Keeping Our Cemeteries Presentable

We present these Decoration Guidelines to better serve all families who entrust their beloved to our care and visit our cemeteries, and to maintain your Catholic cemetery in a neat and presentable manner while ensuring the safety of all visitors and staff.

The Office of Catholic Cemeteries is instituting a renewed effort to adhere to these longstanding guidelines. We recognize the importance of expressing sentiment by way of decorations in memory of your loved ones and want to be sure you are aware of the guidelines and processes that have been in effect for many years. Subsequently, any decorations that fall outside of these guidelines will be removed.

  • The cemetery grounds will be cleared of all decorations twice a year.

Spring cleanup will begin around March 15th, weather permitting, and all winter decorations will be removed at this time. In order for a family to save any decorations placed on a grave, please remove the item prior to March 15th. New decorations may be placed beginning April 1st or Easter, whichever falls first.

Fall cleanup will begin around November 5th, weather permitting. All summer decorations including florals in permanent vases, will be removed at this time. Permanent floral vases will be inverted into their ground well by the cemetery staff in order to prevent damage during the winter season. If a family member would like to save any decorations placed on a grave, please remove the item prior to November 5th. New decorations may be placed beginning November 20th.

  • There will be two additional clean off dates during grass cutting season. Weather permitting, the first clean off will take place two weeks after Easter and the other will occur two weeks after Father’s Day. Any item that is not a floral arrangement in a permanent vase will be removed at this time. Any unsightly or dated floral arrangement will also be removed.
  • Trees, shrubs, and perennials are placed throughout the cemetery by the cemetery for overall beauty and serenity of the grounds. Individual graves are not permitted to have planting of trees or shrubs, flowers, or flower beds unless prior approval has been given by cemetery management. Any such tree, shrub, or flower bed not approved by the cemetery may be removed without notice to the lot owner.
  • Cut natural flowers are permitted, provided they are placed in a container approved by cemetery management.
  • Only one type of floral decoration is permitted on a grave, crypt, or niche during grass cutting season (April 1st to November 15th) and must be in a permanent flower vase. Digging of holes for any purpose whatsoever and placing decorations in the ground is strictly forbidden.
  • Artificial or natural evergreen wreaths are permitted as grave decorations during the winter season, provided they are on a secure stand. Ground spikes, stakes, or other sharp objects used to secure such decoration are forbidden and will be removed by cemetery staff.
  • American flags are permitted and may be placed on graves no more than three business days prior to Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veteran’s Day. Most flags in our cemeteries are placed by volunteers and are removed from the cemetery in accordance with the cemetery and Government regulations.
  • All decorations on crypts and niche fronts shall be placed in the flower vases provided by cemetery management. The placement of flowers, photographs, wreaths, flags, or other articles taped or wired to crypt or niche fronts is forbidden and will be removed by cemetery management.
  • Flowers placed at the time of interment will be left for a maximum of three days. It is suggested that potted plants from the funeral not be left in the cemetery since they will be discarded. The Catholic Cemetery cannot accept responsibility for ensuring that flowers and other decorations remain in place.
  • The cemetery shall have the right to remove all objects whereby appearance and condition warrant removal and/or violate the cemetery’s rules and regulations. The cemetery will also not be liable for any flower or decoration removed, damaged, or lost by any cause.

Prohibited Items

To ensure the safety of our employees and the safety of all who visit our cemeteries, the following listed items are prohibited in our cemeteries and will be removed without notice:

  • Boxes, shells, toys
  • Metal designs of any kind to include shepherd hooks, flag holders, and bird feeders
  • Glass items or ornaments
  • Ceramic items, crockery jars and containers, and statues of any kind
  • Decorative lighting, including battery and solar operated, devotional lights, candles
  • Wood or metal cases
  • Edging and fencing materials of any kind
  • Stones, marbles, or chips of any kind
  • Evergreen blankets or coverings

Have a question about these guidelines?

Contact a Cemetery Manager

Our Diocesan Cemetery Managers are available to assist you if you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy.