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Frequently Asked Questions
 
 
Who can be buried in a Catholic Cemetery? Go to top
Catholic cemeteries have a long tradition of dedicated service to the Catholic community including non-Catholics spouses, children, parents and other relatives. Christians with a connection to the Catholic Community may also be buried in the Catholic Cemeteries.
 
Why should Catholics be buried in a Catholic Cemetery? Go to top
It is only natural that those who share the same faith in life will wish to carry on that sense of community in death. When it comes to the issue of death, the sensibilities and needs of Catholics are unique and call for certain practices in the handling and care of the remains of the deceased. Therefore, in the blessed grounds of a Catholic cemetery there are safeguards – mandated by the Church’s Canon Law – which guarantee permanence, reverence and respect for the remains of the deceased.
 
Should I choose a crypt or a grave? Go to top
Personal preference and/or family tradition influence choices in this regard. Above ground entombment in a crypt building appeals to many people, including those who aren’t comfortable with traditional below ground burial. Indoor mausoleum crypts are conducive to visitation in inclement weather.
 
Are there advantages to buying burial space before my family actually needs it? Go to top
Yes. By making arrangements in advance, Catholic families can avoid confusion at the time of bereavement and assure themselves of burial and arrangements in the location they desire, and at a price they wish to pay. You will find our non-commissioned counselors knowledgeable and sensitive to your needs.
 
Should I buy space for the entire family? Go to top
It has been our experience that generally, a husband and wife buy space for themselves. Many families decide to purchase adjoining plots to form a family group. Family plots are also available and can accommodate larger headstones. Crypts for full size caskets and niches for cremated remains may be purchased individually or in family groups. Private rooms in All Saints Mausoleum are available that can accommodate many family members. “Private Estates”, distinctively designed personal, private family mausoleums, may also be purchased.
 
Do I have to pay a monthly maintenance fee? Go to top
No. Holy Cross is an endowment care cemetery. A one-time endowment care fee is charged at the time you purchase a grave, crypt or niche. The money is placed in a special trust fund, the proceeds of which are used to cover future maintenance costs throughout the cemetery.
 
How do I pay for my burial arrangements? Go to top
There are a variety of payment options and terms designed to give you the flexibility to remain within your personal budget. Cash, check, MasterCard and Visa are honored for your convenience. Terms may be arranged with a down payment made at the time of a pre-need purchase, followed by interest free monthly payments. At the time of death, the burial arrangements are to be paid in full. Special terms are available for persons in need.
 
If I move after purchasing, can I get a refund? Go to top
Yes. Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery will refund the amount you prepaid, minus a nominal cancellation fee.
 
What kind of monument can I purchase? Go to top
Monuments conform to the regulations that govern different areas of the cemetery. These regulations are not arbitrary, but are designed to both enhance the care and overall beauty and character of each section of the cemetery. Memorial benches are available in various sections in the cemetery.
 
Is there any chance my grave will be re-sold after a specified number of years? Go to top
No. The purchaser has an exclusive and permanent right of use through an easement conveyed by Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery. This right passes to direct blood heirs immediately after the death of the recorded owner, although the spouse has the first right of burial. This applies to all graves, crypts and niches in the cemetery. Written permission of the heirs-at-law may be required for burial. It is advisable to secure permission in advance and place it on file in the cemetery office to prevent unnecessary stress a the time when permission is essential.
 
What is cremation? Go to top
Cremation is the reduction of the body of a deceased person to recoverable bone fragments through a process that combines intense heat and evaporation. After cooling, the fragments are pulverized. These fragments usually weigh 4 to 10 pounds.
 
What is the proper name for these remains? Go to top
What are commonly called ashes are not ash, but bone fragments. The proper terminology of the fragments is “cremated remains of the body”.
 
Is it necessary to get permission from my priest in order to be cremated? Go to top
No, it is not a requirement but it may be helpful to discuss your questions and decisions with your priest or parish counselor.
 
Do Catholic Cemeteries accept cremated remains? Go to top
Yes, in 1963 the Catholic Church eliminated its prohibition against cremation. Although cremation represents a means of disposition preferred by many, it is not the “final disposition” – burial is. Human cremated remains are still the body of the deceased – just in a different form. Thus, cremated remains should be treated with the same respect as the “full” body is treated prior to cremation. They should be buried in a cemetery. Honoring and respecting the deceased by keeping their remains safe, undisturbed, and memorialized is a time honored tradition. It is important to everyone to be remembered. It is also important for family members and future generations to visit these graves – even if only once. We can tell that from the large numbers of people who visit the cemetery each year doing their family genealogy!
 
Does the cemetery have copies of the death certificates? Go to top
No the document kept on file at the cemetery is called a “permit for disposition”. It is issued by the Health Department Registrar in the county in which the deceased expired. California State Law requires that a properly executed death certificate be presented to the Health Department Registrar who subsequently issues the “permit for disposition”. This document must accompany the deceased to their final destination. Cemeteries cannot initiate burial without this permit and must keep it permanently on file (California Health & Safety Code 10376.8, 10376 & 10378). Actual death certificates may be obtained from the registrar in the county in which the death occurred.
 
If I’m divorced and remarried can I be buried in a Catholic Cemetery? Go to top
Yes. For more information, or if you have additional questions, please contact your parish priest.
 
Can Someone Who Committed Suicide be Buried in a Catholic Cemetery? Go to top
Yes. It is recognized that those who die from the act of suicide deserve understanding and compassion. The deceased may have been suffering from a serious psychological instability, or overwhelming fear and confusion. Therefore, the church offers funeral and burial rites for those who may have died as a result of suicide. The American edition of the Catholic ritual includes prayers for this specific situation. These prayers evoke forgiveness for the departed and consolation to their family.