Q. Do you have to be a Catholic to be buried in Saint Mary Cemetery?
A. No, our cemetery is non-denominational and we have burials of all faiths.
Q. What is a “pre-need” purchase?
A. Pre-need is the purchasing arrangement ahead of time, like making a will, many people find this idea upsetting. It is wise, however, for two reasons. Costs continue to rise but, more importantly, when you purchase your final resting place you saved your loved ones from making a hurried decision during a very painful time in their lives. There are enough difficulties involved in sudden or expected deaths – this process eliminates one of them.
Q. Why should I prearrange my burial and funeral needs?
A. Prearranging for death is not a sign of hopelessness; it is an expression of trust, faith and acceptance in the Resurrection.
By preplanning your funeral and burial, your wishes are made clear, only needing implementation. Advance planning is the best way to avoid heavier financial burdens later. Decisions are better made apart from emotions and stress of a death. Couples, who lived together for years, should plan their final arrangements while still sound in mind and body.
Q. What happens if I buy a cemetery plot in advance and later move to another area of the country and no longer wish to be buried/inurned in St Mary Cemetery?
A. We will purchase back the burial space/niche for the original purchase price, less a paperwork handling fee, provided no burials, cremains or monuments/markers have been placed.
Q. What happens if I buy a cemetery plot in advance and later wish to move to another area of the cemetery?
A. St Mary Cemetery allows for the transfer of plots between locations within the cemetery, provided no burials, cremains or monuments/markers have been placed.
Q. How do I choose the right type of grave?
A. Because it is an important question, many things must be considered:
- Are you planning on burial or cremation?
- Above or below ground?
- What type of memorial marker do you prefer?
- A marker set flat on the ground?
- An upright monument?
- How many burials/cremations do you expect to accommodate in the grave space?
- Are you arranging for yourself or your family?
- How much do you want to spend?
Answers to these types of questions will assist you to make the right purchase as graves vary by size, location and price.
Q. What is the cost of a cemetery plot?
A. We follow the diocesan guidelines, and there are many different options available, please contact the Cemetery office for a current price list at 203-438-3606. Sample price list is contained in the document section of this page.
Q. When I purchase Cemetery grave, niche, or plot, do I receive a deed?
A. No. The purchase of grave, niche or plot is the purchase of the right to designate who may be placed in that space. You will receive a Certificate of Burial/Inurnment Rights. You are not purchasing the land or the actual grave or niche. They remain the property and responsibility of the cemetery.
Q. Is cemetery purchase tax deductible?
A. No, the purchase of a grave is not tax-deductible, although the charitable donation of unwanted grave spaces may be deductible as "in kind" charitable contribution. Check with a knowledgeable tax advisor for details.
Q. What is Perpetual Care?
A. Perpetual care is a portion of the purchase price contributed to a special fund that provides for regular care and maintenance of the cemetery which can include mowing, planting and maintaining landscaping, maintenance of cemetery property and buildings, roads, drainage and more. The minimum amount that can be contributed to the perpetual care fund is usually legally mandated.
Q. What is a full burial?
A. A full burial is the interment of a body in its permanent resting-place.
Q. What is cremation?
A. Cremation refers to the act of consuming a body by fire.
Q. What are cremains?
A. Cremains are the remains of the body after cremation.
Q. What is a mausoleum?
A. A mausoleum is a tomblike structure or building for the entombment of bodies. St. Mary Cemetery does not have a public mausoleum, private family mausoleums have been erected in the Cemetery.
Q. What is a columbarium?
A. The term comes from the Latin columba (dove) and originally referred to compartmentalized housing for doves and pigeons. A columbarium is a structure that contains niches for the placement of cinerary urns (e.g. urns with cremains).
Q. What is the size of a grave and how can it be used?
A. A grave is approximately three feet three inches wide and ten feet long. It will accommodate one interment and 2 cremains or a maximum of 3 cremation inurnments.
Q. What is a burial plot?
A. A plot is one or more grave or cremation graves as shown on the Cemetery plat, which is on file at the Cemetery office.
Q. What is required for an in-ground burial?
A. An in-ground burial requires: the grave, the interment fee (opening and closing of the grave), the casket (available from the Funeral Director or other source), a concrete outer burial vault for the casket (the Funeral Director will make arrangements), and the Burial Permit (the Funeral Director is responsible for obtaining). Depending on the time of year; time of service and/or day of the week additional Cemetery fees may apply (winter, overtime or Saturday fees).
Q. What are burial vaults?
A. These are the outside containers in which the casket is placed. Burial vaults are made of a variety or combination of materials. St Mary Cemetery requires a burial vault.
Q. What is a cremation grave?
A. A cremation grave is designated for the sole purpose of burial of a single cremation. The Urn Garden has been designed with a low hedgerow with cremation graves encircling the Statue of St Mary.
Q. What is required for a cremation inurnment?
A. An in-ground cremation inurnment requires: the grave, the inurnment fee (opening and closing of the grave), a cremation vault for the cremains (available through the Cemetery), and the Cremation Certificate (provided by the Crematorium). Depending on the time of year; time of service and/or day of the week additional Cemetery fees may apply (winter, overtime or Saturday fees).
Q. What is the difference between an in-ground burial of cremains and the placement of cremains in the Columbarium?
A. If the family wishes to identify the site of in-ground cremains there are additional expenses for the marker and installation. Additionally, in-ground burial requires a cremation vault. Cremains are placed in the Columbarium in a moisture-resistant niche and do not require a special container or cremation vault. The niche cover is engraved with the deceased name, years of birth and death by the Cemetery's designated engraver.
Q. What is a cremation vault?
A. These are the outside containers in which the cremains are placed. Cremation vaults are made of a variety of materials including concrete, plastic or fiberglass, and are required for all in-ground inurnments. You may purchase a cremation vault from the Cemetery or the Funeral Director. This is in addition to the urn or container from the Crematorium/Funeral Director.
It is not necessary to have a decorative urn, the cremains, in the container from the Crematorium may be placed into the cremation vault or into the Columbarium. For those being placed in the Columbarium, metal containers are not permitted.
Q. What is the opening fee and why is it so expensive?
A. The opening fee can include 50 or more separate services provided by the Cemetery. Typically, the opening fee includes the administration and permanent record keeping (determining ownership, obtaining permission and completion of other documentation which may be required, entering the interment particulars in the interment register and information management system, maintaining all files, filing the burial permit and/or cremation certificate with the town hall(s) in accordance with state laws); opening and closing of the grave (locating the grave and laying out the boundaries, excavation and filling the interment space); installation and removal of lowering device; placement and removal of artificial grass dressing at the grave site, leveling, tamping, re-grading and seeding/sodding of grave site, levelling and re-seeding the grave as the earth settles.
Q. Can I disinter my loved one for burial elsewhere?
A. We discourage this endeavor. We believe Rest in Peace means Rest in Peace. For the disinterment of a casket is a very difficult and expensive process. Nevertheless, we will support families that make this decision for valid reasons. We do everything possible to make this type of move reverent and respectful.
Q. What is a Sexton?
A. The Sexton is the official in charge of cemetery administration and all State mandated reporting. St Mary Cemetery Sexton is Mr. Raymond E Sturz.