Except for Catholic Cemeteries Package Plans where the memorial is included in the selection price, memorials are normally purchased from a memorialist chosen by the lot holder. If the memorial is an above ground monument, the cemetery pours the foundation and the charge for that is part of your bill from the memorial dealer. The cemetery controls foundations because it must be responsible for that foundation for all future years. The memorial dealer places the monument after the foundation is completed.
Lawn Level Marker
If a lawn level marker is purchased, no foundation is necessary, and the memorial dealer simply delivers the marker to the cemetery. The cemetery setting fee is normally included in the price you pay to the dealer for the marker.
None of our Cemeteries Solicit Families for the Purchase of Memorials.
If you are contacted by someone claiming he handled memorial purchases for one of our cemeteries, you would be right to be suspicious and avoid doing business with them.
Orders From Companies Selling Over the Internet
It is possible to purchase lawn level markers on the internet. In our experience the processing of these markers requires additional levels of involvement by our supervisory, office and field staff as compared to markers ordered from local companies. As a result, an internet marker handling fee is required in addition to the marker service fee whenever the marker is ordered from an online company.
Should You Place A Marker Or Monument?
Whichever is applicable to your lot - you should know that the cemetery has set up procedures for the protection of the lot holder, memorial dealer and the cemetery.
On every memorial ordered an application form, signed by the purchaser, must be submitted by the memorial dealer to the cemetery, describing the memorial exactly. At the time the memorial is completed and delivered, it is inspected by cemetery personnel to be certain that it meets the application description.
There are Rules and Regulations Governing all Memorials
The regulations are too extensive to print here but they cover matters like size, material, finish, and location, and all local memorial dealers are familiar with them. They are designed to provide you with a memorial that will give you permanent satisfaction. Cemetery personnel will be happy to answer any questions you may have on rules and regulations and the reasons for them.
The Regulations are Reasonably Flexible
There are very few universal bans or universal requirements. The use of marble outside in our climate is a universal ban; the use of granite is practically a universal requirement. Certain other materials may be permitted in unusual situations but these are not encouraged.
We Discourage Attachments to Memorials
They are more often a problem than a benefit no matter how nice they may look initially. This includes metals or composition products. They are different materials than granite, and expand and contract at different rates which can cause cracking unless expensive adjustments are made. They can cause staining of the memorial in the event of oxidation, and can be broken off, pried out, vandalized or stolen.
We Strongly Discourage the Use of Color Additives
They are not permitted unless the memorial dealer provides you with a specific time guarantee on the memorial application, on how long it will last. They may look attractive but they are only an additive and we want you to know that. They are sometimes a substitute for better workmanship and these additives will not last indefinitely.
Erecting a Monument with a Base
We strongly encourage that all or most of the base be in what is called 'rock finish', which is also generally less expensive than other finishes. The reason is that there is a great amount of mechanized maintenance in cemeteries, often in close proximity to a monument. If a monument is accidentally struck by equipment, whether cemetery or vendor equipment, rock finish shows no damage whereas other finishes do. The heart of the monument is, after all, in the upper or die stone. This is a realistic recommendation born of experience.
Memorials are Private Property Owned by Each Individual
Memorials are not insured by the cemetery against damage, although they can be insured under an individual's policy. In the case of vandalism, which is an unfortunate fact of life in our society, the cemetery will try to re-erect toppled stonework for the lot holder, but cannot assume responsibility for damage to the stonework.
Vandalism is more of a problem for families erecting monuments than for families placing markers. If your monument is a two piece monument, as most are, the top can be pushed off the base. Ask your memorial dealer about using epoxies developed by monument manufacturers to bond together the parts of the monument. They may cost slightly more than the simpler setting compounds of the past, but they provide more security against vandalism damage.
Lot Holders Who Have Purchased a Memorial
Sometimes placement is controlled by seasonal conditions. In the winter, the ground is frozen, and it is impossible to place memorials properly. Thus memorials ordered late in the year might not be placed until the following spring, and might be somewhat delayed even then because of the backlog of memorials ordered during the winter. Three big visiting days in the spring are Easter, Mothers Day and Memorial Day. Placement by Easter is uncertain since the date is changeable. Except for last minute receipt of memorial applications, the cemetery makes an effort to have all memorials in place by Mothers Day and on later orders, by Memorial Day. Under general conditions, a lot holder can expect a marker to be placed within ten days of delivery. The foundations for monuments will normally be poured as soon as possible after the receipt of the approved application from the memorial dealer, depending on weather conditions and interment volume.
Every Memorial Is a Remembrance of Two Things
First, it is a remembrance of a person very important to those who are placing the memorial. Second, it is a remembrance of the faith and beliefs that person lived by and which brought that person to a Catholic cemetery for his place of burial. For these reasons, cemetery regulations require that text or symbols on every memorial be done with dignity and reverence, befitting both to the person and to the religious values that person believed in.
Memorials are For the Living as Much as For the Dead
They help the living honor those who were dear to them, and they tell a message of love and of faith to all of the thousands who visit our cemeteries.
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