Who may be buried in a Catholic cemetery?
The Church expects the burial of Catholics in Catholic cemeteries. To avoid breaking close family ties, non-Catholic members of Catholic families may be interred in a Catholic cemetery. In the Archdiocese, Catholic burial, including the funeral Mass, is permitted for a baptized non-Catholic who might reasonably be presumed to desire or prefer Catholic burial services. Such a decision would be appropriate where the non-Catholic party worshipped regularly at the Catholic Church or identified with the Catholic Church more than any other.
Do most people make their own arrangements ahead of time?
Yes, most definitely! Over 75% of all burial space, crypts, graves, and niches are purchased ahead of time. Pre-need planning for cemetery or mausoleum space is a loving, compassionate, and financially advantageous step all families should consider taking. We should never place this burden on our children or other family members.
What is the first thing I should do?
Take your time and don’t rush. Make sure you look at all your options and get all the information you need to make a good decision. If you are not sure of something, please don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Do I need to pay in full for my cemetery space at the time of purchase?
There are a variety of payment options and terms designed to give you the flexibility to remain within your personal budget. Cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express are honored for your convenience. Terms may be arranged with a down payment made at the time of a pre-need purchase, followed by interest-free monthly payments. A minimum monthly payment applies. Late fees are charged on all delinquent accounts. At the time of death, the burial arrangements must be paid in full.
Do you offer a payment plan on graves and crypts?
Many purchases are made under our very reasonable monthly payment plan. Full payment is required when a grave or crypt is used. Payment plans are without interest or carrying charges, so families generally find it more economical to use the plan than to withdraw from savings.
Can I bring my friends to see the space I have purchased?
The building is open to the public, so you may bring whomever you like to see your mausoleum crypt or grave space. If you have any questions or need help during your visit, please come to the cemetery office. There is always someone available to assist you during regular operating hours.
Who can I contact to make my arrangements?
Counselors are available in the cemetery offices Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM until 4:30 PM or by appointment in the evenings at your home. To make arrangements for an at-home visit, please call our toll free number: 1-800-988-9996
When will I receive my License?
You will receive a call to pick up your License approximately four to six weeks after your final payment has been posted. Please make sure the address and phone numbers on file with the cemetery office are current.
Why are there different types of graves?
Traditional ground burial spaces vary by the size and type of memorial allowed and the number of interments available in the grave. Our representative will explain the various types to you and show you what sections are available.
What is a vault? Why is it required?
A vault is the name given to the outer container for protection of the casket. While concrete is the most commonly used, other more expensive options are available. Vaults are required for all ground burial spaces in Florida.
Does the cemetery charge monthly maintenance fees for graves?
Care and maintenance fees for the general upkeep of the cemetery are included in the price of all crypts, graves, and niches currently offered by Catholic Cemeteries. This care and maintenance includes buildings owned by the Archdiocese (community mausoleums), roads, lawns, hedges and trees.
What other costs are associated with a ground burial?
After the purchase of the grave itself, the interment fee, vault, foundation, and memorial stone are needed.
What is the Interment fee?
The interment fee is the cost to record the burial; open the grave; set the vault (for ground burial); set up of the graveside service area (the tent and chairs, arrangement of flowers, etc.); make the interment, and close the grave.
What is the process for approval of Memorial work?
Advance authorization and written approval by the Cemetery Office is required to accept, place and/or install any memorial, headstone or monument in our cemeteries. Please contact the Cemetery Office with any questions or to make arrangements.
What is a Mausoleum Crypt?
A mausoleum crypt is an above ground, dry, concrete, ventilated vault complete with a marble or granite shutter. The shutter will vary in size with the style of crypt and serves as the memorial to the deceased.
What determines the cost of a crypt?
The cost of the crypt is based on the building complex, the area of the building, and the level of the crypt that you select.
What is cremation?
Cremation is the process where the body is totally incinerated by intense heat and flame. All substances are consumed and vaporized except bone fragments and any noncombustible materials. The bone fragments may be further pulverized after cooling. These remains weigh anywhere from 4 to 10 pounds.
What is the proper name for these remains?
What we commonly call "ashes" are really not ash as we know it, but bone particles. The proper terminology of the remains of the body after cremation is cremated remains of the body. The Church also holds that these remains be treated with the same respect that the body was treated with prior to cremation, including the use of a "worthy vessel" or urn for the cremated remains of the body.
When should cremation take place?
The Church strongly prefers that cremation takes place after the full Funeral Liturgy where the body is present. "This is the body once washed in baptism, anointed with the oil of salvation, and fed with the bread of life." The Church's belief in the sacredness of life and the resurrection of the dead encourages us to celebrate the funeral liturgies with the body present while affirming the value of human life. As Catholics we celebrate our funeral liturgies, because they recall Christ's victory over death. With His victory, comes our promise of eternal life. If it is not possible for the body to be present at the Funeral Mass, permission has been granted by the Catholic Church which provides for the celebration of the Funeral Mass with the cremated remains of the body present in church. Since it is the 'earthly remains' and not the body of the deceased that is present, there are slight adaptations in the liturgy.
How should cremated remains of the body be handled?
Prior to cremation, arrangements should be made among the family of the deceased, the crematorium, the funeral director and the cemetery concerning the disposition of the cremated remains of the body. Most crematoriums will ship the cremated remains of the body via registered mail, or some other secure service, to the person who is responsible for them. Upon receipt, the cremated remains of the body should be treated with respect in the way they are handled, transported, cared for and in their final disposition.
Upon receipt of the cremated remains of the body, what should I do with them?
The cremated remains of the body should be buried or entombed. The scattering of the cremated remains of the body, or the keeping of them at home, or the dividing of them among various family members is not the reverent disposition the church requires. Catholic cemeteries have grave space, crypt space and niches for the cremated remains of the body. This allows for visitation, memorialization and prayers. At the cemetery, a final prayer "The Rite of Committal", is prayed as the cremated remains of the body are laid to rest. Recognizing that the goal of our lives is eternal life with God, we prepare for that by prayer, reception of the sacraments and care for those around us. Preparation for death is an essential part of life for a Christian. In today's society, for some, choosing cremation is part of that preparation for death. The Church continues to prefer and encourage the faithful to bury or entomb the bodies of their departed loved ones. However, if cremation is chosen for worthy motives, the church wishes to support the faithful in honoring the life and memory of the departed.
What Catholic Rites are available for those choosing cremation?
The Order of Christian Funerals presents the Church's plan for the celebration of the death of one the faithful. These rites assume the presence of the body, but adaptations are available for those choosing cremation. The Order of Christian Funerals consists of three parts:
- Vigil and Related Rites and Prayers
- Funeral Liturgy
- Rite of Committal
May I place a flag on a grave?
Flags may be placed on graves only on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. They may be placed three days prior to the holiday and will be removed three days after the holiday. Flags that are placed on graves on other days, besides these holidays, will be picked up with our weekly decorations cleanup. The Catholic Cemeteries follows the Etiquette of the Stars and Stripes as revised by Public Law 94-344.
What is your return and exchange policy?
Any grave or crypt purchased from the Catholic Cemeteries, may be exchanged or returned. The return of monument lots and crypts is subject to some restrictions and each case must be reviewed before a refund maybe given. This policy protects families if conditions change or especially if there is a relocation. Any grave and / or crypt may be exchanged for graves or crypts in another section, or in another Catholic Cemetery in the Archdiocese. The credit for exchanging graves or crypts is determined by the purchase price of the new unit selected. In any exchange, the credit given will never be less than the original purchase price. Any refund for unused graves/crypts is based on the original purchase price subject to the cemetery cancellation policy.
What are your visiting and office hours?
Our cemeteries are open for visiting every day of the year except Good Friday. Normal hours are 8:00 A.M. to 5:30P.M. Indoor mausoleum facilities are also open every day but have slightly shorter visiting hours to allow security to complete evening closings.. Cemetery offices are open from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays from 9:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. Appointments with the Counseling Program staff can be made for evenings or weekends. For additional information, call Our Lady of Mercy at 305-592-0521 or Our Lady Queen of Heaven at 954-972-1234.