ADVICES OF THE ORANGE GROVE FRIENDS MEETING BURIAL COMMITTEE
The Committee would like to encourage each member of the Orange Grove Monthly Meeting to think seriously of the reality of death. The Committee recommends that everyone record their wishes on the Final Arrangements Form and submit a copy to the Burial Committee. The form is available online in a .pdf file format which may be downloaded and printed.
Generally, families in the Meeting have found that simple disposal of the body, followed by an announced Meeting for Worship, has best met their needs. Cremation, as soon as possible after death, is preferred by a growing number or Friends. Arrangements for organ donation, cremation, or other service of a mortician, including ambulance, are usually made by the family. Certain official notices and records to be filed are the responsibility of the mortician. The Committee suggests that Orange Grove members and attenders, in their planning, indicate a mortician they wish to use. Many find membership in the Los Angeles Funeral Society to be helpful in this regard.
Friends are asked to complete the Final Arrangements Form and return it to the Burial Committee.
Meeting For Worship
We have held meetings at many places at the time of death. Meeting for Worship seems more difficult with the body present or in a commercial establishment, though the decision rests with the individual and the family. The Meetinghouse is always available for this need.
The use of flowers, music and prepared statements is governed by our testimony on Simplicity, and, of course, by the intentions and desires of the member or attender, which may be recorded with the Meeting on the Final Arrangements Form.
ORANGE GROVE CEMETERY
In 1913, a member of Orange Grove Meeting purchased and gave to Meeting a small burial ground at 2400 North Fair Oaks Ave. in Altadena, adjoining Mountain View Cemetery. There is space here for over a hundred body burials and for many more cremated remains.
The cemetery is available for burial of members of Orange Grove Meeting. Burial of others requires the approval of Meeting. The Meeting retains its name title to the cemetery property and charges no fee for its use.
Donations are welcome.
Use of a Conventional Lot
Conventional lots are available and simple flat markers are permitted. Bodies or cremated remains may be interred in these lots.
Use of the Common Plot
Owning our own burial ground has provided a further service to members which many Friends have used. One plot, Number 81, has been set aside for a common place for cremated remains. Remains are buried without containers and there are no individual grave, vault, niche or identification markers. Those who plan to use the common plot should make their wishes quite clear to family or heirs and in their wills because remains will not be able to be identified, reclaimed, or exhumed.
It may seem an impertinence to some to expect that the death of a friend or relative or one’s self may be a time of joy and worship…of wondrous enlightenment. But, with our faith in a meaningful universe, it seems realistic that we should find the experience of death not to be sad or ignoble, but triumphant. The Meeting should be a place for all of us to explore life’s meaning here as everywhere else.
It is possible that, at the time of death, we get our most helpful insights into the meaning of life. For many years, we have said this at Orange Grove Meeting and have worked to develop ways of being helpful and encouraging to our members and friends when death comes to a family, bringing with it the questioning, the emotional uncertainties and sorrow. The Burial Committee here summarizes some of the resources and advices.
This committee has three primary functions:
- To advise members and attenders and help them clarify procedures to care for the body at the time of death.
- To consider with them the kind of meeting for worship, memorial service or funeral arrangement desired.
- To help in any way to carry out these intentions at the time of death or to be helpful in any way consistent with faith and practice at the meeting.
When these steps involve some responsibilities on the part of the Meeting, the Committee should see that proper records are on file for the person and the Meeting.