St. Francis is the green burial section at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery with 120 grave spaces. Green burial is an environmentally sensitive burial option that allows for the natural decomposition of the body that requires the use of sustainable, natural products for caskets such as wood, bamboo, and sea grass. The practice eliminates or drastically reduces the use of non-natural products such as chemically based embalming fluids, steel, copper, bronze and concrete typically used in traditional in-ground burials.
Rather than maintaining a traditional setting with grass, paths and roads, the area will be re-forested as interments are made. Ultimately, the section will become a forested area that is maintained only by removal of non-native plant species. There will also be a maintained entry path that will be removed as interments are made. The St. Francis area will not offer traditional visitation to each grave but will instead offer an area for memorialization, reflection and prayer that overlooks the forest.
Catholic funeral rites and green burial: While some might think that green burial practices are at odds with the teachings and traditional values of the Catholic Church, the practice of green burial can be completely consistent with Catholic beliefs. Embalming practices do tend to facilitate Catholic funeral practices but Catholics are able to participate in all of the traditional funeral rites without embalming provided there is careful planning by the family and cooperation from the local funeral director.
Cremation and green burial: Green burial practitioners do not consider cremation an environmentally sound practice due to fossil fuel usage and the green house gasses given off in the process. Initially, our new green burial area will not include areas for cremation interment.
Memorialization on individual graves is optional and will be limited to natural stone markers with sandblasted inscriptions. Since the graves are not designed for direct visitation, the names of everyone interred in the section will be placed on a large community marker near the entrance to the section and the cost is included in the price of the grave.
The green burial area at Mt. Calvary is planted with native plants as interments are made. Because of the plantings on each grave cannot be disturbed, grave location is determined at the time of death. This means that buying traditional side by side graves for family members is not an option. Prepayment for your service fees, memorial and a non-designated grave can be made through our guaranteed trust program. Your pre-funded trust is guaranteed and fully refundable, so there is essentially no risk to those that choose to pre-fund a green burial interment.
Several factors affect the cost of green burial graves. Because there are no outer burial containers used, graves are larger than a traditional grave because of the need to avoid having loose soil from a recent grave spill into a newly prepared grave. Without an outer burial container the larger graves also ensure that remains are not disturbed. Graves in the green burial section are priced at $2,250 each but the price includes an inscription of a name and dates on the community marker located at the entrance of the section.
Interment and administrative fees are slightly higher at $1,050 for green burial compared to $950 for a traditional grave. The higher fees are due to access difficulties and the need to use natural shoring to prevent the graves from caving in during wet weather.
Optional natural headstones that can be placed on a grave currently cost $500 each. The cemetery keeps a stock of these rocks on hand and a unique stone can be selected at the time of the burial.
Sales of Interment Rights
Placement of Cremated Remains
Burial Containers, Caskets and Shrouds
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