Choosing a Columbarium

The term columbarium comes from the Latin word for "dwelling place of a dove." Christians believe the dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. A columbarium is a vault, or wall with niches to store the cremated remains or cremains of the dearly departed.

Since 1963, cremation has been permitted by the Catholic Church. With the body washed in baptism, anointed with the oil of salvation, and fed by the Bread of Life, it is afforded dignity as a temple of the Holy Spirit destined for future glory at the resurrection of the dead. If these beliefs are upheld, cremation is acceptable. Burial or entombment of the body after death remain the norm of the Catholic Church.

If cremation is chosen, it is preferred that the body be present for the wake and funeral mass. Cremation can occur before these services, and the cremains present in place of the body. They are to always be treated with the same respect given the human body from which they come. this includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the remains, the manner in which they're carried, and the final disposition. The cremated remains may be entombed in a columbarium and marked by a plaque or stone that records the name of the deceased. The Catholic Church believes scattering the cremains on the sea, from air or on the ground, or keeping them in the home of a relative or friend are not the reverent dispositions that the Church required, and are prohibited by the Church. For more information, please click here.

Frequently Asked Questions about a Columbarium 

Where is St. John the Apostle's Columbarium located?

As you face the altar, the columbarium is located in the right wing addition to the church, on the end wall closest to Sandbridge Road.

How many individual niches are available?

All niches are double niches (available to hold the remains of two individuals). There are presently two hundred double niches, of which approximately half have been purchased.

How and when will I be able to select the site of my niche?

Niches are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Once a contract is completed and payment in full is made, you may select one of the remaining available niches.

Must I pay for the niche in advance, or may I make payments?

Payment must be made in full at the time the contract is executed.

What is the cost?

The cost for a double niche is $1,750.00 (One thousand seven hundred fifty dollars). This includes the use of the niche, two urns, the opening and closing of the niche (two times), and an engraved or etched brass nameplate.

For information, or purchasing, please contact Marie Potter at 757-426-2180 or at .