FAQs


SSPP COLUMBARIUM AND CEMETERY FAQS 

November 1, 2020 

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 or plots are available for purchase now and over time?

The columbarium and cemetery are designed to expand over time. 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 installed between the brick  columns in the garden will be replaced with additional columbarium walls.  Ultimately, the Memorial Garden will accommodate a total of 850 niches.  All niches are designed to accommodate at least two urns. 

The Pavilion will be completed in 2021 and will initially offer 42 niches. Ultimately, it will accommodate a total of 168 niches.  

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. 

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 a 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.  

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 SSPP at all times. 

11. 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.  

12. 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.  

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

Yes, subject to certain terms. For details, see the Rules & Regulations. 

 14. 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. 

15. 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

16. 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 layout of the graveyard. Craig has been  involved with several columbaria projects including the University of  Richmond Columbarium and several Virginia parishes. 

Greg Torchio, of Torchio Architects in Centreville, MD was the architect of  the columbarium pavilion. Eickoff Columbaria Inc is the niche fabricator. 

17. 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.  


 

 

*https://www.nfda.org/news/statistics

 

 

 

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

email SSPPCemetery@SSPPEaston.org

or go to SSPPEaston.org