1.    What is the Catholic Church’s stance on Cremation?


The Vatican lifted the prohibition forbidding Catholics to choose cremation in the 1960s.  In lifting the ban, the Vatican promoted the philosophy that the remains of the cremated bodies are to be treated with the same respect given to the corporeal remains of a human body.


The practice of scattering cremated remains or keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires.  Respectful final disposition of cremated remains involves interment (burial) or inurnment, most typically in a columbarium niche.


In all cases, the Church requires that the human remains be treated with due reverence.


2.    Will this cemetery and columbarium be consecrated? 


Yes, it will be liturgically blessed as a sacred ground for Christian interment or inurnment.


3.    Is it better to purchase a plot or niche at time of need or in advance?


That is a very personal and often economic decision.  However, purchasing a plot or niche in advance of need provides peace of mind and assures loved ones that you are at peace with your eternal resting place. It may also reduce the financial burden on your loved ones. Discounts are available for those who elect to purchase in advance of the project’s completion.


4.    How do I select and purchase a niche or plot?


The Parish Columbarium and Cemetery committee will work with you to show you which plots and niches remain available for sale and will work through the paperwork with you.  

You can reach the committee by calling the Parish Office (410) 822-2344 and leaving a message or emailing them at SSPPCemetery@SSPPEaston.org


5.    How many niches and plots are available for purchase now and over time?


The columbarium and cemetery are designed to expand over time as needed.  


The initial phase of the columbarium will be completed in 2021 and will accommodate 250 niches in the walled Memorial Garden.  As demand warrants, the decorative aluminum fencing that is to be installed between the brick columns in the garden will be replaced with additional columbarium walls.  Ultimately, the Memorial Garden can accommodate a total of 750 niches.  All niches are designed to accommodate at least two urns.


The Pavilion that is attached to the Memorial Garden will be constructed as soon as adequate funds are raised through advance sales and/or memorial or named gifts.  The Pavilion can accommodate an additional 168 niches.  If adequate funds are raised during advance sales, 42 of the 168 niches will be made available now.


The initial phase of the cemetery to be opened in 2021, will offer 60 plots in the Pieta Garden, which is the section of the cemetery reserved for flat granite or bronze markers.  An additional 48 graves will also be offered in the Monument Garden, which is the section of the cemetery reserved for granite headstones or family monuments.  As demand warrants additional sections will be opened up in both cemetery gardens.  


Ultimately, the graveyard is designed to accommodate a total of approximately 370 graves.  Each grave will be single depth only. A traditional casket burial and a single cremated remains burial may be interred in one plot.  A plot is not intended for burial of cremated remains without a casket burial as well.


6.       What is the size of niches and what size urns will fit?


All of the niches are designed to accommodate at least two urns.  


The exterior granite memorial face plate of every niche measures approximately 12” x 12” square.   The interior dimensions of all but the bottom row of niches is just shy of 12” square.  Most funeral homes will work with families to help select an urn that is appropriate for the niche.


To accommodate design and construction requirements, the interior height of the niches on the lowest row of each columbarium wall is shorter and will require smaller urns. These niches will be offered at a lower price.


7.       I have already purchased a niche or plot elsewhere but would like to switch to SSPP.  Is that possible?


Many cemeteries are willing to repurchase a niche or plot at your original cost.  Some cemeteries may charge an administrative fee for this.  You should check with your existing cemetery provider for their details.


8.       What is the price of a niche and plot and what does it include?


Please see the Price List for current pricing and details.  The price of each niche or plot includes the perpetual care endowment.   The price does not include costs related to the opening and closing of a plot or niche, the engraving of names on niches, nor grave site location markers, memorials or memorial foundations 


9.       When and how do I pay for my purchase?


Payment is due in full at time of purchase.  At this point we are only able to accept personal checks or money orders.  Please see Price List for more details.


10.    What does my purchase entitle me to?  


Niche and grave site owners own a rite to inurnment or burial only.   Niche and grave site owners are not conferred any property rights in the columbarium, in any of its niches, or the cemetery, in any of its graves or burial sites, or in any of Saints Peter & Paul’s property. Legal title to the Columbarium and to all niches and to the Cemetery and to all graves or burial sites is held by Saints Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Church at all times. 


11.    Is any part of the purchase price tax deductible?


That portion of the purchase price allocated towards the perpetual care endowment is considered tax deductible. However, you should check with your tax professional as tax laws may change.  Initially, 10% of the purchase price will be allocated towards the endowment, but that is subject to change.  Please see the current Price List for current information.



12.    What happens if my plans change after purchasing a plot or niche? 


Saints Peter and Paul will purchase the unused niche or plot at your original cost less that portion of the original purchase price that was allocated to the perpetual care endowment.   


13.    I am not a Parishioner, nor am I Catholic.  Am I able to purchase a niche or columbarium?


Yes, the SSPP Columbarium and Cemetery niches and plots are available for purchase by people of all faiths. 


14.    Is it possible to have my pet buried or inurned with me?


Yes, subject to certain terms.  Please see the Rules and Regulations for more details.


15.    Who is responsible for the maintenance of grounds?


The columbarium and cemetery are owned by Saints Peter & Paul Parish and the Parish is responsible for maintenance and perpetual care.  The SSPP Columbarium and Cemetery perpetual care endowment will also provide funding.


16.    Who will manage the sales, administration and record keeping?


The Parish owns the columbarium and cemetery and is ultimately responsible for all aspects of this venture.  The Parish is supported by a volunteer committee called the SSPP Columbarium and Cemetery Committee who will assist in the sales and administration.


The Parish has contracted with PlotBox, one of the largest cemetery and columbarium software providers, to provide state of the art permanent and redundant record keeping. This software provider’s services will enable the Parish to add a “Gravefinder” feature to its website in the future.


17.    Who Designed the Columbarium and Cemetery?


Craig Reichbauer, of Reichbauer Studio, PLC in Richmond, Virginia was the landscape architect who developed the original concept plan and designed the columbarium and the layout of the graveyard.  Craig has been involved with several columbaria projects including the University of Richmond Columbarium and Memorial Garden and several Virginia parishes.


Greg Torchio, of Torchio Architects in Centreville, MD was the architect of the columbarium pavilion.


18.    How does the cost of cremation and inurnment compare to the cost of a traditional burial?


What one spends on a funeral varies widely based on location and personal preferences.  But, in general, the all-in costs related to cremation and inurnment are lower than a traditional full body burial, even after the higher cost of the columbarium niche is factored in.  The difference in costs is magnified if considering these costs as a couple.  Grave plots are single depth and a niche can hold at least two urns.   


According to the National Funeral Directors Association’s latest data* for 2019, funeral costs related to cremation run about half of those associated with a full body burial.  These NFDA costs for full body burial do not include the cost of opening/closing the grave, tent, grave location markers, the cost of the headstone or flat marker and its foundation, or the cost of a grave plot.  The NFDA costs related to cremation do not include the nominal fee of opening/closing the niche, the engraving of the niche faceplate, or the cost of the niche.      







For more information, please call the Parish Office at (410)-822-2344  or 

email SSPPCemetery@SSPPEaston.org

or go to SSPPEaston.org