Since Father James Lucas, S.J. first rented a hall in downtown Easton and began saying Mass more that 180 years ago, Saints Peter & Paul Church has continued to thrive and adapt over time to the needs of its community. The original charming Church on Goldsborough Street sat on a small parcel of land, which limited the Parish’s ability to expand and realize its full potential.
When the opportunity arose in the late 1990s to purchase a nearly seventy-acre farm between Route 50 and North Washington Street, a vision for an integrated campus was accelerated. The first phase towards the realization of this vision was the construction of the new Church: enthusiastic volunteers organized fundraisers, and local businesspeople and artists donated their services to ensure its 2005 completion. Those original plans also called for a walled columbarium garden adjacent to the Church…but it was not yet time.
When the construction of the family life center and much-needed new high school finally broke ground in February 2020, early supporters of the columbarium soon recognized the cost efficiencies that could be achieved if it were to be built simultaneously. An in-pew survey conducted in the fall of 2019 indicated strong enough interest for both a columbarium and cemetery to ensure its success. The time, it seemed, was finally right… and planning began.
As fate would have it, the grown children of two of the founders of the new Church had made a promise to their dying fathers in 2018 that they would do what they could to see their vision of a place of sacred repose on the grounds of their parents’ beloved Church become reality. They came together and were joined by a small committee of dedicated volunteers to design and develop this sacred space. The project was completed in the Fall of 2021.
Here you will find answers to the most common questions. Can't find what you need? Just contact us.
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.
Is this cemetery and columbarium consecrated?
Yes, it has been liturgically blessed as a sacred ground for Christian interment or inurnment.
How do I select and purchase a niche or plot?
The SSPP Columbarium & 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. Contact us.
A donation of any size or gift in honor of a loved one is a special way to help support this sacred place. Gifts can come in the form of a naming opportunity, a memorial gift, or upon the death of a loved one, mourners can be directed to donate to the Columbarium & Cemetery in lieu of flowers. A list of naming opportunities can be found on the Donations page, but please contact us for the most current list.
Whether making a one-time gift, recurring gift, or pledge payments, donors can write a check made out to “SSPP Columbarium & Cemetery,” donate stock, or by using the Parish’s online donation service. For instructions on how to donate stock, please contact us.
Yes. You should consult with the funeral home handling your funeral arrangements for details of their requirements. SSPP Cemetery does require an outer burial container, such as a grave liner.
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.
Many cemeteries are willing to repurchase a niche or plot. You should check with your existing cemetery provider for their details.
Yes, the SSPP Columbarium and Cemetery niches and plots are available for purchase by people of all faiths.
The columbarium and cemetery are designed to expand over time. The initial phase of the columbarium that was completed in 2021 accommodates 334 companion niches in the Memorial Garden and 84 niches in the Pavilion. As demand warrants, the decorative fencing installed between the brick columns in the Garden will be replaced with additional niche walls. Ultimately, the Memorial Garden will accommodate a total of 850 niches and the Pavilion a total of 168 niches. All niches are designed to accommodate at least two urns.
There are currently 123 plots available in the Pieta Garden, the section of the cemetery reserved for flat granite or bronze markers. An additional 92 graves are available in the Monument Garden, the section reserved for granite headstones or family monuments. As demand warrants additional sections will be opened in both Gardens. Ultimately, the graveyard is designed to accommodate a total of approximately 384 graves.
Each grave is 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.
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 wall is shorter and will require smaller urns.
Please contact us to see our 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.
Payment is due in full at time of purchase. At this point we are only able to accept personal or credit card checks or money orders.
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.
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.
Yes, subject to certain terms. For details, see the Rules & Regulations.
The columbarium and cemetery are owned by Saints Peter & Paul Parish and the Parish is responsible for maintenance and perpetual care. The SSPP Columbarium & Cemetery perpetual care endowment will also provide funding.
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 & 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 in the world, to provide state of the art permanent and redundant record keeping. This software provider’s services enables the Parish to add the “Find A Grave” feature to its website.
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. Eickhof Columbaria Inc. is the niche fabricator.
Willow Construction of Easton, MD was the general contractor.
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. For more information, the National Funeral Director’s Association has a website with cost statistics and trends.
Specialized terms and their definitions
A burial ground or churchyard.
The pavilion and walls with niches that store cremains.
Blessed and sacred grounds.
The ashes of a cremated human body.
A memorial that is flush to the ground, made of bronze or granite, set in concrete with a granite base, engraved with deceased’s name and date of birth and death.
The burial of a corpse in a grave.
The placement of cremains in an urn. Also refers to the placement of an urn in the columbarium niche.
A building for above ground entombment. Mausoleums are not permitted at SSPPCC.
A headstone, flat grave marker or family monument typically made of granite, engraved with deceased’s name and date of birth and death.
A single compartment within a columbarium wall or room that holds a person’s cremated remains.
The opening cover to an individual niche, constructed of granite, that is removable for memorial engraving.
A larger version of a memorial, often times used to identify a family that could include names of father/mother and could have smaller flat markers nearby for individual family members.
A covered subsidiary building open on most sides that at SSPPCC also has niches, is part of the columbarium and can be used for committal services.
An outdoor archway consisting of an open frame designed to provide shade to a walkway or seating area.
A container for holding cremains that may be various shapes and sizes.
A container often made of concrete that encloses a coffin or urn that is buried.