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 an additional right of burial, a traditional grave can accommodate two remains, or even three in Calvary Cemetery Section 37 and higher, as long as no more than one traditional burial takes place in the grave.
Interment in a grave continues to be the most widely used form of burial. When a traditional grave is sold, ownership of the land remains with the Catholic Cemeteries. The purchaser, through the Burial Rights Agreement, is only given an exclusive and permanent right of use of the grave for the burial of human remains.
Each grave sold allows for a specific type of memorial for aesthetic, operational and maintenance reasons. When a family purchases a grave, the only type of memorial that can be erected is the one reflected in the Burial Rights Agreement. Regardless of the type of memorial privilege you choose, the actual monument or marker is not included in the purchase price of the grave space. The type of memorial allowed in a traditional grave determines the decoration and planting rules that apply to that specific grave. Below are the different categories of traditional graves available.