Burial Services

Traditionally, burial is the final step of a three step process, the first two steps being visitation and a funeral service.  You have the option of having the remains interred (earth burial), or entombed in a crypt inside a mausoleum (above ground burial). 

Cemetery Types

Traditional cemetery: A traditional cemetery is where headstones or other monuments made of marble or granite rise vertically above the ground.  There are countless different types of designs for headstones, ranging from very simple to large and complex.

Lawn cemetery: A lawn cemetery is where each grave is marked with a small commemorative plaque that is placed flush to the grave.  Families can still be involved in the design and the information contained on the plaque, however in most cases the plaques are of a standard size.

Mausoleum: A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment spaces, or crypts, which house individual remains. 

Columbarium: Columbariums, similar to Mausoleums, are above ground structures with individual spaces, or niches, for cremated remains to be held.  

Natural cemeteries: Natural cemeteries, also known as eco-cemeteries or green cemeteries are a new style of cemetery set aside for natural burials.  Natural burials, or Green burials are  the interment of unembalmed remains encased in only biodegradable materials, such as cotton clothing and a wicker casket.  No vault is used.  Conventional markings such as headstones may not be allowed.

Burial FAQ

What are grave opening fees?

Grave opening fees not only fund the grave opening and closing, but help fund record keeping and the perpetual maintenance of the cemetery.  

Why might it be important to have place to remember?

Though most of don't visit cemeteries regularly, when we do go, even for a few moments, to visit a loved one's grave, it can give us a feeling of roots and belonging to something much greater than the here and now.  By themselves, the grave and headstone may mean nothing, but if they give us a focal point to remember and belong, then they mean much.

How soon after or how long after a death must an individual be buried?

There is no law that states a specific time from death to 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 scheduling of funeral services.

Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried?

No.  Embalming is a choice which depends on factors such as open casket viewing or if there is to be an extended time between death and interment.  Airlines usually require embalming if a body has to be transported long distance.

What are burial vaults and grave liners?

These are the outside containers into which the casket is placed.  Most cemeteries require a vault or grave liner as it reduces the hazards and maintenance costs of settling graves. Vaults can be watertight, if desired, and may be made of a variety of materials including concrete, stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, bronze, plastic or fiberglass.  A grave liner is a lightweight version of a vault which simply keeps the grave surface from sinking in.