What does opening and closing involve?
Opening and closing can include up to and beyond 50 separate services provided by the cemetery. Typically, the opening and closing includes 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 and coco-matting at the grave site, levelling, tamping, re-grading and sodding the grave site and levelling and re-sodding the grave if the earth settles.
Can we dig our own grave?
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 so 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 the deceased. Throughout human history, memorialization of the dead 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 the deceased is a dignified treatment for a loved one’s mortal remains, which fulfils the natural human desire for memorialization.
What happens when a cemetery runs out of land?
When a cemetery runs out of land, it will continue to operate and serve the community. Whenever a cemetery takes money for a plot it is required to invest a significant portion of that money into a “Care and Maintenance Fund” this fund is set aside for continuing maintenance and repair on the cemetery property, interest only may be used so the cemetery may be taken care of perpetually.
How soon after or how long after a death must an individual be buried?
There is no law that states a specific time for burial. Considerations that will affect timeline include the need to secure all permits and authorizations, notification of family and friends, preparation of cemetery site and religious considerations. Public health laws may have limitations on the maximum length of time allowed to pass prior to final disposition. Another consideration would be the time of year; many cemeteries in our area are not able to open graves during winter months, so in this case the deceased will be kept through the temporarily in a mausoleum and burial will happen as soon as the ground thaws. Embalming must always happen in cases that the burial is delayed by more than 4 days. Contact us for more details.
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. Also ashes may be spread in prescribed areas outside a cemetery.
What are burial vaults and grave liners?
These are the outside containers into which the casket is placed. Burial vaults are designed to protect the casket and may be made of a variety or combination of materials including concrete, plastic or fibreglass. A grave liner is a lightweight version of a vault which keeps the grave surface from sinking in and protects the casket from damage when digging neighbouring graves.
Must I purchase a burial vault?
Most large, active cemeteries have regulations that require the use of a basic grave liner for maintenance and safety purposes. Either a grave liner or a burial vault will satisfy these requirements. Under new legislation all cemeteries in Ontario are required to offer a section that does not required a vault or grave liner, so if that is you wish make sure the cemetery knows when the plot is purchased. If the plot is already purchased in a section where vaults are required a vault or grave liner will need to be used. Some older graves may not be able to fit a vault as casket and vault dimensions have change over the years and the plot may not be large enough to inter a modern vault.