Ceremony At the Cemetery - FAQ
In order for the cemetery to perform its duties and fulfill it s mission, it is important that it have sufficient time to prepare and coordinate all activities with all parties. Service times must be requested and confirmed by phone or in person no less than 24 hours in advance. Service times will be scheduled on a first come first served basis. Effort will be made to accommodate and coordinate the desires of each family.
How much advance notice does the cemetery need?
Service times must be requested 24 hours in advance. Service times will be scheduled on a first come first served basis. Effort will be made to accommodate and coordinate the desires of each family.
When must the person making arrangements come to the cemetery office to finalized the cemetery arrangements and pay any applicable fees?
Prior to the day of the service, payment of applicable fees, verification of interment rights, interment documentation, verification of the interment site, and proper authorizations must be obtained from the authorized party. If payments are necessary, the cemetery accepts the usual forms of payment plus Visa and Master Card. In certain circumstances the cemetery may be able to accept insurance assignments as well.
Who prepares the gravesite?
The cemetery will do all excavation, ground/ crypt preparation, and installation of vaults* purchased through the cemetery.
If a third party burial vault is being used, when must it be delivered to the cemetery?
All vaults sold and supplied by a third party vendor such as a funeral home must be delivered to the cemetery by 3:00 PM the previous day.
Will the cemetery help place the casket?
Normally transporting the casket from the funeral coach to the site is done by the pallbearers. The cemetery typically makes a special cart available when the site is a substantial distance from the roadway. If given 24 hours advance notice, the Cemetery will provide up to four employees to assist with casket placement for an additional charge on weekdays. The assistance of at least two non-cemetery staff is required. If needed, this must be coordinated with the cemetery's family service counselor and the funeral home staff.
Can the casket be placed in advance?
Caskets can be placed over a gravesite or in the chapel 15 minutes prior to the service time but no earlier. Allowance will be made within reason subject to available personnel for services that can begin earlier than scheduled.
Is viewing allowed at the cemetery?
An authorization signed by all immediate family members present and the funeral director is required before a casket can be opened on the cemetery grounds. Notification must be given to the cemetery in advance of arrival if this is desired. No casket can be opened over the gravesite. If items must be placed in or removed from a casket, this must be done while the casket is in the funeral coach.
Where do we park for the ceremony?
Vehicles will be arranged at the entrance of the cemetery for ceremonies held only at the cemetery. 15 minutes prior to the scheduled service, a cemetery representative will arrive at the entrance to help align the vehicles so that the immediate family is placed directly behind the hearse. Those attending will be led in procession to the ceremony location five minutes prior to the scheduled time. The hearse may proceed to the ceremony site prior to the service time if advance placement is planned. Funerals arriving in procession will be led to the ceremony site upon arrival. All vehicles should remain on the pavement at all times.
Who places the floral arrangements at the gravesite?
Floral arrangements to be left at the gravesite are normally brought by the funeral director or other attendees. The cemetery is not responsible for the placement of floral arrangements and is not responsible for the condition or security of anything left at a gravesite.
What happens to the arrangements and items left at the gravesite?
All floral arrangements and other items left at the gravesite, other than what is in a cemetery approved vase, will be removed by cemetery personnel, usually 3 days following the interment depending on weather and workload.
How much time is allotted for the committal ceremony at the cemetery?
Though there is no official time limit for committal ceremonies, the typical ceremony and visit at the cemetery is thirty minutes or less. The cemetery bases its scheduling of personnel, equipment, and routes on this amount of time. In order to meet the needs of all families, cemetery personnel may need to begin closing procedures even though family and friends may still be present. An attempt will be made to give the immediate family advance notice if this is necessary. Additional charges my be assessed for services exceeding 30 minutes.
Can a full funeral service be conducted using cemetery facilities?
Yes. The Cemetery now offers the use of the Chapel of Grace mausoleum chapel at no additional charge for usage lasting less than 30 minutes.
Can we watch the closing procedure?
Yes. Since heavy equipment is used, caution is advised so the family will be asked to remain at a safe distance.
What about health emergencies or car trouble?
A cemetery representative will be available to assist the family and the funeral director as needed.
What else does the cemetery do?
The cemetery normally provides a tent, 8 chairs, carpeting, a sign, and a lowering device for ceremonies at the gravesite. The cemetery will provide 24 chairs and a podium for ceremonies held in the cemetery’s wheelchair accessible chapel. Use of the chapel is available upon request subject to availability. Additional equipment may be available at additional charge.
What happens if the weather is bad or dangerous?
The cemetery will allow the safe shelter of the chapel to be used for the ceremony if not currently in use. The Superintendent may exercise authority in any case where the safety of guests and employees is a concern.
What else do we need to know?
All MMG Rules and Regulations in effect at the time shall be observed. The cemetery will do everything possible to accommodate the needs of each family it serves and provide the best possible atmosphere for a solemn event. The cemetery is not responsible for circumstances beyond its control.
*Third party vault vendors are responsible for installing vaults purchased through them but have the option to contract with the Cemetery for this process.