Burial of Fetuses and Stillborns

All life is sacred and the remains of the fetuses and stillborns should be given a reverent burial. For that purpose, the Catholic Cemeteries offers two options for the burial of stillborn remains (for live births, only option B is available with a licensed funeral director required).

Option A: The Catholic Cemeteries provides a free unmarked grave in the Holy Innocents Section. The stillborn remains may be buried in a grave with other stillborn remains, each in its own wooden containers. A private burial is performed by cemetery personnel. The exact location of the grave is not recorded. The grave can never be marked. There is to be no visitation or service at the time of the burial.

Option B: The family visits the cemetery to select and purchase a grave, which will be recorded and includes the right to conduct one of the following services; a chapel service (with twelve chairs and standing room), a service at “In God’s Hand Garden” (a tent is provided), or a graveside service (with 4-6 chairs provided with no tent), with a minister chosen and arranged by the family. A wooden burial container is required unless a casket is purchased from a funeral director. After all cemetery fees have been paid, the family can purchase a level marker, through the Memorial Department of the Catholic Cemeteries or a monument dealer of their choice, to mark the grave in accordance with the regulations of the Catholic Cemeteries. The infant’s name on the marker must match the name on the death certificate.

In God’s Hand Garden

In God’s Hand Garden, at the Holy Innocents Section of Calvary Cemetery, was created to provide a place of remembrance and prayer to all families that have experienced the loss of a child. It offers a way for bereaved families to memorialize a beloved child and is a very special place for prayer and reflection.

In God’s Hand Garden was dedicated by Archbishop of Louisville Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D. on Saturday, June 26, 2010.

Over 1,500 granite pavers surround the central feature and are available to families for inscription. Each granite paver allows for four lines with a maximum of 16 characters each. Three lines should include the child’s name and the dates of birth and death. A fourth line allows the family to place an inscription of their choice. For more information, please call (502) 451-7710.

Each month, the Catholic Cemeteries holds a prayer service to remember those children who were stillborn or who lived any length of time. Families and friends of those children are invited to attend the service on the last Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. The service is held at the Holy Innocents Section of Calvary Cemetery. The names of all children buried during the month in the Catholic Cemeteries will be mentioned during the service. Any other name, whether the child was buried in a prior month, or in another cemetery, can also be mentioned at the request of families and friends. For more information, please call (502) 451-7710.