The purchaser of a grave, crypt or niche owns no interest in real estate by virtue of such purchase. Graves, crypts and niches are conveyed by an Easement which gives the purchaser, not direct ownership, but an exclusive and permanent right of use. Upon the death of the owner of the burial rights, ownership rights automatically descend to direct blood descendants equally unless the rights are specifically assigned to a particular person. The spouse of the owner of the burial rights always has a dower right of burial ahead of other descendants and heirs.
A grave is a space of ground in the cemetery used, or intended to be used, for the burial of the remains of one person. By purchasing a second right of burial, a full size grave can accommodate up to two remains; as long as one or both are cremated remains. Cremation graves allow for one in-ground burial of cremated remains, unless specified to allow for a second burial. Full-size graves and cremation graves have the same planting and decoration restrictions.
Interment in a grave remains the most widely used form of burial. The future general care of all graves is included in the purchase price.
Every grave sold by the Catholic Cemeteries allows for a specific type of memorial for aesthetic, operational and maintenance reasons. When a family purchases a lot, the only type of memorial that can be erected is the one reflected in the Burial Rights Agreement. For details on the following memorial privileges see the section Memorialization Options.
- Level Marker Privilege Graves
- Bevel Marker Privilege Graves
- Slant Marker Privilege Graves
- Monument Privilege Graves
- Estate Lots: Estate lots must consist of at least two graves and allow for some landscaping. Estate lots consisting of six or more graves can use a one central monument and individual level or bevel markers (for details on these markers see the section “Memorialization Options”.
- Mausoleum Lots: Special lots can be purchased to accommodate lawn crypts or walk-in buildings. Plans, specifications, material and location in the lot of such crypt or building shall be subject to the approval of the cemetery management. Private mausoleums or structures erected by lot owners require an endowment to maintain the building or structure in the future. The size of the endowment is determined by the management of the Catholic Cemeteries. When an interment is made in a private mausoleum, the crypts shall be properly sealed as directed by the cemetery management. The management shall be in possession of a key to any family mausoleum.
Several community mausoleums in Calvary Cemetery provide single and double crypts to families. The crypt fronts are owned by the Catholic Cemeteries and the families only have the right to inscribe the name of the deceased, full birth and death dates, and an extra line for further identification, such as relationship (e.g. “beloved son”) or marriage date.
Several columbariums in Calvary Cemetery provide single and double niches to families. The niche fronts are owned by the Catholic Cemeteries and the families only have the right to inscribe the name of the deceased and the years of birth and death.