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Frequently Asked Questions

All cemeteries and burial places are meant to be places of reverence. In a unique way, the Catholic Church sets aside in perpetuity and solemnly blesses or "consecrates" the land of Catholic cemeteries and mausoleums. A Catholic cemetery is considered an extension of the parish church, and like a parish church, is solemnly blessed or "consecrated" by the Bishop. A Catholic cemetery is to be a prayerful place, a permanent memorial for those who have died and a reliquary of saints.
Secular cemeteries may permit individual religious services at the time of burial. A unique feature of Catholic cemeteries is that, in addition to the graveside service at burial, Mass is offered weekly for those buried in the Catholic cemeteries of the Diocese. In addition, Mass is celebrated at most Catholic cemeteries on Memorial Day and on Cemetery Sunday (the first Sunday in November) in conjunction with the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls. The Bishop and some of the priests closely associated with the Catholic Cemeteries Association are the celebrants of these special Masses. All are invited to participate in these liturgies.
Family members who may not be Catholic, e.g. spouses, children, parents, can be buried in Catholic cemeteries in order to maintain family unity even in death.
Reconciliation is the hope of the Church even in death. A former, inactive or non-practicing Catholic may be buried in a Catholic cemetery as long as there is no public scandal or controversy involved.
The Catholic Cemeteries Association has always had expert record keeping. Records dating back more than 150 years are kept at the cemetery offices and are updated daily.
The Catholic Cemeteries Association never refuses a burial for lack of funds. It has been a long-standing policy of the Church to bury those with no money that die. The Callistian Guild, named for Saint Callistus, patron of Catholic cemeteries, covers some of these expenses.
The Catholic Church sets aside in perpetuity and solemnly blesses or “consecrates” the land of Catholic cemeteries and mausoleums. To ensure the future maintenance and beautification of the cemeteries, the Catholic Cemeteries Association charges a one-time charge on each place of interment, and option right. These funds then are deposited into a strict fund with very strict guidelines regarding the use of these funds. This ensures every Catholic cemetery and mausoleum are cared for in a reverent and holy manner for generations to come.
For over 160 years the Catholic Cemeteries Association has served the Catholic community of the greater Cleveland area. Throughout this history the Association has grown in size to its present day configuration of 18 cemeteries across 7 counties. With this as background, each cemetery had to comply with the zoning regulations of its township or municipality. As a result, some of the Association’s cemeteries offered graves accommodating upright memorials while others - due to zoning regulations – offered only flush marker graves. Graves that could accommodate an upright memorial require more upkeep and maintenance over the generations that follow that memorial’s placement. Again, this involves labor, equipment, and materials. As such, the Association assessed a premium price for these graves. As zoning regulations have changed over the past decade, the CCA has had to adapt as well. Families in those cemeteries previously restricted to flush memorials could place larger upright memorials under the new zoning regulations. To allow families to do this, and in consideration of the increased upkeep and maintenance required for future generations, the CCA established the Memorial Option as a way to upgrade the flush marker grave to a level on par with a premium monument grave in other Association cemeteries.
YES. In May 1963, the Vatican's Holy Office (now the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith) lifted the prohibition forbidding Catholics to choose cremation. This permission was incorporated into the revised Code of Canon Law of 1983 (Canon #1176), as well as into the Order of Christian Funerals. It, then became standard practice to celebrate the funeral liturgies with the body and then take the body to the crematorium. Most recently the bishops of the United States and the Holy See have authorized the celebration of a Catholic funeral liturgy with the cremated remains when the body is cremated before the funeral.