Interment in a grave remains the most widely used form of burial. Graves are generally of two types, either permitting a lawn level marker, or permitting a raised family monument. All Catholic cemeteries are “zoned” for aesthetic, operational and maintenance reasons. When a family monument lot is chosen, the minimum sized lot is generally four graves. Lawn level marker graves which are located either in traditional sections with family monuments, or in special religious feature sections that are exclusively marker graves, are the most commonly selected graves. Monument type graves are more expensive since they require more space. Future care of all graves is included in the purchase price.
It should be noted here, there exists a degree of misunderstanding as to what is owned by the family when a gravesite, mausoleum crypt, niche or lawn crypt is purchased by the family.
In some cases, spaces within a Catholic Cemetery have been owned by generations of families having been passed down from one to another. We don’t expect that knowledge of what has been purchased and/or owned by great grandparents 50 or 75 years ago is completely understood by their descendants today, including the number of burials allowed in those spaces. And, how many additional burial rights that may be purchased within these same spaces. This is why we encourage a full review of your family ownership rights “prior to” the time they may need to be used.
Catholic Cemeteries wishes to clarify a couple of items. First and foremost, graves, crypts, niches etc. are conveyed by an easement which gives the purchaser, not direct ownership, but an exclusive and permanent right of use for human remains. Upon death of the purchaser, ownership rights automatically descend to direct blood heirs equally unless the rights are specifically assigned to a particular heir. The spouse of the original purchaser always has a dower right of burial ahead of other heirs.
Secondly, when any purchase has been made of an interment (burial) right (for example: grave, crypt, niche, etc.), what has been purchased is the “right” to perform one burial, or entombment, or inurnment. The right to do multiple burials, entombments, inurnments is not automatic in each space or with each burial right purchased. If allowed in that space, each additional opportunity to perform an interment in that space must be paid for as long as all legal owners of the space are in agreement.