How it works…

The basic plan is simple:

  • Whenever Metro Social Services identifies a burial date, they share the information including the names of the deceased with Call The Name. Our agreement with Metro Social Services is to offer a service for those who have been declared abandoned by the city (that is, that no family or representatives can be found to claim the body). 
  • Upon receipt, we will reach out to our partner list to inform them of the upcoming burials and request their presence. There are no limits on the number of persons present, but our goal is to have at least two or three at every burial.
  • All burials are at Hills of Calvary Memorial Park located at 4411 Ashland City Highway, Nashville, TN 37218. It is not unusual for the deceased to arrive early and so we ask for participants to arrive 10-15 minutes before the first scheduled burial. 
  • Normally, anywhere from 2 – 7 persons will be laid to rest in a single 1-2 hour session. Burials are scheduled every 15 minutes. Once in the cemetery, look for the multiple gravesites and the large Wilbert Co. trucks that will be in the area where the burials are happening. You can park in the grass near the gravesites.
  • Given the large number of graves being dug, the ground in the area around the graves is often muddy. Participants should dress accordingly. 

Are their limits to what can be offered?

One of the concerns that Metro government had with the program is the fact that we often don’t know the religious affiliation of the deceased and we want to be sensitive to being inclusive of all traditions — including no tradition at all. This is about the ministry of presence, being present with someone as they are laid to rest on behalf of any and all who loved them.

So, we are asking clergy participants to use the following formula in presiding at these burials:

We gather today to remember the life of
our neighbor and resident of our city.
We come today to call out his/her name, remembering him/her on behalf of all
who knew and loved him/her.
This body we commit to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
May this be a place of quiet rest, free from pain and turmoil,
and may __________ be surrounded by love and light.
In the calling of his/her name, we who are here carry his/her presence
throughout our days until our own name is called.

Prayers (Click here for sample prayers)

We lift up today all who mourn the loss of
and wish for them comfort and peace.
May God’s perpetual life be found in this place,
And may ___________’s name never be forgotten

How do I sign up?

Please click the link below to sign up to be a part of Call the Name.

To receive notifications by text message, please visit and register.