Cemetery Policy

Star of the Sea Church
P.0. Box 40, Canso, NS, B0H1H0

Information for families of deceased person now buried or to be buried in our cemetery.

The policy and regulations governing the cemetery are designed and intended to maximize beautification of the grounds and to enhance the overall satisfaction for families who have loved ones buried here. Most of your inquires about regulations will be handled by the Parish Office and/or the Property & Finance Committee.

1. Ashes:

As with burial of remains in a casket, every burial or remains in ashes must first be properly arranged through the Parish Office and a Death Record and Burial Permit must be presented at the time of the burial. It is vital that the parish record the exact location of every burial in our cemeteries thus no burial of remains in our cemeteries are to occur without approval of the burial location by the parish. Out of respect for the remains, ashes must be buried in a suitable container.

To answer the question of where and where not to bury ashes, the following is a quote from the Order of Christian Funerals by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops: “The ashes of the deceased should be reverently buried in a place reserved for the burial of the dead.”

2. Monuments: The installation and maintenance of head stones and other monuments is the sole responsibility of the person or family who acquires it. However, a number of regulations concerning monuments are in place and must be followed for the long term benefit of the deceased’s family and to avoid negative affects on the appearance of the cemetery grounds.

All new or moved monuments must have an appropriate gravel base of suitable thickness, related to the size of the stone. On top of that base and beneath the monument must be a suitable concrete base having proper dimensions to suit the stone. When these regulations are properly followed the likelihood of the stone moving, leaning, tipping or breaking should reduce dramatically. Normally these requirements will met when you order a stone, but the onus is on the family to verify the results for your own long term benefit. A stone that is low to the ground and has a graduated face is recommended as the stone with the longest life.

Any monuments consisting of stones held together with grout, and those made of soft stone, wood, metal, plastic, or other material having a relatively short life are not recommended to be placed in the cemetery. Those types will deteriorate relatively fast and have a negative affect on the visual appearance of the cemetery. When a family cannot afford to purchase a normal stone, it is better to get a small flat granite marker that is place at ground level, rather than a standing monument made from inferior material.

Any stakes placed on a grave to indicate the place of the monument must be done by the parish office. Monument companies must contact the Parish Office before proceeding to the cemetery.

3. Other items placed in the cemetery: The placement on graves of artificial flowers, wreaths, crosses, lights and any other such items is not permitted. Our experience has been that most people who place them do not remove them later, leaving the items to blow off the grave or monument and create an unsightly mess around the edges of the cemetery.

If you feel you must place such items on the headstones of your loved one, you do so at your own risk/loss. Please put them on the headstone to allow mowing of the grass to proceed unimpeded. In particular, please remove all such items when deterioration commences, or by November 30th.

4. Shrubs: Shrubs may only be planted at either end of a headstone in direct line with another headstone in that row. They must be at least 2' away from the stone, and only with in the grave site of that family and not on adjoining lots. To ensure satisfactory health and future appearance, all shrubs must be properly planted and fertilized, then properly cared for annually by the family who planted it. All persons who wish to plant a shrub must first contact the Parish Office who will get directions from the committee on your behalf.

5. Flowers: When flowers are planted at a grave site they must be planted next to the headstone on the side toward the grave. Any flowers planted on a grave that do not receive needed on-going care, especially watering, by the family involved, will soon provide the opposite affect from the beauty originally intended.

6. Other matters: All who visit the cemetery in vehicles are asked to please take special care not to stray off roadways when driving, turning or parking. The resulting damage to the ground or trees is usually expensive to repair and in turn reduces the limited amount of funds available for normal maintenance. Moreover, the presence of graves is not always visible and accidents or injury may result when driving over previously excavated ground.

7. Complaints: Each plot in our cemeteries are owned by the Parish, not the family therefore, it is necessary that the parish deal with any complaints directly. As owner of the land it is up to us to report any vandalism to the proper authorities.

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