Burial Services

Traditionally, a burial service involves a visitation, followed by a funeral service in a church or other venue.  The casket is typically present at both these events, and it is your decision whether to have the casket open or closed.  You have the option of having your loved one interred (earth burial) or entombed in a crypt inside a mausoleum (above ground burial).  Family or religious traditions are often a factor for choosing burial. 

Cemetery Types

Monumental cemetery: A monumental cemetery is the traditional style of cemetery where headstones or other monuments made of marble or granite rise vertically above the ground.  There are many types of designs for headstones, ranging from small to large.

Lawn cemetery: A lawn cemetery is where each grave is marked with a small commemorative plaque that is placed horizontally at the head of the grave at ground-level.  Families can still be involved in the design and the information contained on the plaque, however in most cases the plaques are a standard design. 

Mausoleum: A mausoleum is an external free-standing building enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of your loved one. 

Columbarium: Columbarium walls are generally reserved for cremated remains.  While cremated remains can be kept at home by families or scattered somewhere significant to your loved one,  a columbarium provides friends and family a place to visit. 

Natural cemeteries: Natural cemeteries, also known as eco-cemeteries or green cemeteries is cemetery for natural burials.  Natural burials are motivated by the desire to be environmentally conscience, although natural burials can be performed at any cemetery, they are usually done in a natural woodland area.  Conventional markings such as headstones are generally replaced with a tree or a bush or a placement of a natural rock.

Burial FAQ

What is opening and closing and why is it so expensive?

Typically, the opening and closing fee include administration and permanent record keeping, as well as, locating, excavating and filling the grave space; installation and removal of the lowering device at the grave; leveling, tamping, re-grading and sodding the grave site.

Can we dig our own grave to avoid the charge for opening and closing?

Due to safety issues which arise around the use of machinery on cemetery property and the protection of other gravesites, the actual opening and closing of the grave is conducted by cemetery grounds personnel only.

Why is having a place to visit so important?

To remember and to be remembered are natural human needs. Having a place to visit serves as a means to bring closure and healing. 

What happens when a cemetery runs out of land?

When a cemetery runs out of land, it will continue to operate and serve the community.  Cemeteries have columbariums, mausoleums and additional grave space.

In a hundred years will this cemetery still be there?

Cemeteries are operated in perpetuity.  

How soon after or how long after a death must an individual be buried?

There is no law that states a specific time for burial. Public heath laws may have limitations on the maximum length of time allowed to pass prior to final disposition.  Contact us for further details.

Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried?

No.  Embalming is a choice which depends on factors such as an open casket for viewing or an extended time between death and internment.  Public health laws may require embalming if the body is going to be transported out of state or country.

What options are available besides ground burial?

Besides ground burial, cemeteries offer interment in crypts or entombment in mausoleums.  In addition, most cemeteries provide options for cremation.  These often include a niche in a columbarium. 

What are burial vaults and grave liners?

 Burial vaults are designed to protect the casket and may be made of a variety or combination of materials including concrete, stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, bronze, plastic or fiberglass.  A grave liner is a lightweight version of a vault which simply keeps the grave surface from sinking in.

Must I purchase a burial vault?

Most large, active cemeteries have regulations that require the use of a basic grave liner for maintenance and safety purposes.  Either a grave liner or a burial vault will satisfy these requirements.