Rules and Regulations

Memorialization

All local monument dealers are provided current copies of Diocese of Metuchen Catholic Cemeteries Regulations. Death date, season of the year, and family's first contact with a monument dealer impact when a memorial can be placed. Prior to the manufacture of any memorial, monument companies must receive written cemetery approval for material, design, size and any inscription or artwork. Every memorial must include a cross, the Catholic symbol of redemption. All memorial work must meet established cemetery standards.

The Rules and Regulations define who has the authority or legal right to place or alter a memorial. Any alterations made to memorials require prior approval and authorization from the appropriate cemetery office. Foundation and permit fees are not included in the cost of burial sites and are collected by cemetery management prior to acceptance or alterations of memorials.

Monuments and memorials remain the property and responsibility of the purchaser. The cemetery must always have a current contact name and address as services such as re-sealing granite/marble components may be required. Because of the growing threat from the West Nile Virus, no standing water is permitted in any memorial or device in either mausoleums or chapels.

Since glass niches expose urns to view, they are considered a form of memorialization; pre-approval of all urns to be placed behind glass front niches is required.

Cemetery Decorations

Monuments
With the exception of the area already occupied by an additional marker, annuals may be planted during the growing season in beds twelve (12") inches deep and the length of the monument in front of upright monuments or in urns that are part of the monument bases. Flowers may not exceed fifteen (15") inches in height. Seasonal artificial flowers are permitted in a cemetery-provided vase placed in the same monument planting area.

Flush Memorials
Annuals may be planted during the growing season in beds twelve inches (12") deep and the length of the memorials. A single potted plant of live flowers six inches (6") maximum is permitted on top of a flush memorial during the growing season. Flowers may be placed in cemetery-provided and installed vases to honor anniversaries and holidays.

Mausoleum
Floral tributes of artificial silk may be placed in bronze vases affixed to interior or exterior crypt or niche fronts.  Thus only silk flowers and small, seasonally appropriate ribbon may be placed inside the vases. No other decoration or picture is permitted. Any item found to be outside the rules and regulations will be removed by the cemetery staff and retained for a given period of time to allow families to collect items. Clean-up of the cemetery is conducted four times per year and will include the disposal of items outside those allowed. Areas outside each mausoleum are landscaped by management and the integrity of the landscape may not be disturbed with any type of decoration, ornamentation or planting.

Christmas
One flush Christmas blanket of natural pine, in a size not to exceed the width of the individual marker and no more than two feet in length, is permitted from Thanksgiving weekend until January 15th. Christmas blankets, both large and medium, are available for purchase from the cemetery office. Advance orders may be placed after the October mailing. Cemetery staff will both place and remove these items at the appropriate times. Families may also purchase these items from other sources.

After general fall clean-up, seasonal artificial floral tributes in cemetery-provided vases may be placed at appropriate times. No shrubbery or perennials may be planted; nothing temporary may be attached or affixed to monuments.

Items which do not comply with regulations or become unsightly will be removed at the discretion of cemetery management.

Placement of Floral Tributes
We honor the tradition of visitors expressing their love and devotion by decorating graves, crypts or niches where loved ones are interred. Our practice is to adorn interment spaces with flowers. Decorating, however, must be done in a way that does not create a safety hazard, impede proper maintenance, infringe on other interment spaces, diminish the Catholic character of the cemetery or offend others.

For these reasons, cemeteries adopt regulations for the common good. To be effective, it is sometimes necessary to take steps to uniformly enforce the regulations. For example, standing water in cemetery vases/pots can no longer be permitted because of the potential mosquito breeding ground associated with the West Nile Virus.

Landscape Management

Management seeks to maintain the diocesan cemeteries in a fashion that reflects the Church's teachings about the dignity of every human person. The Diocese of Metuchen maintains a Cemetery Trust Fund for this purpose.  This endowment fund enables maintenance of the diocesan cemeteries to a uniform standard. Cemetery responsibilities include the regular mowing of grass, trimming around monuments and memorials, fertilization and weed control.

The fund also enables the cemetery to seed new graves, repair older graves, level flush memorials, and repair monument foundations as required. For reasons of uniform beauty as well as safety and insurance concerns, only employees may cut, fertilize and add chemicals to the landscape. In addition, no alteration or enhancement of graves with landscape material of any kind is permitted.

Shrubbery
No cemetery maintenance items may be used for individual grave decorations. Management cannot control growth and assure pruning or removal when shrubbery grows too large. Therefore, shrubbery is not permitted. 

American Flags

American flags are flown daily in designated areas over both diocesan cemeteries to honor the military service of all veterans. Smaller flags are permitted on individual graves from one week before through one week after both Memorial and Veteran's Days. All flags must be presentable and will be removed and disposed of according to the norms of the Quartermaster General of the United States Army. Shaft-type veteran and fraternal organization emblems are not permitted as flag holders.

Any questions about these and other regulations may be addressed with the cemetery office.