The Opequon Memorial Garden was authorized by the session in December of 2008 as a way of memorializing those members and non-members of the congregation who wish to have their remains “scattered” on the property and under the supervision of the Opequon Presbyterian Church. The session directed Elder Alan McKay to create a design for the garden and after review the session authorized construction of the garden in the design that was presented. Work commenced in the spring of 2009 and was completed in the spring of 2012.
The scatter garden is in the shape of a Jerusalem Cross. The Jerusalem Cross was a variant of the Crusaders’ Cross. It contains four smaller crosses that are said to symbolize the four books of the Gospel.
Mathew, Mark, Luke and John
The four distinctive areas are located within a 54 foot diameter circle of stonework that is connected to the church parking lot by a stone path. Each quadrant is planted with a distinctive perennial planting of Stella de Ora Daylilies (gold), Pardon Me Daylilies (red), Dianthus (pink) and Salvia (blue). In addition, foundation plantings of boxwoods, shrubs and fragrant perennials (e.g. English Lavender, Hyssop, etc.) complement the scattering area. Upright plantings of Spirea, Lilac and Crape Myrtle bushes are carefully arranged around two meditation areas with all-weather seating positioned to afford individuals a place for prayer and meditation and an unrestricted view of the beautiful Kernstown Civil War Battlefield.
Each leg of the cross is oriented to the compass and each quadrant of the cross (northwest, southwest, southeast and northeast) would serve as a designated scattering area. Services will be oriented toward one of the four quadrants with the presiding minister officiating from the raised sub-cross in the flowerbed. Guests and members of the family would be seated on the two intersecting legs of the cross.
Members of Opequon
Members of the Opequon Presbyterian Church would be entitled to have their remains scattered in the Opequon Memorial Garden for a onetime fee of $ 600. Non-members would be interred in the Memorial Garden upon approval of the Session. Non-members would be entitled to the same recognition and services for a fee of $700. The onetime fee (members and non-members) would be used for perpetual maintenance of the Opequon Memorial Garden, enhancements and landscape services, set up and breakdown of a sheltering canopy, portable seating for up to 25 guests and honorarium for the minister and the sexton for their participation. Records as designated above would also be provided. Inscription of the individual’s name on a memorial plaque in one of the four quadrants would be available for an additional fee to cover labor and materials.
Members of the Opequon Presbyterian Church would be encouraged to pledge a minimum of $ 500 for each member who wished to be recognized as a Founder of the Opequon Memorial Garden. Founding members could donate the entire gift at one time or over a one year period. Once the member’s contribution is recognized at the level of a founder ($500) they would be entitled to the following:
- Recognition of founding members on a memorial plaque to be installed at the entrance to the garden Scattering of their remains in the Opequon Memorial Garden Memorial service officiated by the pastor of Opequon Presbyterian Church Recognition of the service in the Opequon Presbyterian Church bulletin Recognition and recording of the service in a special online registry to be maintained as part of the Opequon Presbyterian Website.
- Recognition and recording of the service in a written registry to be maintained by the Clerk of Session that will contain the individual’s name, date-of-birth, death date, date of the service, social security number and quadrant within which the interment occurred.
- Fifty personalized announcements for family members denoting the date and time of the memorial service, the quadrant into which the remains were scattered and the officiating minister.