Rules & Regulations

Cemetery Rules & Regulations

With more than 250,000 burials at Holy Sepulchre and Ascension Garden, maintaining the beautiful grounds is a top priority for our staff. Our policies have been created to ensure that the beauty of our cemeteries remains intact for many years to come, and that personal decorations do not infringe upon the space of neighboring plots, crypts and niches.

Please be aware that lot holders own the right of burial space in a cemetery while the ownership and responsibility for the general upkeep of the property remains with the cemetery. Holy Sepulchre and Ascension Garden take pride in the appearance and beauty of the grounds and therefore respectfully ask the cooperation of lot holders in abiding with a few simple rules to enhance a sense of order for the mutual benefit of all.

General Rules and Observations
The period between March 15th and April 15th is traditionally used by our staff to clean up the grounds and prepare for the busy spring season. Please refrain from placing new decorations during this period.

Holiday or special occasion decorations, such as for birthdays or anniversaries, are encouraged on our property. Such decorations are permitted seven days before and seven days after the holiday or special occasion. These decorations should follow the policies outlined here.

Holy Sepulchre Cemeteries staff will remove any decorations that violate cemetery policy.

Beautiful reminders of God’s creations…

Above Ground Decoration Policies

Ceramic Portraits
Ceramic portraits are popular adornments for both crypts and niches in our mausoleums and columbaria. The picture image is permanently fired onto a porcelain base, which family members must purchase at our office. Consider these policies when planning the placement of a portrait on the crypt or niche of a loved one:

• One photo is permitted per crypt or niche.
• The picture must be of the person(s) who is named on the crypt or niche.
• The picture must be in a traditional portrait style; showing the person from the waist up.
• The overall picture and background must be appropriate to the sacred nature of the cemetery.
• Picture must be approved by Holy Sepulchre Cemeteries.
• Colorization of a black and white photo is not allowed.

Please respect the following policies in honoring your loved ones who are entombed at either Holy Sepulchre or Ascension Garden:
• Ceramic photos, emblems and vases obtained through the office may be placed on the crypt front.
• Artificial or dried flowers are also a beautiful way to decorate the crypt of a loved one.
• Holy Sepulchre Cemeteries provide one vase per crypt in the Resurrection Garden and All Saints Mausoleum, and guests are encouraged to leave just one artificial or dried flower arrangement per vase. Please keep floral arrangements to a reasonable size (no more than 16 inches in height) so as not to infringe upon the space of neighboring crypts. Due to limited space, one vase is allowed per crypt regardless of the number of entombments.
• Wreaths are also popular for exterior crypts, and may be placed on stands or easels in a designated area from November 15th to March 15th.
• No other objects, including fresh flowers, are permitted. Any such objects will be removed and disposed of by cemetery staff.

Ceramic photos and emblems obtained through Holy Sepulchre Cemeteries may be placed on the niche fronts of the outdoor columbaria. Due to weather conditions and security concerns, flower vases are not offered. The columbaria area is beautifully landscaped with durable shrubs, colorful flowers and paved walkways that provide natural ambience for the entire area.

In-Ground Decoration Policies
Plantings are welcomed in many sections of Holy Sepulchre and Ascension Garden cemeteries. Plantings should be confined to an area not more than 12 inches out from the monument or marker, and the plants should be limited to 18 inches in height. This maintains a sense of order in relation to other plantings in the immediate area.

General Information

Upright Monument Lots
Lots with two graves: Planting is permitted along the front, not to exceed the width of the monument.

Lots with graves in front of the monument: Planting is permitted along the front and sides of the monument.

Lots with graves in front and back of the monument: Planting is permitted along the front, back and sides of the monument.

Flush and Slant Marker Sections
Planting is permitted along the front of the marker, and must not be larger in width than the marker. Flower placement must be within 12 inches from the marker, with its height not to exceed 18 inches.

Lawn Crypt Sections
In-ground flower plantings are not permitted due to the unique landscaping design. Artificial flowers may be placed in the removable vase set in the marker.

Fresh Cut Flowers
Fresh flowers may be placed on graves in metal or plastic cemetery vases (no glass). Potted plants up to 8 inches in diameter are also acceptable. Do not use glass containers due to possible safety hazards.

Because of the large number of incoming flowers at the cemeteries, funeral flowers will be removed by our staff on the day of interment. Should members of the family wish to preserve some funeral flowers, please take them with you following the service.

Winter Decorations
Natural and artificial wreaths may be placed on graves from November 15th to March 15th. They can be set on stands or easels, or may be hung on monuments using a non-metallic cord (no metal cords, as they rust and can permanently stain monuments). Also, please do not drive metal stakes into the ground to hang a wreath.

Our staff will begin spring cleanup, including removal of all wreaths, on or about March 15th. If you wish to keep a wreath, please remove it before this date.

American Flags
American flags, up to 12 inches by 18 inches, may be placed on graves year round. In respect for the flag, and in concern for the general appearance of the cemeteries, each cemetery will, at its discretion, remove any flags that have become unsightly.

Prohibited Decorations
Due to legal and safety concerns, some decorations are not allowed on cemetery grounds. Please be respectful of the following listing of prohibited decorations, to ensure the safety of our staff and visitors, and the perpetual beauty of our grounds.

• Artificial flowers
• Ceramic or glass objects
• Shepherd’s hooks
• Crosses
• Temporary grave markers or plaques
• Statues
• Toys or novelties
• Fraternal or military emblems

Permanent Plantings, Mulching and General Landscaping
The planting of shrubs, bushes and trees on lots and graves is prohibited. The cemeteries have an annual tree care plan that includes trimming, removal and replacement to ensure a garden environment throughout all sections.

Mulching with crushed stone, wood chips, shells or other hard materials is prohibited for safety reasons. These objects can be picked up and thrown by mowers, trimmers and snow blowers, and possibly cause injury to persons or damage to property.

Cemetery staff manage all mowing, trimming, fertilizing and other general lawn care, so these activities are not permitted by guests. This includes the spading or excavating of land, altering the grade, or laying or removing of sod. Reseeding of graves and lots is provided by the cemeteries at the request of the family. Edging around an in-ground flower planting should be limited to black plastic installed with a maximum of 2 inches showing above ground. Zoysia or other non-native grasses should not be planted without cemetery permission. These plants can become invasive and seriously damage the turf and landscape.

Specific to Holy Sepulchre:
Queen of Heaven, St. Francis and Lawn Crypt Sections
Due to the uniquely landscaped layout, flower plantings are not permitted in these sections. Instead, flowers may be planted in a removable green cone or other in-ground vase that can be easily moved when our staff mows the lawn.

Specific to Ascension Garden:
Flower plantings are not permitted in any cremation sections on Ascension Garden grounds.