Policies and Committees
The information below represents a condensed version of the policies and regulations that cover the operations of St. Ninian’s Cemetery. The policies and regulations governing the Cemetery are intended to maximize beautification of the grounds and to enhance the overall satisfaction for families who have loved ones buried there. The full version of our policies, and more information on our committees, can be found at the bottom of this page.
For various reasons, especially safety factors and grounds damage, burials in the cemetery are not permitted from November 1st until weather and ground conditions permit in May. During that period, normal grave side prayers are said in the Parish Vault Chapel, and every family should consider their loved one to be at their final resting place.
Burial of remains will occur as early as possible at some point later, and it is not intended that relatives be present. Families are welcome to visit the site after internment is complete.
As with burial of remains in a casket, every burial of remains in ashes must first be properly arranged through the Parish Office. It is vital that the parish record the exact location of every burial in our cemetery, whether the remains are in a casket or are ashes in a container, thus no burials of remains in St. Ninian’s Cemetery are to occur without approval of the burial location by the parish. The Cemetery Caretaker must assist with all burials of ashes.
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.”
The installation and maintenance of headstones 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. Those regulations, some of which go back to 1999, are intended to significantly benefit the deceased’s family over the long term 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 those regulations are properly followed the likelihood of the stone moving, leaning, tipping or breaking should reduce dramatically, compared to stones installed prior to these regulations being implemented. Normally those requirements will happen automatically when you order a stone, but the onus is on the family to verify the results for your own long term benefit.
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 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 placed at ground level, rather than a standing monument made from inferior material.
Other Items Placed in The Cemetery
We discourage the placement in the cemetery of artificial flowers, wreaths, crosses and any other such items. Our experience has been that most of the 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 grave of your loved one, 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.
Trees and Shrubs
The Cemetery Trees and Shrubs Committee is responsible for all matters involving trees and shrubs in the cemetery. No trees are to be planted there without approval of that committee. During the past 10 years that committee has planted several trees each fall, based on cash donations received for that specific purpose in response to invitations published in the parish bulletin during each September/October. The committee decides annually about whether or not to invite donations for additional tree planting.
In any year, parishioners or others may donate specific trees of nursery stock for planting, provided each one meets the requirements for proper quality, suitable species and appropriate placement. In all cases, the planting work must be handled by the committee.
Shrubs may only be planted at either end of a headstone in a direct line with other headstones in that row. They must be at least 2′ away from the stone, and only within 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 tree or a shrub must first contact the Parish Manager who will get directions from the committee on your behalf.
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.
All who visit St. Ninian’s 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 grounds 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.