Catholic cemeteries are holy places of prayer and remembrance. To preserve their sacred character admission is granted to those who conduct themselves in accordance with their Rules and Regulations and act in concert with Catholic belief, tradition and decorum.
The church honors the custom of visitors expressing their love and devotion by decorating graves where loved ones are buried. Common practice is to adorn burial spaces with flowers. Decorating, however, must be done in a way that does not create a safety hazard, impede proper maintenance, infringe on other graves, 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.
Cemetery offices maintain burial records to assist families in locating graves for the placement of floral tributes. Cemetery rules typically stipulate what decorations are acceptable. During the growing season, fresh/live flowers are encouraged; seasonal artificial flowers are permitted; all flowers must be placed in a pin-type vase. Cemetery superintendents cannot contact individual families if decorations are not in keeping with cemetery regulations. For families unable to visit graves, tributes are accepted from local florists and assistance with placement may be offered.
Nothing temporary may be attached to monuments. Cemetery personnel are sensitive to various ethnic customs associated with decoration, especially at the time of death and burial, and will try to accommodate these customs whenever possible. Federal and state laws, insurance regulations and safety concerns, impact what is permitted.
These guidelines are only effective if observed by both visitors and employees: