Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery | Rochester, NY

Understanding Burial Rights

Burial Rights
Being buried in a Catholic cemetery is an important part of the traditional Catholic burial rite. It marks the dedication to and belief in Christ’s promise of life everlasting and in our Catholic faith. Holy Sepulchre and Ascension Garden are sacred places, consecrated by Bishop Bernard McQuaid in 1871 and by Bishop Matthew Clark in 2011, respectively.

Only baptized Catholics may purchase lots in either cemetery—and may grant burial rights there to others who may or may not embrace the Catholic faith. If the purchaser should die before passing on rights to the burial space, ownership of the property passes on to the surviving next of kin, typically in this order: spouse, children, grandchildren; or, in the absence of a spouse and children: parents then siblings. These burial rights pass by direct family relationship, not by residual inheritance.

Purchasing a burial space in a cemetery is not like the traditional ownership associated with purchasing a piece of land. Ownership of burial space indicates that you have perpetual use of that space for the sole purpose of the burial of human remains. The title to all cemetery land remains in the name of the cemetery.

As the owner of burial space in a cemetery, you can dictate who may or may not be buried in that space. Your instructions for who may or may not be buried there will continue past your lifetime, if prepared and filed with Holy Sepulchre Cemeteries.

Refunds for a purchased burial space that is no longer needed, and is not occupied by a deceased person, may be given at the current or sale price minus a small administrative fee. Graves may also be transferred within a family with approval from Holy Sepulchre Cemeteries, but they may not be sold.

Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery | Rochester, NY