The Memorial Garden provides a space for both community celebration and commemoration of those who have gone before. A curvilinear granite wall provides space to engrave names of members and friends who have passed, reminding us of their legacies in our worship services, in building our church community, and in speaking out for environmental awareness. We want to remember their strong voices for social service and action, so that together we can always offer spiritual growth and community action to all who will enter what we hope will always be the open doors of our church community. The Memorial Garden was dedicated by Reverend Mark Harris and the community in May 2019.
Approved by Parish Committee 7/17/2019
The Memorial Garden consists of a Memorial Wall, Terrace and adjacent lawn which has been created as both a place for community and a place of remembrance. It is a space for celebration and for quiet reflection.
The Memorial Wall is a place where we can remember and honor members of our community who have passed away. Upon request of any member or friend of First Parish, and in accordance with these policies, the name of a deceased individual may be inscribed in the wall.
The Terrace and adjacent lawn is a space where the congregation can gather after services in nice weather. It is a place where summer worship services, memorial services and services commemorating significant life passages can be held. It is also a venue for celebrations and community events. The lawn area is also available upon application to the Memorial Committee or Minister as a space for interment of the ashes of members of our community or friends of The First Parish.
Rules and Policies for the Terrace and Memorial Garden
Use and maintenance of the Memorial Garden, Terrace and adjacent lawn is under the exclusive control of The First Parish of Watertown. No individual shall acquire any right whatsoever with respect to the Memorial Garden, Terrace and adjacent lawn, its existence, use or appearance. The First Parish of Watertown may alter, modify or relocate the Memorial Garden, terrace and adjacent lawn.
The Parish Committee of the First Parish of Watertown shall have ultimate authority over policies and decisions regarding the use of the Memorial Garden, terrace and adjacent lawn and may alter or change these policies at any time. The Parish Committee delegates decision making around inscriptions on the Memorial Wall and interment of ashes to the Memorial Committee.
The Memorial Wall and Adjacent Lawn
- Members and friends and their loved ones (immediate family or at the discretion of the Memorial Committee) who have passed away shall be eligible to have their names and life dates inscribed on the wall.
- Anyone wishing to have a name inscribed on the wall may fill out an application which will be approved by the Memorial Committee. A fee will be charged for the inscription and maintenance of the Wall and Garden. Fees will be established and reviewed periodically by the Parish Committee.
- Inscriptions and their placement will be arranged for by the Memorial Committee. The addition of names will take place approximately once a year.
- A family may prepay for space on the Wall in order to reserve a space near the inscribed name(s) of deceased loved ones.
- A commemoration will be held recognizing those names memorialized and ashes interred during the year.
- A written registry of all inscriptions shall be kept by The First Parish. This will include the names, life dates, date of inscription and other information about the person memorialized.
- No flowers or other markers are to be left on the wall or the lawn.
Interment of Ashes
- Cremated ashes of members and friends and their loved ones may be interred in a place in the adjacent lawn upon request and with the approval of the Memorial Committee.
- Anyone wishing to have ashes interred, shall fill out an application for interment and agree to the rules and policies stated herein. A fee will be charged for interment of ashes. Fees for interment of ashes may be reduced or waived by a vote of the Parish Committee.
- Ashes shall be interred by burying and shall not be recoverable. Containment boxes shall not be permitted. The location of the burial will be determined by the Memorial Committee. Any part of the lawn area which is disturbed by the burial is to be restored to its previous condition.
- A member of the Memorial Committee or the Minister of The First Parish shall be present at all interments. Ashes will be buried at a time which is mutually agreeable to the requesters and the Memorial Committee.
- If the Minister of The First Parish is to officiate at a service of interment, a separate fee may be charged for an interment service. If anyone other than the Minister of The First Parish is to officiate at an interment service, this must be approved in advance by the Minister of The First Parish.
- A written registry of all interments shall be kept by The First Parish. This will include the names, life dates, date of burial and other information about the person memorialized.
Other Uses of the Terrace and Adjacent Lawn
- The Terrace and adjacent lawn is a gathering place for the observance of special milestones or for the congregation and community to come together.
- The use of the Terrace and lawn is reserved first for the Congregation of The First Parish.
- Community use is available through our rental program. Any group renting space inside the church, must separately request and pay for the use of the Terrace and lawn.
- Uses that are not allowed on the Terrace and lawn are: smoking or drug use, loud or disruptive activities, and play by unsupervised children.
- Chairs from inside may not be placed on the lawn areas.
- We ask that all using this space respect the intent of this space as described above and treat it accordingly.
Fees cover the cost of engraving or internment and maintenance of the Garden as a place of peace and beauty. Fees may be waived or reduced at the discretion of the Parish Committee and are subject to change periodically upon review of the Parish Committee.
Engraving of names and life dates – $500
Please fill out the Request for Engraving form.
Interment of ashes – $300
Please fill out the Request for Interment form.