In the summer of 2021, I was asked to participate in a burial service for a homeless friend in the community. This person was being buried under the Indigent Burial Program, a service of Metro Nashville Social Services to provide a place for persons who are unclaimed by family or who are unable to afford funeral expense to be given a final resting place by the city of their residence.
When I arrived at the cemetery I was surprised to see multiple vaults lined up for burials. I learned that it isn’t unusual for multiple burials to take place at the same time. What broke my heart though was realizing that out of seven of our citizens being buried, only one has any representative to call their name, remember their life, and help commit them to their final resting place.
That experience led to the creation of the Call the Name program. My hope is that this can become a place by which area clergy of all faiths can be present and call out the name of those being laid to rest, ensuring that they are acknowledged and remembered one last time
May we join together in remembering those of our citizens who have gone before us
Reverend Jay Voorhees
City Road Chapel United Methodist Church