One of the most revolutionary lines in The Builder’s Creed, the founder’s vision of what Forest Lawn was to become, was the clause dealing with its churches: …. where little churches invite, triumphant in the knowledge that from their pulpits only words of love can be spoken…” Before that day, the idea of a church in a cemetery was unheard of.
But that all changed 105 years ago. The first of Forest Lawn’s special churches, the Little Church of the Flowers, was dedicated on Mother’s Day, 1918. Modeled after an English village church, Stoke Poges, in Buckinghamshire, it was the location where poet Thomas Grey wrote his famous “Elegy in a Country Churchyard.”
The interior was created to be the perfect size for intimate memorial gatherings, providing a comforting setting for those who are celebrating the life of a loved one. Filled with greenery and light, it is a place where the sorrowing are soothed by its simple beauty and charm.
Since then, Forest Lawn has added churches at all its locations, with each one being associated with a well-known historical figure of the past that has withstood the test of time. They have become part of the lives of millions of Southern Californians who have sat in their pews for funerals, christenings, and even weddings. In fact, the first wedding ever held at Forest Lawn took place at the Little Church in 1923.
Although the architecture and design of the churches may be found in the pages of history, each one is equipped with state-of-the-art sound and video systems, as well as the capability to live stream and record funeral services for family and friends who are unable to attend.
We invite you to stop by the Little Church of the Flowers or any of our churches on your next visit to Forest Lawn and experience their tranquil and inspirational beauty for yourself.