceased may be placed in a columbarium (in Chinese, a naguta - "bone-receiving pagoda"; in Japanese, a nokotsudo - "bone-receiving hall"), which can be either attached to or a part of a Buddhist temple or cemetery. This practice allows for the family of the deceased to visit the temple for the conduct of traditional memorials and ancestor rites.

 

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48-Niche Free-Standing Columbarium Installed at Christ United Methodist Church
Posted by Timeless Columbaria in Blogs & Resources on 1/15/2019
The 48-niche free-standing columbarium was installed in a prominent grassy area next to the entrance of the church. Polished Cambrian Black covers were framed by generous slabs of Dakota Mahogany granite...

Timeless Installs Two New Cambrian Black Granite Columbarium Cabinets for Trinity Lutheran Church
Posted by Timeless Columbaria in Blogs & Resources on 1/15/2019
An existing room in the church facility was converted to a meditation room with two new columbarium cabinets installed flush in a wall. Each cabinet contains 25 niches covered in polished Cambrian Black granite...

TESTIMONIALS

“We were able to install the 24,000 pounds of steel and 11 cabinets onto the pre-placed foundations in less than 7 days. Even though this was a one-of-a-kind custom project, the only modifications we needed to perform were slightly enlarging a few anchor-bolt holes. Otherwise all of the connections were bolted and everything fit together beautifully.”
- Austin Steenhoek,
Installation Superintendent
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