Burial Services

Traditionally, a burial service involves a visitation period, followed by a funeral service in a church, our chapel or other place of worship.  The casket is typically present at both these events. You have the option of having the remains interred (earth burial), or entombed in a crypt inside a mausoleum (above ground). Family or religious traditions are often a factor for choosing burial or entombment.  

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 countless different types of designs for headstones, ranging from very simple to large and detailed.

Lawn cemetery: A lawn cemetery involves a 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 crypt for your loved one.  A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the mausoleum.  The most famous mausoleum is the Taj Mahal in India.

Columbarium: Columbarium walls are generally reserved for cremated remains.  While cremation remains can be kept at home by families or scattered at a significant place to the deceased, a columbarium provides friends and family a place to come to reflect and visit.  

Burial FAQ

What are the opening and closing fees associated with cemeteries?

Opening and closing fees can include up to and beyond 50 separate services provided by the cemetery.  Typically, the opening and closing fees include administration and permanent record keeping (determining ownership, obtaining permission and the completion of other documentation which may be required, entering the interment particulars in the interment register, maintaining all legal files); opening and closing the grave (locating the grave and laying out the boundaries, excavating and filling the interment space); installation and removal of the lowering device; placement and removal of artificial grass dressing at the grave site, leveling, tamping, re-grading and sodding the grave site and leveling and re-sodding the grave if the earth settles. 

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

The actual opening and closing of the grave is just one component of the opening and closing fee.  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 of great important?

To remember and to be remembered are natural human needs.  A permanent memorial in a cemetery provides a focal point for remembrance and memorializing your loved one.  Throughout history, memorialization of our loved ones has been a key component of almost every culture.  Psychologists say that remembrance practices, from the funeral or memorial service to permanent memorialization, serve an important emotional function for survivors by helping them bring closure and allowing the healing process to begin.  Providing a permanent resting place for your loved one is a dignified tradition which fulfills the natural human desire for memorialization.

What happens when a cemetery has sold all of their available plots?

When a cemetery has sold all of the plots which are available, it will continue to operate and serve the community. Even though the land may be sold, families will still own the rights to have their loved ones buried there. 

In a hundred years will this cemetery still be there?

We think of cemetery lands as being in perpetuity.  There are cemeteries throughout the world that have been in existence for hundreds of years.

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

There is no law that states a specific time frame which burial must take place.  Considerations that will affect timeline include winter weather conditions, the need to secure all permits and authorizations, notification of family and friends, preparation of cemetery site and religious considerations.  

Does a body have to be embalmed before burial takes place?

No.  Embalming is a choice which depends on factors such as will the casket be open for viewing of the body or if there is to be an extended time between death and internment.  Public health laws may require embalming if your loved one is going to be transported by an airline or train service.

What options are available besides ground burial?

Besides ground burial, some cemeteries offer interment in lawn crypts or entombment in mausoleums.  In addition, most cemeteries provide choices for those who have selected cremation.  These often include placement of cremated remains in a niche of a columbarium or interment in an urn space. 

What are burial vaults?

A burial vault is a lined and sealed outer receptacle that houses the casket. It protects the casket from the weight of the earth and heavy maintenance equipment that will pass over the grave. It also helps resist water and preserves the beauty of the cemetery by preventing the ground from settling. 

Burial vaults are fabricated with a minimum 5,000 psi concrete and are combined with various lining materials including bronze, copper, stainless steel, and high-impact plastics for strength, water resistance and elegance.


Must I purchase a burial vault?

Most large, active cemeteries have regulations that require the use of a burial vault for maintenance and safety purposes.  To learn more about the requirements of our local cemeteries we welcome you to contact us.

For alternatives to burial. See Cremation Services