Burial Services

Burial service's may be traditional and include a visitation, followed by a life celebration service in a place of worship, the Interfaith Chapel at the funeral home or within the cemetery.  The casket is typically present at either the visitation or cemetery services. However, some families elect to have a private cemetery interment and observe public services using memorial picture, life collections [books, golf clubs, knitting needles...] it is a family decision whether to have the casket open or not.  You have the option of having the remains interred (earth burial), or they may be entombed in a crypt inside a mausoleum (above ground burial). 

 CLICK HERE to utilize our unique Funeral Planning tool - where you may gather basic pricing information on a variety of service options and provide the funeral home necessary information to calling us [24 HR phone (585) 424-3700]

Cemetery Types

Monumental cemetery: Headstones or other monuments made of marble or granite rise vertically above the ground.  There are countless different types of designs for headstones, ranging from very simple to large and complex.

Lawn cemetery:  ​A small commemorative plaque is placed horizontally at the head of the grave at ground-level.  In most cases the plaques are a standard design [families will have some design choices but will be limited by size and appearance guidelines made by the cemetery]. 

Mausoleum: A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people.  Selection of a mausoleum, for casket or urn, removes the need for a outer burial container [burial vault] as well as provides the memorialization of the space.

Columbarium: Reserved for cremated remains.  While cremated remains can be kept at home by families or scattered somewhere significant to the deceased, a columbarium provides friends and family a place to come to mourn and visit.  Families wishing to take cremated remains into their care or care for the cremated remains on their own may elect to inter a portion of the cremated remains inside a columbarium and take a porting into their care for individualized personal choices. 

Natural cemeteries: Natural cemeteries, also known as eco-cemeteries or green cemeteries is a new style of cemetery set aside for natural burials.  Natural burials are motivated by the desire to be environmentally conscience. Conventional markings such as headstones are generally replaced with a tree or a bush or a placement of a natural rock.

Burial FAQ

What is opening and closing and why is it so expensive?

Opening and closing is the digging of a grave for ground burial of a casket or ashes OR the opening of a crypt [for a casket] or a niche [for an urn] in a mausoleum. Opening and closing fee's include administration and permanent record keeping (determining ownership, obtaining permission and the completion of other documentation which may be required, entering the interment particulars in the interment register, maintaining all legal files); opening and closing the grave (locating the grave and laying out the boundaries, excavating and filling the interment space); leveling, tamping, re-grading and sodding the grave site and leveling and re-sodding the grave if the earth settles. 

Can we dig our own grave to avoid the charge for opening and closing?

Due to safety issues which arise around the use of machinery on cemetery property and the protection of other gravesites, the actual opening and closing of the grave is conducted by cemetery grounds personnel only.

Why is having a place to visit so important?

To remember and to be remembered are natural human needs.  A permanent memorial in a cemetery provides a focal point for remembrance and memorializing the deceased.  Throughout human history, memorialization of the dead has been a key component of almost every culture.  Psychologists say that remembrance practices, from the funeral or memorial service to permanent memorialization, serve an important emotional function for survivors by helping them bring closure and allowing the healing process to begin.  Providing a permanent resting place for the deceased is a dignified treatment for a loved one’s mortal remains, which fulfills the natural human desire for memorialization.

What happens when a cemetery runs out of land?

When a cemetery runs out of land, it will continue to operate and serve the community. Laws exist requiring a cemetery to maintain a perpetual care account to finance the maintenance of the cemetery. Municipalities are required to care for any cemetery dissolving without sufficient funds for continued maintenance.  

In a hundred years will this cemetery still be there?

YES, cemetery lands exist in perpetuity as a permanent memorial to the loved ones of many.  

How soon after or how long after a death must an individual be buried?

There is no law that states a specific time from for burial.  Considerations that will affect timeline include the need to secure all permits and authorizations, notification of family and friends, preparation of cemetery site and religious considerations.  Contact us   for more details (585) 424-3700.

Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried?

No.  Embalming is a personal choice comprised of many factors - the individual and/or family wishes, is there is to be an open casket viewing of your loved one [with proper preparation and time an open casket viewing may be selected without embalming. This circumstance is decided on a case-by-case basis. If an extended time between death and internment is necessary.  Public health laws may require embalming if the body is going to be transported by air or rail.

What options are available besides ground burial?

Some cemeteries offer interment in lawn crypts or entombment in mausoleums.  In addition, most cemeteries provide choices for those who have selected cremation.  These often include placement of cremated remains in a niche of a columbarium or interment in the ground. 

What are burial vaults and grave liners?

These are the outside containers into which the casket is placed.  Burial vaults are designed to protect the casket and may be made of a variety or combination of materials including concrete, stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, bronze, plastic or fiberglass.  A grave liner is a lightweight version of a vault which simply keeps the grave surface from sinking in.

Must I purchase a burial vault?

Most large, active cemeteries have regulations that require the use of a basic grave liner for maintenance and safety purposes.  Either a grave liner or a burial vault will satisfy these requirements. Some cemeteries have begun allowing burial without a basic grave liner or burial vault either in specifically designated green burial [natural burial] grounds or within a "traditional" burial ground when meeting cemetery requirements.