Burial and cremation
No, embalming is not required for burial.
Embalming may be necessary if the family has selected a public viewing with an open casket or to enhance the deceased's appearance for a private family viewing. Public health laws may require embalming if the body is going to be transported by air or rail or due to the length of time elapsed from the time of death prior to the burial.
There are many things to keep in mind when choosing a type of grave, as they vary by size, location, and price. Considerations may include:
- The type of memorial preferred
- The use of a flat marker or upright monument
- The number of burials expected
- Whether the arrangements are for an individual or a family
- The burial budget
The most common in-ground burial option is a single grave and lots composed of two or more graves. Memorial Park Cemetery offers single and double-depth burial options.
Double-depth means one casket is placed in the grave at an approximate depth of eight feet. When a second interment is required, the second casket is placed on top of the first casket at standard depth.
There is no law that states a specific timeframe for burial. Factors that will affect this timeline include:
- Securing all permits and authorizations
- Notifying family and friends
- Preparing the cemetery site
- Religious considerations
Public health laws may have limitations on the maximum length of time allowed to pass. Contact the local funeral provider or the British Columbia Funeral Association to discuss any applicable regulations.
For more information:
Besides ground burial, Prince George Memorial Park Cemetery offers interment in a mausoleum. In addition, choices are provided for those who have selected cremation. These often include the placement of cremated remains in a niche of a columbarium or interment in an urn space.
Green burials are also available.
A columbarium, often free-standing in a cemetery or located within a mausoleum or chapel - either indoor or outdoor - is a structure with numerous small compartments (cremation niches) designed to hold urns containing cremated remains. Memorial Park Cemetery offers indoor cremation niches in our mausoleum.
Prince George's bylaws do not permit the scattering of cremated remains within the city limits. However, cremated remains may be scattered at locations permitted by local regulations.
Once scattered, cremated remains can't easily be recollected. Having remains placed, interred or scattered on a cemetery's grounds ensures future generations will have a place to go for remembrance. If remains are scattered elsewhere, many cemeteries will permit a memorial of some type on the cemetery grounds so the deceased's friends and family have a place to visit that will always be maintained and preserved.
Scattering cremated remains in an anonymous, unmarked or public place may present problems if access to the area is restricted in the future. Undeveloped land may be developed or other conditions may arise that could make it difficult for the deceased's friends and family to visit the site.
Burial vaults and grave liners are the outside containers into which a casket is placed. Burial vaults are designed to protect the casket and are made of polypropylene.
A grave liner is a lightweight version of a burial vault which simply keeps the grave surface from sinking in. Liners are required for all full and cremation interments in Memorial Park Cemetery.
Memorial Park Cemetery requires the use of a basic grave liner for maintenance and safety purposes.
Disinterment is the removal of the casket containing human remains from a grave. Disinterment can also refer to the removal of cremated remains from a grave. Disinterment may be ordered by public officials without the consent of the grave owner or the next of kin for certain situations such as a police investigation.
Individuals or families may also request disinterment if, for example, they would like to have the human remains relocated to another grave in the cemetery, to a mausoleum, or shipped to a country of birth.
Disinterment requires the grave to be opened. The casket containing the human remains is removed. Depending on the length of time the casket has been buried, a new casket may be required. The grave is then closed.
Cemeteries usually are divided into two broad categories: traditional cemeteries and memorial parks or gardens. A traditional cemetery has upright monuments usually made of stone. Many traditional cemeteries also have private mausoleums for above-ground interment. Because many have served communities for decades, if not centuries, traditional cemeteries typically contain historical elements such as architecture, statuary, and other funerary art in addition to lush landscaping and greenery.
Memorial parks and gardens are a newer type of cemetery without tombstones and feature parks and gardens where bronze memorials are placed level with the ground to blend with the beauty of the landscape. These types of cemeteries often feature expansive lawns with a variety of trees, flowering beds and gardens, as well as fountains, sculptures, or memorial architecture.
Because of safety issues related to the use of machinery on cemetery property and the protection of the property of adjacent interment rights holders, the actual opening and closing of the grave are conducted by cemetery grounds personnel only.
Grave prices can vary. Prices are usually set based on their location and graves in urban centres are usually more expensive than graves in rural centres because of land replacement values.
Graves that allow for an upright monument may be more expensive due to the space required for the monument.
When a cemetery runs out of land, it will continue to operate and serve the community. Since more individuals and families are purchasing their graves in advance, graves which have been sold will be opened when a death occurs, markers will be placed and other services will be provided.
B.C. law requires funds to be set aside from each interment rights sale and each memorial installation for the long-term care and maintenance of the cemetery. The amount to be set aside will vary depending on the type of space selected or the form and size of the memorial installed.
Opening and closing fees can include 50 or more separate services provided by the cemetery. Typically, the opening and closing fee includes:
- Administration and permanent record keeping such as determining ownership, obtaining permission and the completion of any other documentation required, entering interment particulars in the interment register, and maintaining legal files.
- Opening and closing the grave (locating the grave and laying out the boundaries, excavating, and filling the interment space).
- Installation and removal of the lowering device.
- Placement and removal of artificial grass dressing and coco-matting at the gravesite.
- Levelling, tamping, re-grading and sodding the gravesite.
- Levelling and re-sodding the grave if the earth settles.
A permanent memorial in a cemetery provides a place for remembrance and memorializing of the deceased. Throughout history, the memorialization of the dead has been a key component of almost every culture. Remembrance practices serve an important emotional function for survivors by helping to 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.
Communities afford respect to cemeteries and to the memorialization which cemeteries provide. In order to protect interment rights holders, strict rules govern the use of cemetery lands. Graves are normally considered to be sold in perpetuity which restricts possible re-development.
A community mausoleum is a large building designed to provide above-ground entombment for a number of people. Sharing the costs of the mausoleum with other individuals makes it more affordable than a private mausoleum.
The crypts within are designed to hold casketed remains. Following a casket entombment, the crypt is sealed, and a granite or marble front is attached. Niches will accommodate urns containing cremated remains. Following an urn entombment, a niche front of granite, marble, bronze, wood or glass is attached.
Entombment is the interment of human remains in a tomb or mausoleum. It involves placing a casket or cremation urn in a crypt or cremation niche (individual compartment within a mausoleum or columbarium) which is then sealed.
Memorial Park Cemetery Mausoleum provides single crypts, designed for one entombment only, plus companion crypts which permit two entombments side by side. Most mausolea are built five, six and seven crypts high.
The price of the crypt will depend on its location and the type of crypt. For example, upper-level crypts are usually less expensive than those located at eye or heart level.
Only the front of the crypt is visible, which is typically made of granite or marble. The name of the deceased, along with their years of birth and death, appears on the crypt front. The casket rests behind a solid, sealed panel which is placed behind the granite or marble crypt front.
Selecting a mausoleum eliminates the need for the expense of vaults and monuments or memorials which are almost always purchased with ordinary earth burial.
Because the casket is placed in a clean, dry, above-ground crypt, the remains are protected from water and the elements.
Memorial Park Cemetery has two types of crypts: single for one entombment and companion crypts for two entombments.
In most cases, the cost of mausoleum entombment is comparable to the costs of interment in a plot with an upright monument.
Mausoleum crypts are both clean and dry and often are located indoors. They also offer an alternative for those who are uncomfortable with being interred in the ground. Furthermore, with the growing worldwide shortage of available land for cemetery use, mausolea allow for a maximum number of entombments in a minimum amount of space.
Modern mausoleums are steel-reinforced concrete structures covered with granite or marble. They typically are built to meet all local building specifications, including those that address earthquakes.
Interment rights (to a grave space) in Memorial Park Cemetery - less the perpetual care fund contribution - may be transferred to a family member. The payment of an administration fee is required.
Yes, usually arrangements are made in advance. Planning ahead allows for many options such as making an informed decision about funeral and cemetery arrangements and the form of memorial preferred. This relieves surviving family and friends of additional emotional and financial burdens associated with making arrangements when a death occurs.
Moreover, pre-arranging funeral and cemetery services have the benefit of dealing with today's prices and freedom from inflationary pressures in the future. Be sure to check whether the contract from the local provider guarantees prices. Memorial Park Cemetery and a funeral service provider or British Columbia Funeral Association can help with pre-planning.
Prince George's Cemetery Bylaw permits a partial refund of plot fees at the request of the purchaser. The perpetual care fund contribution is not refundable. Contact us for more information:
Only the right to designate who may be interred in the space rather than the grave itself is purchased. The land and control over that land remains the property and responsibility of Memorial Park Cemetery. A purchase also gives the right to place a memorial - subject to the rules and regulations for memorials established for the lot - where permitted.