Saint Peter Cemetery... providing a final resting place for loved ones in a local parish setting.

Sorry!  No graves are available for acquisition at our Cemetery for the time being.  If you wish to be put on a waiting-list pending expansion to our Cemetery, please contact the Cemetery Administrator.

A note from our Pastor regarding Catholic burials

Every November we observe Catholic Cemetery Sunday. It is entirely appropriate that the Church observes this day during the commemoration of November as the month in which we particularly remember our faithful departed in our prayers.  While we invoke the prayer of the saints and pray for our deceased loved ones, the latter are in a position to pray for us (even though they cannot pray for themselves).  Let us not forget to pray for the souls of our loved ones, most especially during the month of November.

The Church’s respect for the bodies of our departed ones stems from her theology that they are temples of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, she has a special love for the bodies of those in whom the Living Christ dwelt though their reception of Holy Communion during their lifetime.  Recall the words of our Blessed Lord, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life within you; whosoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will have eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day” (Jn 6:53-54).

John Henry Newman, the English convert who was recently beatified by Pope Benedict XVI, underscored the reverence that is afforded at Catholic Cemeteries when we lay their bodies to rest:

 We deposit our departed friends calmly and thoughtfully, in faith; not ceasing to love or remember that which once lived among us, but marking the place where it lies, as believing that God has set His seal upon it, and His angels guard it … Here [at the cemetery] the saints sleep, here they shall rise.  A great sight will a Christian country then be, if earth remains what it is, when holy places pour out the worshipper who have for generations kept vigil therein, waiting through the long night for the bright coming of Christ .. Glorious, indeed, will be the springtime of the Resurrection, when all that seemed dry and withered will bud forth and blossom.

(Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. 1, Sermon 21)

Our Parish of Saint Peter is one of the few in the Archdiocese of Newark (sixteen in total) which have their own parish cemetery.  Founded in 1842, Saint Peter’s is the second-oldest of these cemeteries.  Over the years, over 5,000 parishioners of Saint Peter’s have been afforded burial on these sacred grounds, under the shadows of our majestic Church building.  While in fiscal terms, having a cemetery is an enormous liability for a parish, in terms of faith, it is a great privilege for us to be the custodians of Saint Peter’s Cemetery.  How can we not be thankful for having a cemetery which constantly reminds us that we do not have a permanent dwelling in this world?  How can we not be happy to know that we ourselves can be buried on these sacred grounds and from where, along with our brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends, pastors and benefactors, we shall await the trumpet sound that calls those who died in Christ to the Resurrection of the body?

It was only in 1963 that the Catholic Church permitted Catholics to have their bodies cremated, as long as it was not out of spite towards the Church’s understanding of death and the respect to be afforded to the human body.  As the Rite of Christian Burial reminds us (#413), “the Church clearly prefers and urges that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral rites, since the presence of the human body better expresses the values which the Church affirms in those rites.”  Even when cremation is resorted to, the remains are to be treated with the same dignity and respect given to a body that is buried: “this includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the ashes, the manner in which they are carried, and the final disposition (burial).  The practice of … keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires” (#417).

Many times, upon the death of a loved one, the family not only has to go through the process of grief, but also has to look for a funeral home, a cemetery plot, the planning of the liturgy, etc.  We can make that time much easier for them by making the appropriate preparations beforehand (in my case, I have all the funeral preparations spelled out and filed at the Chancery … everything except for the date!).

I take this opportunity to once again remind our parishioners and visitors to our website of the possibility of acquiring a plot at Saint Peter’s Cemetery, even pre-need.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be buried in the shadow of the majestic Church where you have worshipped the Lord and received the sacraments, as the body awaits the Lord’s return in glory?  Wouldn’t it also be comforting to know that your relatives can come and visit your grave whenever they visit Saint Peter’s Church? 

A section was created at Saint Peter’s Cemetery some years ago for the burial of cremated remains, as well as the burial of remains of embryos and still-born babies.  Parishioners who are holding on to the cremated remains of a loved one at home, please speak to me about having the urn buried.  Not only will it bring “closure” to the family, but also help the deceased loved one wait peacefully along with fellow Christians for the Day of His Coming.

Please contact me or Mrs. Lisa Melillo, our Cemetery Administrator, with any questions about our cemetery.

Saint Peter Cemetery Information

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Grave Opening:

Monday through Friday:         $1500.00

Saturday/Holiday:                    $1700.00

(as of January 1, 2015)

Pre-poured Foundation:           $500.00

Burial of Ashes:                         $500.00

*Burial of Embryos in the public section:                          free will offering

*Regrettably, because of lack of space, we can now only offer to bury the cremains and bodies of embryos in the public section to registered parishioners and Belleville residents. Since there is no release of deed involved, the family cannot claim ownership of the plot, and only small markers are permitted.  Disinternment at a later date is not permitted in this section)

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To have your questions answered please call the Parish Business Manager, Lisa Melillo, at 973-751-2002 or email cemetery@spbnj.org.  She will be pleased to assist you.

(All fees must be paid prior to release of deed.)

This page is brought to you in memory of Peter M. Brown (1966-2020) courtesy of S.W. Brown & Son, Inc. Funeral Home 267 Centre Street, Nutley  NJ 07110 Tel. 973-667-0875