• Understanding the Purpose of a Columbarium

    If you or a loved one is considering cremation, you should consider columbariums. Planning ahead can help ensure that your funeral services are executed properly. Watch this video if you are interested in understanding the purpose of a columbarium.

    Although cremation is a completely separate option from a standard funeral and burial, the two alternatives share a few similarities. If you opt for cremation, your ashes will likely be stored in an urn. This urn may reside in a columbarium, which is a place where people can memorialize their lost loved ones. In this way, a columbarium is much like a traditional gravesite. Friends and family members can leave flowers, heirlooms, and other memorial items that remind them of the departed.

    Learn more about cremation services available near Oakland by contacting Chapel of the Chimes Oakland. Call us at (510) 654-0123 to get answers to your questions about cremation services and funeral planning.

  • The Uses of Columbariums

    If you’re considering cremation during your funeral pre-planning or are preparing for the cremation service of a loved one, you may also want to consider a columbarium. Columbariums are an above-ground memorialization option that is often confused with mausoleums. Keep reading to learn more about the uses of columbariums.

    The Original Columbariums

    Before columbariums were associated with people, they were actually associated with birds. Early columbariums were homes for large groups of pigeons and doves in Ancient Rome, and were common among people who raised these birds for domestic purposes. The original columbariums contained small shelves that housed the birds. In today’s columbariums, however, these shelves are used for another purpose.

    Columbariums vs. Mausoleums

    Columbariums are often confused with mausoleums because the purposes of the two types of memorial buildings are very similar. Both are built with the intention of housing the remains of many different people at once—some may even be public memorials for hundreds of different people. However, mausoleums are intended to hold the entire bodies of the deceased; in this way, they act as a type of above-ground burial. Columbariums, on the other hand, contain cremation urns. Some types of memorial buildings act as both mausoleums and columbariums and may simply be referred to as mausoleums.

    The Structure of Columbariums

    Columbariums may be elaborate or simple structures, depending on their size and architectural style. Typically, the buildings contain the remains of people from a variety of different religions. Therefore, the structures themselves do not contain any religious markings. Rather, the individual niches and urns may be marked with religious symbols.

    If you’re looking for funeral homes with columbariums in Oakland , contact Chapel of the Chimes Oakland. Our columbariums are an above-ground memorialization option that may be the right fit for your needs or the needs of your loved ones. Call (510) 654-0123 today for more information about our columbariums, cremation services, and other funeral planning services.

  • A Brief History of Our Columbariums

    Funeral Home Oakland

    Back in 1909, a crematory and columbarium called Chapel of the Chimes Oakland was first built. Today, it is one of the most beautiful columbariums in the state of California, and Chapel of the Chimes is widely regarded as one of the best places to conduct funeral services in Oakland. It’s why many families come to us when they need end-of-life services performed.

    Columbariums are buildings that are used to house the cremated remains of people who have passed away. We take pride in our ability to house these remains in our beautiful columbarium, and we have also added to our columbariums over the years and built additional structures to house those who wish to be buried above ground inside of mausoleums.

    Chapel of the Chimes Oakland would love to show you our columbariums today and tell you more about why you should choose us for your funeral needs. Call us at (510) 654-0123 for more information.

  • Memorialization Options for Cremated Remains

    Funeral Home Oakland

    Death is a natural part of life, but it can still be a difficult and overwhelming experience when someone you care about passes away. In some cases, a person may leave instructions with what to do after they pass away, including specifying the desire for cremation or burial. A funeral home can help you carry out your loved one’s wishes, including offering cremation services. If cremation is the choice of your loved one, you’ll have a few different options for how to memorialize their remains. Read on to learn what you can do to create a lasting memorial for cremated remains.

    Once you have the deceased’s remains in an urn, you have a choice of where to place this container. Some people choose to keep an urn in their homes, while others may place it in a columbarium. A columbarium is a room or structure with individual niches where cremated remains are placed. Opting for a columbarium has a few distinct advantages, including the fact that it is a place that anyone can visit to pay their respects. Since it is a permanent memorial, future generations may also visit a columbarium to honor their ancestors and get a sense of their personal history.

    Even if your loved one chooses cremation, they can still be committed to the ground. Cremation remains can be buried in a cremation plot or a regular plot, and may be able to be placed in the burial plot of a family member. Like a columbarium, burial provides a permanent resting place for your loved one’s remains and more people will be able to visit the site.

    A cremation bench, memorial rock, or grave marker with a repository can be used to memorialize your loved one’s remains. These memorials can be placed in a cemetery, though some families choose to have them placed on their own property.

    Chapel of the Chimes Oakland is a funeral home in Oakland that offers a wide range of funeral services including cremation, pre-planning, and columbarium inurnment. Contact us at (510) 654-0123 to learn more about how we can assist you and your family during this difficult time.

  • Distinguishing Between a Mausoleum and a Columbarium

    The terms “mausoleum” and “columbarium” are frequently used interchangeably. However, the actual purpose of each of these memorial buildings is distinct. If you are planning a funeral near Oakland , continue reading to learn about the differences between a mausoleum and a columbarium.


    The origin of the word columbarium is the Latin word columba , meaning dove. The first columbaria were used in Ancient Rome and had nothing to do with human memorials. Instead, they were homes for groups of pigeons and doves. Those columbaria had thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of small shelves designed to house birds. Today’s columbaria have a similar design, except the shelves are used to house cremation urns. Columbaria were not associated with human memorials until Buddhists in ancient Asia built elaborate columbaria for cremation urns. Mausoleums have always been associated with human memorials. The first mausoleum was designed for the ancient Persian King Mausolus and his family members. The tradition became so popular that the term “mausoleum” came into standard use.


    Both a mausoleum and a columbarium are permanent public memorials for large groups of people. Both memorials can house dozens or even hundreds of remains. Mausoleums, however, are designed for entire bodies. On the other hand, columbaria are designed to hold cremation urns .

    Modern Usage

    Many modern memorial buildings are designed to house both bodies and cremation urns. In many cases, mausoleum is the term used for these modern memorial buildings. Columbarium is sometimes a term reserved for elaborate memorial structures. Many cemeteries and religious structures have a columbarium built into the grounds. Both mausoleums and columbaria do not have specific religious connotations; in fact, many of them are designed to hold the remains of people from many different faith backgrounds.

    If you have recently lost a loved one, you do not have to go through the funeral planning process alone. For help in planning a funeral ceremony , call Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland at (510) 992-6984. We offer cremation services, funeral planning, grief support, and more.