Sacred Scattering Grounds Consecrated

Sacred Scattering Grounds Consecrated

by St. Barnabas' Church, Mt. Shasta

"Father of all, we pray to you for those we love, but see no longer...."

On Saturday, July 12, 2014 the people of St. Barnabas Church, Mt. Shasta, welcomed the Rt. Rev. Barry L. Beisner to consecrate their new sacred scattering grounds, installed as a resting place for the ashes of members and their families. "We wanted to create a place that would visibly express our belief in the communion of the living and dead in the Body of Christ," says St. Barnabas’ Priest-in-Charge the Very Rev. Larry Holben, "And also provide an alternative to the high cost of interment in secular cemeteries."

Overlooking the wetlands restoration and community nature trail developed by the congregation last year in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the scattering grounds are guarded by a late 19th century French funerary statue of a child-angel, and also feature the historic font from long-closed St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fort Jones, generously given by the Hendryx family in memory of their mother, Bettie Hendryx, a member of St. Mark’s, Yreka, and then, after St. Mark’s closure, of St. Barnabas'. Bettie had been baptized in this font in 1918.

In his homily, Bishop Beisner noted that the reading from the Hebrew Scriptures used in the service, the description from Genesis of Abraham’s purchase of a burial place for Sarah, was read by him and the pilgrimage of seminarians some months ago at the actual tomb of the patriarchs in Hebron.

The service of consecration was followed by a salad luncheon hosted by the congregation’s Episcopal Church Women (ECW). This is the first consecrated scattering grounds on Episcopal Church property in the Diocese of Northern California. The congregation’s prayer for all who will be buried in the scattering grounds continues,

"Grant them your peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and, in your loving wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purpose of your perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen ."

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