Forget not the monuments . . .

The front page letter at Anglicans Online this week reminds us western Christians of our all-too-often unawareness of the dead who dwell in Light Eternal as the Church Triumphant.

We forget their presence in heaven, because we miss them on earth. How often do we regard the graves of the dead, even the dead we admire – hope to emulate – are bound as one in faith?

It makes me think about the fate of Universalist persons. A few of us have kept up with buildings (or building sites) that were once Universalist churches. Most are gone, and are devoid of a Universalist congregation. A few at least still have churches. (See here, and here, and here.)

But they are gone, with no need to lament, or at least no use. But I would like to be able to visit something that keeps us in touch with our past. You would think that with the current and past obsession about our terribly important forebears, we would make a habit of visiting their graves.

As it happens, I know of were very few notable Universalists are buried. Henry Noble Couden, “the blind chaplain” of the U.S. House, is buried in Arlington National Cemetary. Elhanan Winchester is buried somewhere in Hartford, Connecticut. John Murray and Hosea Ballou are at Auburn Cemetary near Boston. Judith Murray’s Mississippi burial-place is notewothy by its remoteness. I know of two Universalist graveyards in South Carolina, and one each in Georgia and Mississippi.

But what of the rest? Where are they? Leave a comment, please, and if you have a photograph, that would be nice, too.

1 comment

  1. – I’m near a nubmer of historical sites. My own church in Eldorado has the Monroe Cemetary outside the village of Eldorado. This was also the site of the original Universalist chapel in this community (before the congregation re-located to its present site inside of Eldorado). Some Ohio legends of Universalism, including various ministers with the family name Blackford are burried there. On May 30TH I will officiate the internment of ashes at this cemetary for a Universalist who was living in Tennessee. Other Ohio sites of note…

    The Universalist Church in New Madison has a burial ground behind it. But this is full, and closed to new burials.

    The Universalist church building in New Paris still stands, but is used by a Baptist congregation. It is a charming stuco chapel that probably seats 60 (smaller than the brick chapel I use in Eldorado, which seats 80). The heroic Universalist circuit rider, the Rev. Sara Stoner is burried in New Paris.

    Another Universalist church building also stands in the nearby town of Eaton, but this building is now a Black Pentecostal church.

    Near Oxford, OH there is the Bunker Hill Universalist Pioneer Burial Grounds. This is maintained as a public park. The Bunker Hill church had a famous boarding school in this region, allong with a lovely chapel, all next to the cemetary. The church burned to the ground in the late 1920’s, and the congregation merged with the Universalist church in Hamilton. Today, the Church of the Hopedale Community (UUA) in Oxford conducts an annual pilgrimage and outdoor service at Bunker Hill. Ask Kat Hawbaker about it. This year it will be on Memorial Day.

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