Honoring a departed loved one brings us on a journey of tradition and contemplation.
The monks of New Melleray Abbey revive tenets of old
world craftsmanship to hand-build each Trappist Casket
in the serene prairies of Iowa.
Using the natural resources of regional
forests and their own award-winning 1,400-acre timberland, each casket
is made with a deep reverence for God’s green earth.
Trappist Casket Family Counselor Marjorie Lehmann works with people
around the country in their unique time of need: “I see works of the
Holy Spirit through the monks, customers and employees,” she says.
“Hearing the life, and end-of-life stories, from families all over the
United States keeps my heart focused on what is really important in
life. We are here to help one another.”
This World and Beyond
This order of Cistercian monks, following the ancient Rule of St.
Benedict, migrated to America’s pristine heartland from Ireland in 1849.
In response to the Potato Famine, Bishop Loras, Dubuque’s first
archbishop, offered the order this farmland to serve as a haven for
peace and worship, as well as to develop agriculture in the newly
founded state of Iowa.
Today, this peaceful order works in collaboration with local lay
artisans to craft traditional, beautiful caskets and coffins.
of faith, each piece is prayerfully made using mindful stewardship of
The designs are simple, the mission, true: to
bring sacred comfort in the final length of one’s earthly journey.
Working with oak, cherry, black walnut, and simple, understated pine,
the sacred work of monastery supports its mission of mercy.
“The order is self supporting with ‘Ore et Labora’, meaning
‘prayer and work,’” Lehmann said. “The monks’ lives consist of the
constant rhythm of coming together seven times a day for prayer, and
making a living by the work of their hands, while praising God.”
Memories Live On
At the monastery, life is lived in service of providing comfort and
solace in a family’s time of need, with each piece crafted in
contemplative prayer. Each casket is individually blessed - which marks
the beginning of this unique journey: “Each person honored with a
Trappist Casket or Urn is remembered in a memorial mass here at the
Abbey,” Lehmann said.
“Their name is inscribed in a memorial book and a tree is planted in
the monastic forest on the grounds of New Melleray Abbey as a living
memorial for the deceased,” he added. “We send a note to the families to
let them know how they are supporting a ministry, and a card upon the
one year anniversary of the passing. The monks of New Melleray Abbey
pray for the deceased and their families. We invite the families to
attend the memorial mass and to visit our workshop and see our ministry.
Our customers are welcomed to call us anytime they need.”
Each casket comes with a cross, personalized to include the name and
dates of the deceased.
This family keepsake is a way to honor the memory
of a loved one every day.
To learn more about styles, amenities and personalization and engraving options, visit Trappist Caskets
online or call 866-274-6398.
All caskets are available for immediate
shipment, with counselors available to work directly with funeral homes
to ensure seamless delivery.
“Our solid wooden caskets come from nature and return to nature,”
Lehmann said. “It makes a beautiful gesture of appreciation for the
gifts that God provides for all of us. We don’t just provide a product,
Trappist Caskets and The Monks of New Melleray Abbey provide a beautiful
ministry in acts of love and mercy.”