Frequently Asked Questions
We understand the loss of a loved one is a difficult time and the staff at Gethsemane Cemetery would like to help you through this process. Please Contact Us at your earliest convenience, so we may begin to assist you.
We have cemetery staff answering phones or on call from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PA, 7 days a week and an answering service for those times we are not available to personally take your call.
You can reach us at 610-929-2613 or toll free at 1-844-GETH-CEM
Please visit our Immediate Need page for additional information.
You are not alone, many families are left wondering what to do with a loved ones cremated remains after the funeral. Whether the funeral service was just yesterday or you have kept the cremated remains for years, Gethsemane Cemetery has a number of options to provide for the dignified and permanent memorialization of your loved one.
At Gethsemane Cemetery, we understand that every life is a story. That is why we decided to offer our Living Memorial pages. Our Living Memorial pages provide a place to keep the memory of your loved for all to see, share and contribute to, with photos, videos, a life history and condolences.
We invite you to take a look at our Living Memorial pages for yourself.
Please feel free to Contact Us for additional information.
People do not want to burden loved ones with planning their final burial arrangements, but often struggle with how to start the conversation. We provide you with the education, resources and options to have that conversation. Empowering your loved ones and relieving the burden, when it matters most.
At Gethsemane Cemetery, we would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and your family to allow you to be able to begin that conversation. Please feel free to visit our Pre-Planning page or Contact Us for additional information.
At Gethsemane Cemetery, your headstone or memorial is a direct reflection of the beauty and dignity of the entire cemetery. For that reason, we take a vested interest in the design of your memorial and would be honored to help you choose that fitting tribute for you or your loved one.
Please feel free to visit our Burial & Memorial Options page for additional information. If you are ready to sit down and design your memorial, please Contact Us and we will set a time to help you design your memorial.
If you are ordering you memorial from another dealer, please make sure you and the dealer are familiar with our Rules and Regulations Concerning Memorials as well as our Application to Erect a Memorial.
The memorial is the property of the family, and as such, the family must make the request. Please Contact Us and we will be happy to have your memorial inscribed with any lettering or carvings you wish.
Please note that inscriptions are normally done on site, weather permitting. Inscriptions are usually not scheduled from approximately December/January thru February/March, which may cause a backlog of inscriptions when the weather breaks. Please keep in mind, inscriptions are completed as they are received, so the sooner your request is made, the sooner it will be completed. Feel free to make the request during the winter months, as it will allow your requested inscription to be one of the first completed as the weather breaks in spring.
Gethsemane Cemetery has almost 30,000 persons buried within its hallowed grounds, a daunting number for anyone searching for individual loved ones. We have been consistently updating and electronically filing our records to make it easier for you to find the burial location of your loved ones.
If you are planning on visiting the cemetery, we welcome you to stop in the office during normal business hours and we would be pleased to show you the location you are searching for.
Alternatively, you may visit our Search Cemetery Records page for online information and maps.
Gethsemane Cemetery also has a new web app which allows you to not only search for your loved ones, but will also use the GPS capability in your device to show you your present location in relation to the location you are searching for. This provides you with a visual and navigational aid to assist you in locating your loved ones.
At Gethsemane Cemetery, our goal is to keep our families informed.
We invite you to “like” us on Facebook or “follow” us on Twitter. Additionally, any email address we have on file will receive our electronic newsletter. Please take a moment to provide your information via our Contact Us page, if you would like to receive our newsletter.
We prefer to use email whenever possible, and you can rest assured we do not share your email address with anyone. (please see our Email Policy).
Yes we do have a have a printed Rules & Regulations Form. All persons that have arranged for a burial, been included on a Family Record Form, or completed pre-arrangements have received a copy of our Rules and Regulations Form. If you would like a copy, please download our Cemetery Rules and Regulations PDF where you may either read, download or print them for yourself. If you prefer to have a copy mailed to you, please Contact Us and we would be happy to mail you a copy.
It is always difficult to create guidelines that support our diverse population at Gethsemane. Our goal is to make the cemetery grounds neat and clean with an atmosphere of simplicity, dignity and elegance. At the same time, we must ensure that the cemetery grounds are a safe place for visitors as well as workers. Gethsemane Cemetery makes every effort to enforce our guidelines uniformly and with compassion.
We understand that families wish to decorate their loved ones burial location in various ways, but for over 25 years, Gethsemane Cemetery has not allowed artificial decorations for a number of reasons. First, artificial decorations may appear to be plastic, but they contain metal wire which is extremely dangerous to visitors and employees with the use of mowers, trimmers, snow blowers, etc. Second, artificial decorations fade and become unsightly in a short period of time which can mar the overall beauty of the cemetery. Third, landfills and recycling have driven the cost of trash removal higher. We recycle all the organic matter collected, and artificial decorations are not recyclable.
We also understand the cost of decorations, especially live green wreaths, and have included an exception. Artificial wreaths, resembling that of real wreaths are allowed from November 1 thru March 15.
Gethsemane Cemetery’s Planting & Decoration Guidelines try to strike a balance between the natural desire of family members to decorate individual grave sites, crypts and niches and the overriding obligation to maintain the appearance of the cemetery with the resources at our disposal.
Feel free to download our Planting & Decoration Guidelines to assist you in making your selections. Your individual lot, collectively with all the other lots in Gethsemane Cemetery contribute directly to the beauty of Gethsemane Cemetery.
If you have specific questions or concerns, please feel free to Contact Us.
Concrete burial vaults are required for traditional burial at Gethsemane Cemetery. A vault helps keep the grounds safe for visitors by minimizing the risk of the earth sinking or collapsing.
There is no requirement as to the type of vault, it may be as simple as a plain concrete box also known as a grave liner or an ornate concrete vault lined with various materials.
Plastic and metal vaults are not permitted for traditional burial.
A plastic or concrete vault or an urn/vault combination is required for cremation interment.
For clarification as to the type of vault or urn or for additional questions please Contact Us.
There are multiple answers to that question.
For traditional ground burial, Gethsemane Cemetery does not have any requirements pertaining to embalming.
For entombment in any mausoleum located at Gethsemane Cemetery, embalming is required and must be attested to by the funeral home that completed the embalming. The use of a crypt liner is also required and may require an additional fee.
For burial in the Section of St. Kateri Tekawitha, our Green Burial section, traditional embalming is prohibited. Natural embalming products may be used and must also be attested to by the funeral home.
For additional assistance, please visit our Contact Us page.
Our visitor’s safety is our number one priority.
Insurance and safety concerns dictate that non-employees be kept back from open, unprotected excavations as well as lifts, equipment and machinery. As a matter of procedure, Gethsemane Cemetery does not lower the casket nor place it in the crypt space while family and friends are still at the burial location.
We do understand however, that witnessing the interment or entombment procedure may aid in the grieving process for some. If someone in the immediate family wishes to witness the interment or entombment procedure, our staff is instructed to lower the casket only after the family has returned to their vehicles. Once the family has left the grave site, the casket will be lowered into the ground and the staff will wait until the family departs the cemetery to remove the set up equipment and install the vault lid if applicable. A similar procedure is in place for mausoleum entombments as well.
Please feel free to discuss this at the Immediate Need Conference and we will accommodate your request in any way possible. Please Contact Us if you have additional questions.
At Gethsemane Cemetery you are purchasing the “right” to be interred or entombed, not the land or crypt itself. Many cemeteries call this a deed, but with a deed comes a certain bundle of rights. These rights are not being conveyed or expressed with the Interment or Entombment Privilege Certificate at Gethsemane Cemetery.
Please feel free to Contact Us with additional questions or concerns.
Endowed Care is to be understood as the general care and maintenance of the cemetery, necessitated by natural growth and ordinary wear, as well as general cleaning and maintenance of roadways, walks, and mausoleums. This includes grass cutting, trimming, leaf removal, basic trash disposal, and basic snow removal from roads and common areas. Endowed Care does not include coverage of damage or theft of decorations, plantings or memorials, resetting memorials, shrubbery removal, repairing or replacing foundations or personal requests. Endowed care, however, is not for today. Cemeteries, like people, have their own individual life spans. Eventually, while not for generations, there will be no further expansion. The contributions made to endowed care will, at that time, help to ensure the reverent care of Gethsemane Cemetery.
To the average individual, the opening/closing charge or interment service fee is merely the work of opening the interment space or crypt, or just the digging of a grave. In reality, these operations are only one of a great number of operations that go on behind the scenes, which are included in the interment or entombment service fee at Gethsemane Cemetery. For a better understanding of all the tasks and processes that are included, we invite you to take a few minutes to review our Operating Gethsemane Cemetery PDF.
If you have additional questions please feel free to Contact Us.
Please give us a call right away, we have cemetery staff answering phones or on call from 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week and an answering service for those times we are not available to personally take your call.
We will schedule a Pre-Interment Conference with the family to review their arrangements and obtain the required permissions here at Gethsemane Cemetery. Our Interment/Entombment Authorization form should be printed and faxed to us with the necessary information to facilitate scheduling, and you may visit our Contact Us page for additional contact information.
We ask that you do not schedule any services before checking with us as our schedule varies from day to day and depending on the burial location, we may only have a limited number of times available. Please understand we require 2 working days notice for scheduling services.
We will work with the family and your Funeral Home to ensure their wishes are carried out.