Funerals & the Memorial Garden

You are dust, and to dust you shall return. Genesis 3:19

Plymouth works with Plymouth family members and many Des Moines-area funeral homes to conduct meaningful memorial services. Contact any Plymouth clergy (515.255.3149) to make arrangements for your loved one. You may also reach out to any Plymouth pastor to pre-plan services.

Plymouth’s Memorial Garden


The Plymouth Church Memorial Garden is intended to be a visible sign of the love of God. Its design suggests the cycle of life which begins and ends in God. In a setting which makes it an ongoing part of the life of Plymouth Church, the Memorial Garden serves as a place for the interment of the cremated remains of members of the Plymouth family. Space is provided for individual meditation and quiet contemplation. The area will also serves as a meeting place for small groups and classes and is adjacent to the east lawn, site of larger group picnics, and other gatherings. Affirming that death is a part of life, Plymouth establishes this area as a living reminder that “…whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:8b)

If you are looking to have a pastor provide a Memorial Garden Interment, please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you. Please see more information below.


Guidelines for Use

The Memorial Garden is intended for the interment of the cremated remains of Plymouth Church members or the immediate family of Plymouth members. Exceptions may be made by the Senior Minister in consultation with the Board of Deacons of Plymouth Church.

Cremated remains will be prepared for placement in the Plymouth Memorial Garden by the Iles Funeral Homes in a special bio-degradable container. The remains will be interred in a designated area, as part of the Committal Service presided over by one of the ministers of Plymouth Church. Climate and weather may impose some limitation on when such services may be held. Once interred, cremains will be permitted to decompose, becoming one with the soil of the Garden. Cremains may not be scattered on the surface of the Garden. Interred cremated remains cannot be recovered from the Plymouth Memorial Garden; interment is final and cremains are irretrievable.

The names of those interred in the Garden will be inscribed on the Memorial Plaque. Inscription of names will take place shortly after interment. There will be no designation of the particular site of any individual’s remains.

The location of the Memorial Garden is intended to be permanent. In the unlikely event that at some time in the future alternative use is made of the Memorial Garden site, some dirt from the present Memorial Garden along with the Memorial Plaque will be removed to a new location as a symbol of continuity.

The placement of flowers in the Memorial Garden is discouraged. Families wishing to remember loved ones with flowers are invited to do so through providing flowers for Sunday services or through the giving of an Easter lily or Christmas poinsettia.

In keeping with the Church by-laws, care of the Memorial Garden will be the responsibility of the Board of Trustees. Policies governing use of the Garden are established, and may be amended, by the Church Council.


Memorial Contribution

In consideration of costs associated with engraving the Memorial Plaque, preparation of the interment site, and ongoing Memorial Garden maintenance, a minimum contribution of $250 to the memorial garden maintenance fund is required.

The cost of preparing cremains for interment is payable directly to the Iles Funeral Homes.


Making Arrangements

No advance reservation is necessary for Plymouth Church members or their families to be interred in the Memorial Garden. The request for placement of cremated remains in the Memorial Garden may be made at the time funeral arrangements are being made. However, we strongly advise all Church members, particularly those considering cremation, to make their wishes known to all their family members and loved ones.

Prior to any interment of remains in the Garden, a legal release form must be signed by family members, acknowledging that interment is irrevocable and indicating the precise spelling of the name(s) to appear on the Plaque. These forms are available through the Church office.

Only names of those whose remains have been interred may be engraved on the Memorial Plaque. If family members wish their names to appear together, all names will be engraved following the interment of the remains of the last family member.

Questions regarding the Plymouth Church Memorial Garden may be directed to any of the pastors of Plymouth Church.

Joining Live

Joining a service live online? If a service is public, it will be available live a few minutes ahead of the start time on Plymouth’s YouTube page, as well as below. If nothing appears, continue to refresh the page until it begins.

Funeral Livestream