For the Interment of Ashes of Members and Friends of First Parish
Please read the following rules and procedures, then click the link at the bottom to go to the online Memorial Garden form.
- Subject to meeting all legal requirements, First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington Massachusetts (“First Parish”) shall establish and maintain in the Courtyard facing the old Town Cemetery, the “Smith Courtyard,” a Memorial Garden for the burial of the cremated ashes of deceased individuals. The entire Smith Courtyard shall be designated the First Parish Memorial Garden. The use of the Smith Courtyard shall not be restricted notwithstanding that it is the site of the Memorial Garden.
- Upon request of any member or friend of First Parish, and in accordance with these policies and such other requirements as may pertain, the ashes of a deceased individual will be interred in the Memorial Garden.
- No burial of the ashes of any individual shall take place without written permission from the Minister or the Chair of the Parish Committee or the Chair’s designee.
- Only properly cremated, pulverized ashes shall be interred in the Memorial Garden. No container of any kind may be buried. It is the responsibility of those requesting use of the Memorial Garden to present the ashes in proper form. Storage of ashes prior to burial shall also be the responsibility of the requester(s). Ashes shall not be stored at First Parish. It is recognized that weather conditions or other circumstances may affect when ashes may be buried. The burial of the ashes of any individual will occur on a date mutually agreeable to the requesters and First Parish.
- Ashes shall only be buried in the grassed turf area of the Smith Courtyard. Any interment must be at least two feet from the edge of any planting bed and at a minimum depth of six inches below the surface of the affected lawn area. Any lawn area disturbed in the interment process shall be restored to its original condition. Any flowers or other memorial items used in connection with a specific burial shall be removed at the end of the burial proceeding.
Consistent with the foregoing requirements, applicants may request burial of ashes within the Memorial Garden in a specific location, but First Parish does not guarantee that such request will be honored. Ashes shall not be recoverable. No headstones or markers of a burial of any kind shall be placed in the Courtyard except on the plaque in the Smith Courtyard indicating it is a Memorial Garden and providing a place for recording the names of individuals whose ashes are buried in the Memorial Garden. Requesters of use of the Memorial Garden shall be responsible for obtaining and paying for any nameplate that may permissibly be added to the First Parish plaque. The nameplate must be in accordance with the requirements established by the Parish committee for the plaque and may only contain the name, date of birth and date of death of the individual.
- The First Parish Minister shall maintain an official permanent record of all individuals whose ashes have been buried in the Memorial Garden.
- A payment to First Parish will be required from each applicant for use of the Memorial Garden prior to the burial of ashes. The amount of the burial fee shall be determined by the Parish Committee. The Parish committee shall have the right to reduce or waive the fee in particular instances as it deems appropriate. A “Memorial Garden Trust Fund” is hereby established for the receipt of the burial fees and any other donations that may be made to such Fund. The Fund shall be used exclusively for the maintenance and beautification of the Memorial Garden and the grounds and buildings of First Parish.
Fees for any services of the Minister or other First Parish personnel in connection with the interment of the ashes or the memorialization of the individual shall be in addition to the burial fee.
- The use and maintenance of the Memorial Garden is under the exclusive control of First Parish. No individual shall acquire any right whatsoever with respect to the Memorial Garden, its existence, use, or appearance, or related memorial plaques or records. Consistent with the First Parish By-Laws, First Parish may alter, modify or relocate the Memorial Garden or any related memorial plaques or records. The use of the Smith Courtyard shall not be restricted notwithstanding that it is the site of the Memorial Garden.
- Each applicant for use of the Memorial Garden shall be given a copy of these policies. The Memorial Garden may only be used in accordance with these policies.
- The Parish Committee shall have full authority to administer the Memorial Garden consistent with these policies, the First Parish By-Laws, and any regulations it may adopt. The Parish Committee has the right to modify or change these policies and to determine and establish additional regulations concerning the Memorial Garden. The Parish Committee may delegate its administrative authority as it deems appropriate. The Parish Committee does hereby delegate to the Trustees of the Trust Funds custody and administration of the “Memorial Garden Trust Fund.”
After reading the rules and procedures, follow this link to the Memorial Garden Form.