Traditionally, a burial service involves a visitation and a funeral service followed by the cemetery service. You have the option of having the casket interred (earth burial) or it may be entombed in a crypt inside a mausoleum (above ground burial). Decisions need to be made on whether the body is to be embalmed (the funeral director will advise you), what kind of casket to use, whether to have a burial vault (outer container), what cemetery to use and what to put on the monument.
What is opening and closing and why is it so expensive?
Opening and closing fees can include up to and beyond 50 separate services provided by the cemetery. Typically, the opening and closing fee include administration and permanent record keeping (determining ownership, obtaining permission, the completion of other documentation which may be required, entering the interment particulars in the interment register and maintaining all legal files), opening and closing the grave (locating the grave and laying out the boundaries, excavating and filling the interment space), installation and removal of the lowering device, the placement and removal of artificial grass dressing and coco-matting at the grave site, leveling, tamping, re-grading and sodding the grave site and leveling and re-sodding the grave if the earth settles.
Can we dig our own grave to avoid the charge for opening and closing?
The actual opening and closing of the grave is just one of many components of the opening and closing fee. Due to safety and liability issues which arise around the use of machinery on cemetery property and the protection of other gravesites, the actual opening and closing of the grave is conducted by cemetery grounds personnel only.
Why is having a place to visit so important?
To remember and to be remembered are natural human needs. A permanent memorial in a cemetery provides a focal point for remembrance and memorializing the deceased along with appropriate record keeping. Although families may not visit cemeteries as they did in the past, they do receive great peace of mind knowing that their loved one is secured in a cemetery with a legacy kept.
In a hundred years will this cemetery still be there?
We think of cemetery lands as being in perpetuity. There are cemeteries throughout the world that have been in existence for hundreds of years.
Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried?
No. Embalming is a choice which depends on many factors, like if there is to be an open casket viewing of the body or if there is to be an extended time between death and interment. Public health laws may require embalming if the body is going to be transported by air or rail to another province or country.
What are burial vaults and grave liners?
These are the outside containers into which the casket is placed. Burial vaults are designed to protect the casket and delay the onset of the grave's environmental elements. Vaults are constructed of a variety or combination of materials including concrete, stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, bronze, plastic or fiberglass.