FAQ

  1. Should Catholics be buried in a Catholic Cemetery?
  2. Is there a time limit after a death for a person to be buried?
  3. What are interment fees?
  4. What is an outer burial container?
  5. May I make the necessary arrangements in advance?
  6. When I buy a grave, do I receive a deed?
  7. What is care and maintenance?
  8. What are my in-ground burial options?
  9. What is usually required for an entombment?
  10. Does it cost more for an in-ground burial or crypt entombment?
  11. Does Catholic Cemeteries have accommodations for cremated remains?
  12. Purchases must be paid for in full at the time of selection?
  13. What are the crypts like?
  14. Mausoleum Products
  15. As a Catholic, may I be cremated?
  16. Do I need to ask permission to be cremated?
  17. When should cremation take place?
  18. What is the proper container for cremated remains?
  19. Must cremated remains be buried/entombed?
  20. What is a columbarium?
  21. May I scatter the ashes?
  22. May anything be added to cremated remains such as the cremated remains of other persons, pets or other objects?
  23. Who decides if I am cremated?
  24. How do I make my wishes known?
  25. What funeral rites are celebrated when a person is cremated?
  26. Canon Law on Cremations
  27. Cremation Products
  28. The Rites
  29. The Vigil
  30. The Funeral Liturgy
  31. The Rite of Committal
  32. What Should I Do When a Loved One Dies?
  33. Is Cremation Allowed?
  34. Do you provide Death Certificates?

  1. Should Catholics be buried in a Catholic Cemetery?
  2. While there is no mandate, it is highly recommend. It is a natural choice for those who share in the same faith in life continue that sense of community in death. It is only natural that those who share the same faith in life will wish to carry on that sense of community in death. When it comes to the issue of death, the sensibilities and needs of Catholics are unique and call for certain practices in the handling and care of the remains of the deceased. Therefore, in the blessed grounds of a Catholic cemetery there are safeguards – mandated by the Church’s Canon Law – which guarantee permanence, reverence and respect for the remains of the deceased.

  3. Is there a time limit after a death for a person to be buried?
  4. States have different laws; some limit the maximum time before final disposition. Things that must be considered: securing official permits and authorizations, notifying friends and family, preparation of the burial site and religious requirements. Your funeral director will be well-versed on the regulations.

  5. What are interment fees?
  6. Fees for interment cover the cost of many separate services performed by cemetery personnel. They include administering and permanent record keeping — we determine internment rights, obtain permission and compete all other necessary documents, enter the interment details in the interment register, and maintain all legal files. The fees also include actually opening and closing the grave — we locate and lay out the boundaries of the grave, excavate and fill the space. We also install and remove the lowering device, place and remove artificial grass and cocoa-matting at the grave site, level, tamp, re-grade and sod the grave site, and level and re-sod it if the earth settles.

  7. What is an outer burial container?
  8. A casket is placed inside an outer burial container. It is designed to protect the casket and keep the grave surface from sinking in. Outer burial containers vary — they can be built of one or more of these materials: concrete, stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, bronze, plastic and fiberglass.

  9. May I make the necessary arrangements in advance?
  10. Yes. You can make all arrangements in advance. Planning ahead lets you consider the options you prefer. As an informed consumer, you can make the decisions about your cemetery arrangements and the kind of memorial you want. They will be meaningful decisions that will give you peace of mind, knowing that you have relieved your loved ones of the emotional and financial burden of having to make decisions at a time of mourning. It’s also a wise economic choice, because you purchase at today’s prices, free from future inflationary pressures.

  11. When I buy a grave, do I receive a deed?
  12. No. The purchase of a grave is really a purchase of the right to designate who may be buried in that grave, and what kind of memorial you want — subject to what the cemetery’s rules permit. You’re not really purchasing the grave itself — that remains the property and responsibility of the cemetery.

  13. What is care and maintenance?
  14. Care and maintenance – supported by a portion of the purchase price contributed to a special fund – provides for regular care and maintenance of the cemetery, which can include mowing, regarding, planting and maintaining trees, water supply system maintenance, roads, drainage and more. The minimum amount that can be contributed to the fund is usually legally mandated.

  15. What are my in-ground burial options?
  16. From the time you enter the grounds our cemetery, you will see the perfect blending of natural and man-made beauty. Each section of the cemetery is beautifully themed and identified by a fitting centerpiece. Whether you choose a religious theme, or one based on an attribute such as hope, peace or forgiveness, it will make a lasting statement about the values you deemed important in life.

    This beautiful design concept grew from a philosophy developed in the 19th century that believed cemeteries should reflect a closeness to nature, therefore a greater closeness to God.

    Individual and family lots are available throughout our grounds. Lawn-level solid bronze memorials, which can be personalized, provide a distinctive remembrance.

    When selecting traditional ground burial for interment, there are three basic components: the grave, the memorial and the burial container. All are available directly through the cemetery.

    Graves range in price by location or section. Grave selections are available at many of our Catholic Cemeteries.

    Memorials are all installed level with the lawn. An exception would be an “upright” memorial allowed in specially designated sections of the cemetery. All memorials within our cemeteries are bronze or granite.

    Burial containers serve to maintain the grave and to protect the casket. The cemetery offers a basic, sealing burial container that meets our requirements, and containers with liners which afford greater protection to the casket. Either concrete container can be selected when pre-arranging your cemetery needs.

  17. What is usually required for an entombment?
    • The Crypt
    • The Entombment Fee
    • Bronze Memorial Plaque Or Inscription, Vase For Flowers & Future Care of the Facility with No Additional Fees.
    • Optional: Bronze religious figures, bronze and glass votive lights (where available)
  18. Does it cost more for an in-ground burial or crypt entombment?
  19. In some cases it can cost more for in-ground burial than it does for crypt entombment. It depends on grave selection, memorialization and the concrete outer burial container selected for the casket.

  20. Does Catholic Cemeteries have accommodations for cremated remains?
  21. Yes, there are a variety of cremation gardens, features and niches available for cremated remains.

  22. Purchases must be paid for in full at the time of selection?
  23. No. Preneed crypt purchases may be financed. Catholic Cemeteries offer a payment plan with a low down payment and monthly payment for a period of up to 60 months.

  24. What are the crypts like?
  25. Each crypt is a clean, dry, vented chamber constructed of poured in place, steel reinforced concrete. After each entombment, the crypt is sealed with the insertion of a panel behind the crypt front.

  26. Mausoleum Products
  27. Once exclusively for the wealthy and famous, today the advantages of above-ground burial are well within the reach of all Catholic families.

    Mausoleum burial is clean, dry and ventilated, and it compares favorably with the cost of in-ground burial by eliminating lots, containers, monuments or memorials.

    Crypt ownership provides year round visitation, regardless of the weather, in a beautiful, inspirational setting.

    From individual to companion and family crypts, from bronze to marble and granite designs, we offer a variety of configurations and styles. The cost of these options depends on your selections and is tailored to your financial requirements:

    • Individual or Companion Crypt. Choose from beautiful Perlato Marble, Rosa Parrino Granite or Breccia Aurora Marble crypt design.
    • Westminster (accommodates two). Built directly into the mausoleum floor, the Westminster provides families with an affordable choice and is available in marble, granite or bronze designs.
    • Family (accommodates four). This variation of the Westminster crypt gives families a reasonably priced, dignified entombment option.
    • Individual Couch. This deluxe 8′ wide marble or granite memorial represents one of the most prestigious options.
    • Cast bronze memorial plaque and space for floral tribute are available.
  28. As a Catholic, may I be cremated?
  29. Yes. In May 1963, the Vatican’s Holy Office (now the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith) lifted the prohibition forbidding Catholics to choose cremation. This permission was incorporated into the revised Code of Canon Law of 1983 (Canon # 1176), as well as into the Order of Christian Funerals. It then became standard practice to celebrate the funeral liturgies with the body and then take the body to the crematorium. Most recently the bishops of the United States and Holy See have authorized the celebration of a Catholic funeral liturgy with the cremated remains when the body is cremated before the funeral.

  30. Do I need to ask permission to be cremated?
  31. No, but it is a good idea to discuss your reasons with your pastor, deacon or other parish minister.

  32. When should cremation take place?
  33. The Church prefers that cremation take place after the full funeral liturgy with the body.

    “Sometimes, however, it is not possible for the body to be present for the Funeral Mass. When extraordinary circumstances make the cremation of a body the only feasible choice, pastoral sensitivity must be exercised by all who minister to the family of the deceased.” Order of Christian Funerals, Appendix II)

  34. What is the proper container for cremated remains?
  35. Appropriate containers (not necessarily expensive) such as a classic urn are proper for the cremated remains. At the present time the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy has determined only what is not a proper container. Although jewelry, dishes, statuary and space capsules are now being offered, they are unacceptable in Catholic funeral practices. It is also unacceptable to have your cremated remains made into jewelry, dishes and the like.

  36. Must cremated remains be buried/entombed?
  37. Yes. There are many beautiful options for cremated remains which include a family grave in a cemetery marked with a traditional memorial stone or an urn garden, a special section in a cemetery with small, pre-dug graves for urns, or a columbarium.

  38. What is a columbarium?
  39. A common practice is the entombment of the cremated remains in a “columbarium”. It is an arrangement of niches, either in a mausoleum, a room or wall into which an urn or other worthy vessel is placed for permanent memorial.

  40. May I scatter the ashes?
  41. No. “The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires.” (Order of Christian Funerals, Appendix II)

  42. May anything be added to cremated remains such as the cremated remains of other persons, pets or other objects?
  43. The principle of respect for the cremated remains of a deceased Christian embraces the deeper belief in the individuality of each baptized person before God. Throughout history, the mingling of remains has never been an accepted practice, except in extraordinary circumstances.

  44. Who decides if I am cremated?
  45. In most cases you make the decision to be cremated. However, your survivors may decide to have you cremated, generally due to special family circumstances, but rarely against your will.

  46. How do I make my wishes known?
  47. You make the decision to have your body be buried or cremated if you prearrange. However, your survivors may decide to have you cremated, generally due to special family circumstances or if they do not know your preference.

  48. What funeral rites are celebrated when a person is cremated?
  49. All the usual rites which are celebrated with a body present may also be celebrated in the presence of cremated remains. The United States’ bishops have written new prayers and have printed them as an appendix to the Order of Christian Funerals. During the liturgies, the cremated remains are treated with the same dignity and respect as the body.

  50. Canon Law on Cremations
  51. Can. 117 S 1 Christ’s faithful who have died are to be given a Church funeral according to the norms of law.

    S2 Church funerals are to be celebrated according to the norms of the liturgical books. In these funeral rites the Church prays for the spiritual support of the dead, it honors their bodies, and at the same time it brings to the living the comfort of hope.

    S3 The Church earnestly recommends that the pious customs of burial be retained; but it does not forbid cremation, unless this is chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching.

    A common practice is the entombment of the cremated remains in a “columbarium”. It is an arrangement of niches, either in a mausoleum, a room or wall into which an urn or other worthy vessel is placed for permanent memorial.

  52. Cremation Products
  53. The simplicity, dignity and affordability of cremation has made it a popular choice among followers of most faiths. Throughout the cemetery, indoors and out, there is a a wide range of niche spaces and memorialization plans to those choosing cremation, and considerable freedom to personalize remembrance of loved ones.

    Outdoors, the cemetery provides beautiful wall niches in natural surroundings. Made of the finest materials with marble, bronze or glass fronts, a wide choice of niches provide an enduring memorial in a beautiful, inspirational environment. Both individual and companion niches are available.

    Floral Tributes. What better way to commemorate your loved one’s life than with nature’s beauty? Throughout every season, we offer a beautiful array of made to order, affordable floral tributes. Is there a special flower that held a personal meaning in your life? Skilled hands can fashion it into a presentation that will express emotions that words can only approximate. New and affordable fresh flower offerings are available weekly at selected locations.

  54. The Rites
  55. The Catholic Church offers distinct occasions for common prayer at the time of funerals. The Order of Christian Funerals contains three clusters of Rites:

    • The Vigil
    • The Funeral Liturgy, and Final Commendation and Farewell
    • The Rite of Committal

    The Funeral Rites also provide other opportunities for prayer. These Related Rites and Prayers are: Prayers after Death, Gathering in the Presence of the Body, and Transfer of the Body to the Church or to the Place of Committal.

    The Funeral Rites, like all the Church’s liturgy, are primarily worship of God. Care needs to be taken to preserve the integrity of the Church’s prayer, and of the homily, while remaining personable and sensitive to those present.

    The Rites for adults are different from the Rites for children and infants. These Rites apply to baptized Catholics, and also catechumens, unbaptized infants, and in special circumstances, those who are not Catholic.

    By family preference or pastoral concern, any single rite may be used as the sole Funeral Rite. Consultation with your priest or parish minister can help determine your funeral selections.

  56. The Vigil
  57. This Rite, presided over by a priest, deacon, or prepared layperson (or member of the family) generally consists of: Introductory Rite, Liturgy of the Word, Intercessory Prayer and Concluding Rite and Blessing. Also strongly recommended is the Office of the Dead from the Liturgy of the Hours.

    The rosary, or a portion of it, may be included as part of the petitions within this Rite, or preferably, it may be recited by the family at a time other than the Vigil. If the Vigil is celebrated in church, it begins with the Rite of Reception.

  58. The Funeral Liturgy
  59. The Funeral Liturgy (Mass) is the community’s principal celebration. Generally, the Funeral Liturgy comprises: The Rite of Reception (unless already celebrated as part of the Vigil), the Liturgy of the Word, The Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the Final Commendation and Farewell.

    The priest presides at Mass, assisted by a full complement of liturgical ministers – lectors, canto, musicians, servers, etc. These ministerial roles are performed by trained parish ministers or by members of the deceased’s family or friends, if properly prepared.

  60. The Rite of Committal
  61. The Rite of Committal, the final of the Funeral Rites, may be presided over by priest, deacon or layperson. It is best celebrated in close proximity to the actual burial place – grave, tomb or crematorium.

    This rite is intentionally brief. However, if this is the sole Funeral Rite, it may be expanded to include the Rite of Final Commendation or additional music and readings, a brief homily, and petitions.

  62. What Should I Do When a Loved One Dies?
  63. When death occurs, after you provide for the initial care of the body of the deceased, the parish should be contacted first.

  64. Is Cremation Allowed?
  65. Although traditional burial procedure which reflects respect for the body is still normal Catholic practice, cremation is allowed by the Catholic Church for justifiable reasons. Cremation would ordinarily take place after the Funeral Liturgy. These remains should never be scattered or handled in an undignified manner, but are to be interred or inurned in a cemetery columbarium.

  66. Do you provide Death Certificates?
  67. We are unable to provide photographs, copies of death certificates, and/or any confidential account holder information such as account holders name, address, and phone number. Here are some resources that can help you acquire this info. Links to California Birth/Death Certificate Records: