St. Columba's Episcopal Church

Funerals and Memorial Services at St. C’s


One of the most significant and moving rites of the church is the Rite of Burial (found in The Book of Common Prayer, p. 491–505). The occasion of a funeral or memorial service provides an opportunity for friends and family to gather and give thanks for a life.

It seems strange to say that we give thanks when someone has died, but our tradition holds that just as Jesus was raised from the dead, we too, will be raised. The anthem spoken or sung at the start of the service begins "I am resurrection and I am Life, says the Lord. Whoever has faith in me shall have life, even though he die" (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 491). The burial rite is an Easter liturgy and its meaning is grounded in the promise and hope of the resurrection. Through these services of worship we give thanks to God who has given us life and who holds us in life even at our death. At a funeral service the body or cremated remains are present and are laid to rest at the conclusion of the service. A memorial service is one where the remains are not present.

At St. Columba’s we honor the profound mystery of grief and loss as we work to meet the needs of those who have experienced the death of a friend or family member. We are always ready to offer prayers for someone who has died. We are happy to convene a small gathering of friends to read scripture, say prayers and give thanks for a life or to prepare and offer a large formal funeral or memorial service. You can be sure that our team of clergy and staff will walk with you during this challenging time.

If you would like more information about funerals or memorial services call the office at 202-363-4119 or email To reach a member of the clergy concerning a death you may use the on-call telephone (202-669-4856) during and after office hours.


St. Columba’s has a columbarium on the 42nd Street side of the church property. This walled garden provides a place for cremated remains to be immured. The columbarium no longer has space available but plans are under way for additional niches to be built in the near future. Read on for more information about the columbarium expansion project. Contact: Lane Heard, Bob Leland and John Nolan if interested.

Download Columbarium Expansion Presentation (PDF)

Read the Columbarium Expansion Project Q & A (PDF)


Depending upon the family’s wishes and room availability, receptions following a funeral or memorial service may take place in the Common or Great Hall.

Click to download the following files:

Burial Service: Rite I
Burial Service: Rite II
Suggested Scriptures for Funerals and Memorial Services

Like Us on Facebook