Calvary Cemetery Frequently Asked Questions

Helping you in your time of need

Pre-Need FAQ’s

In most cases it is your decision, however, your survivors may decide to have you cremated, generally due to special family circumstances, but rarely against your will.

Writing a clear will and documents designed to help plan and prepare your funeral will serve to outline your wishes.

Out of respect for loved ones, try to honor the wishes of the deceased concerning funeral services provided they are in keeping with Church practice. Yet, consider too the therapeutic value to the family of celebrating the funeral liturgy with the body present.  

Contact our Director, Patrick Spears, and make an appointment to discover your best options.

Yes; it is much more cost-effective.  Planning in advance saves a lot of money and prevents undue stress.

Unfortunately at this time we don’t offer payment plan options.  

Yes, Patrick Spears, Director will take care of everything to ensure your process is the best possible.  

If it is affordable, it is the most cost-effective, and it guarantees a spot next to your loved ones, which might not be available in the future.  

No- we do an annual $30.00 fee, called, Perpetual Care.

 At-Need FAQ’s

Contact your funeral home of choice and our Director to review all options.

We treat this situation just like any other burial, with respect and following your wishes.

It is a matter of personal preference; crypts are already complete and ready, ground plots require more preparation such as choosing a headstone, material, double or single vault, etc.  

No; when someone purchases a burial plot, they are basically paying for the right of interment into that space.  This means that they own the vault in the ground, and the actual headstone.

It would pass to the immediate next of kin.  

We don’t buy back any plots.  

We regulate height restrictions and must pre-approve all headstones or gravesites to maintain the continuity of our grounds.

We allow flowers and minimal items on the actual grave.

We always aim to accommodate our guests in the best way possible, and provide many options for your choosing.

 Cremation FAQ’s

Yes,  The Church definitely prefers burial of the body.  However, since 1963 cremation has been permitted, although the cremated remains were not allowed to be present during the funeral mass.  In 1997 the Vatican gave the bishops of the United States permission to allow the celebration of the funeral mass with the cremated remains present, provided the local bishop permits it. Our Bishop does permit this.

No, but it is a good idea to discuss your reasons with your pastor.

When cremation follows the funeral liturgy, embalming is usually necessary.  When cremation is to follow soon after death, embalming is not necessary.  Each state has it own regulations in this matter, but generally the rule is that a deceased human body that is not buried or cremated within 24 or 48 hours is to be embalmed.

The Church strongly prefers that cremation take place after the full funeral liturgy with the body. The presence of the body most clearly brings to mind the life and death of the person and better expresses the values that the Church affirms in its rites.

From The Order of Christian Funerals, Canon 1176.3: This is the body once washed in Baptism, anointed with the oil of salvation, and fed with the Bread of Life.  This is the body whose hands clothed the poor and embraced the sorrowing…Thus, the Church’s reverence and care for the body grows out of a reverence and concern for the person whom the Church now commends to the care of God…However when circumstances prevent the presence of the body at the funeral liturgy…it is appropriate that the cremated remains of the body be present for the full course of the funeral rites, including the Vigil for the Deceased, the Funeral Liturgy, and the Rite of Committal.  The Funeral liturgy should always be celebrated in a church or chapel.

No, it is not necessary to purchase a casket for cremation.  The only requirement is a simple container in which the body can be transported and placed in the cremation chamber.  If you choose to have the body present for Mass, with cremation to follow, rental is an option.  Many funeral directors offer regular caskets for rent, as well as the special cremation or shell caskets which you may purchase.

Careful Handling and Proper Interment of Cremated Remains

Appropriate, worthy containers such as classic urns are proper for the cremated remains.  At the present time the U. S. Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy has only determined improper containers.

Transportation of cremated remains is a matter of personal choice.  Individuals personally carrying a deceased person’s ashes will often have the responsibility of packing and transporting the urn.  Using the principle of respect for the body, you may wrap the container of cremated remains with the possibility of sending it as accompanying baggage or take it along as carry-on luggage.  Ask the airline office or the state Department of Public Health for specific information about your region of travel before preparing the cremated remains for transport by air where no legal regulations exist regarding transport by air.  

Yes. Respectful final disposition of cremated remains involves interment or entombment.  Burial options include a family grave in a cemetery marked with a traditional memorial stone or an urn garden, a special section in a cemetery with small, pre-dug graves for urns.

The entombment of the cremated remains is a columbarium.  It is an arrangement of niches, either in a mausoleum, a room or wall into which an urn or other worthy vessel is placed for permanent memorial. Calvary Cemetery now has two special sections (columbarium) for Cremations, one in the Msgr. W. J. Teurlings Mausoleum and our newest in the St. Catherine section in front of the Msgr. W. J. Teurlings Mausoleum on Teurlings Drive.

No. The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires. (Order of Christian Funerals, Appendix II #417)  Burial at sea of cremated remains differs from scattering.  An appropriate and worthy container, heavy enough to be sent to its final resting place, may be dropped into the sea. (See Order of Christian Funerals, #406.4) Please consult your funeral director for environmental regulations.

The principle of respect for the cremated remains of a deceased Christian embraces the deeper belief in the individuality of each baptized person before God.  Throughout history, the mingling of remains has never been an accepted practice, except in extraordinary circumstances.

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