Serving the needs of the faithful in Southwestern Ontario

Questions and Helpful Information

Here are some of the most common questions and answers to better assist you in making your cemetery arrangements.

Who can be buried in a Catholic cemetery?
Catholic Cemeteries have a long tradition of dedicated service to the Catholic community. Both Catholics and non-Catholics are welcome at most cemeteries in the Diocese of London. Please contact your local Catholic cemetery regarding cemetery rules.

Why should Catholics be buried in a Catholic cemetery?
A Catholic cemetery is a ministry of the Catholic Church. Catholic cemeteries are consecrated places that remind us all of our Lord’s promise of the Resurrection. A Catholic cemetery is a holy and sacred place, a place of prayer and a place that preserves beliefs and traditions.

Burial in the consecrated ground of the Catholic cemetery allows you to share your faith values with the future generations of your family. This legacy of faith is your gift to them.

Catholic cemeteries are not simply a place where we bury the dead. They are places where a Christian life, both natural and supernatural, is celebrated and honored. They witness our faith in the Lord Jesus and the hope we share in resurrection. They are an extension of the parish and enable families to be buried in a setting that reflects their faith and devotion.

If I am divorced can I be buried in a Catholic cemetery?

Can I be cremated and buried in a Catholic cemetery?
Yes, in 1963, the Catholic Church eliminated its prohibition against cremation. Although cremation represents a means of disposition by many, it is just a step in the process of final disposition, which is burial. Cremated remains are still the body of the deceased, just in a different form. Thus, cremated remains should be treated with proper respect and dignity. Cremated remains should be buried in a cemetery, preferably a Catholic cemetery. Honoring and respecting the deceased by keeping their remains safe, undisturbed and memorialized is a time honored tradition. It is important to everyone to be remembered. It is also important for family members and future generations to visit these graves (see section on Catholics and Cremation).

What are my choices in ground burial?
Generally speaking, there are single gravesites and family lots comprised of multiple gravesites.

How do I choose a grave?
Choosing a grave depends on personal preference, but there are a number of things to consider when making this decision. What type of memorial do you prefer—for example, a marker set flat on the ground or an upright monument? Are you arranging for yourself or your family? How many burials do you expect to take place? How much do you want to spend? Do you want to be near a family member? Answers to these questions will help you make the right choice.

What is the opening and closing fee?
Opening and Closing fees include a variety of services provided by the cemetery. Generally, the fee includes administration and permanent record keeping (determining ownership, obtaining permission and completion of other documentation which may be required, recording the specific details 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 equipment, placement and removal of artificial grass dressing or matting at the grave site, leveling, tamping, re-grading and reseeding the grave site); opening and closing the crypt or niche (locating the crypt or niche, installation and removal of equipment, removal and reinstallation of the crypt or niche front).

What is a burial vault?
A vault is a container into which a casket is placed in the ground. Burial vaults are typically made of concrete, though other materials are sometimes used.

Do I have to have a burial vault?
When burying a casket, we recommend that you have a vault or liner to prevent the ground from sinking. If you are burying an urn or container of cremated remains, a vault is not always necessary. Please contact your local Catholic cemetery regarding cemetery rules.

What does entombment mean?
Entombment (or interment) is the placing of human remains in a mausoleum or columbarium. It involves placing a casket or cremation urn in a crypt or niche—these are the individual compartments within a mausoleum or columbarium—which is then sealed.

What is a mausoleum?
A mausoleum is a building designed to provide above ground entombment in either a crypt or a niche. Mausoleums offer an alternative for those who don’t want to be buried in the ground. Mausoleums offer a wide variety of options that can be tailored to fit your needs.

Are there different types of crypts?
Yes. Single crypts are designed for one entombment only. We offer three different kinds of double crypts: a tandem crypt permits two entombments lengthwise in a crypt, a companion crypt permits two entombments side by side, and a couch crypt permits two entombments widthwise. Most mausoleums are often built five to six crypts high. The price of the crypt will depend on its location and type.

Can I make my cemetery arrangements in advance?
Yes. When you plan ahead, you will be able to consider the many options available in a much more comfortable and relaxed environment. You’ll be able to make an informed decision about your cemetery arrangements and the kind of memorial you want. Making choices that are meaningful to both you and your family will give you peace of mind, knowing your family and friends will be relieved of the emotional and financial burden associated with making these arrangements. By pre-arranging your cemetery services, you also benefit by purchasing at today’s prices, free of inflationary pressures in the future (see Preplanning section).

When I buy a grave space, do I get a deed like other types of real estate?
No, you do not receive a deed however you do receive an Interment Rights Certificate. When you purchase a grave space, you are purchasing the right to designate who may be interred in that space, rather than purchasing the grave space itself, which remains the property and responsibility of the cemetery. You also have a right to place a memorial where rules permit.