Cemeteries FAQs

 Why are cemeteries necessary? 

 In our modern society, it is our responsibility to treat human remains (including cremated remains) with dignity and respect, and to place them on property dedicated for that purpose. Today's burial grounds, or cemeteries/memorial gardens, serve as a central location for survivors to visit, to reflect, to remember and to heal. Today's standards ensure that reputable cemeteries are continuously maintained and preserved through the years. Cemeteries also provide a link with history. Many people visit pioneer or veterans' cemeteries to remember, and be inspired by ancestors who developed our communities and served our country. 


How do modern cemeteries differ from historical burial grounds? 


Most cemeteries still in operation today, provide the following services: 


  • Earth burial, often with the choice of single or double occupancy of the grave. 
  • Above-ground burial in a garden or indoor mausoleum. 
  • Earth burial for cremated remains, often in specially-designed gardens. 
  • Above-ground placement of cremated remains in a garden or indoor columbarium.


When selecting a cemetery, what should I look for? 


Most importantly, select a cemetery with well-maintained property, and a friendly, compassionate and knowledgeable staff. 


Isn't burial space becoming scarce? 


While it is true some metropolitan areas have limited available cemetery space, in most areas of the country, there is enough space set aside for the next 50 years without creating new cemeteries. In addition, land available for new cemeteries is more than adequate, especially with the increase in entombment and multi-level grave burial. 


How are cemeteries maintained through the years? 


By law, a certain portion of each purchase is set aside and invested separately from other funds for the ongoing care and upkeep of the property and buildings. 


<<back to top


Memorialization Options 


What memorialization options are available, and how do they differ? 


  • Inurnment - If your loved one has been cremated, you may wish to entomb or display the urn in a columbarium or garden niche. 


  • Interment - Interment includes above ground entombment, or ground burial of human remains. For both inurnment and interment, we handle all labor involved in completing a ground burial, urn placement, or crypt entombment in a mausoleum.


  • Graveside/Chapel Services


  • Markers & Monuments - Most families choose to acknowledge the unique life of a loved one with some type of permanent memorial.


  • Perpetual/Endowed care - Includes the maintenance and ongoing upkeep of our cemetery grounds. A certain portion of each purchase is set aside and invested separately from other funds for the care of property and buildings. Records are also meticulously maintained with these funds. 


What is a mausoleum? 


A mausoleum is a durable, clean, dry, ventilated, permanent above ground structure designed for the entombment of human remains. Some mausoleums are built for the general community, while others are commissioned by, and designed for a specific family. In past centuries, mausoleum entombment was limited to royalty or the very wealthy. Famous mausoleums include the Taj Mahal, the Tomb of Unknown soldier in Washington D.C., and the Egyptian Pyramids. Today, entombment or inurnment in a mausoleum is available to most anyone, and more affordable than ever. 


What is a lawn crypt? 


Lawn crypts, also known as "underground mausoleums," are pre-installed vaults that allow for single or double-depth interment in a lawn space. Some crypts may hold multiple caskets so spouses or family members can be entombed together. 


What is a columbarium, or cremation niche? 


A columbarium is similar to a "wall" of niches that store or display the urns of cremated remains. We offer a wide selection of niches with marble or glass fronts; some niches are designed for one urn, others have space for multiple urns. 


What do funeral/cremation directors do? 


They are caregivers, advisors, and administrators who carry out the wishes of the family. They make the arrangements for the transportation of the body, arrange memorial services, write obituaries, prepare memorial folders, obtain certified copies of the death certificate, arrange cemetery services, order and deliver urns and other merchandise, notify the Social Security office and file for the Veteran's Allowance. They also have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death, are trained to answer questions about grief, and can recommend sources of professional help. 


Should I plan a chapel or graveside service at the cemetery? 


Holding a memorial service is a customary way to recognize death and its finality. Services are generally held for the living to show respect for the dead and to help survivors begin the grief process. They also give mourners a chance to share stories, create memories, fulfill religious beliefs & customs, participate in a support system, and gather at a peaceful place during a time of confusion and uncertainty. You may wish to choose a traditional funeral service, complete with a graveside service, or chapel service. 


What is cremation? 


Cremation is a method for preparing the deceased for memorialization. The process has been practiced throughout human history, and is considered an alternative to traditional earth burial or entombment. Scientifically speaking, it is a process of reducing a deceased human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame. 


Why do people select cremation? 


The reasons for choosing cremation are as varied and unique as the individuals selecting it. Some choose cremation based on their feelings toward environmental issues and land usage. For many, it is a choice that reflects the individual's philosophical or religious beliefs. Others choose cremation to simplify the experience and save money. 


Does cremation replace a funeral? 


Cremation does not replace a funeral; rather it allows for more choices when it comes to choosing a loved one's final resting place(s), selecting a permanent memorial, and bringing the bereaved together to pay tribute to the deceased. 


What can I do with the cremated remains? 


You have many choices. Cremated remains can be buried at one of our cemetery ground sites, scattered in a cremation garden, or inurned and placed in a columbarium. They can also be kept at home, or scattered over land or water. Our staff will be happy to discuss placement options with you in more detail. 


What are my cremation memorialization options? 


There are many ways to memorialize someone who has been cremated. Some people cannot afford basic memorialization services. 


Is financial aid available to the poor? 


Other than the family, there are veteran, union, and other organizational benefits to pay for funerals, cremation and final disposition, including, in certain instances, a lump sum death payment from Social Security. In most states, some forms of public aid allowances are available from the state, county, city, or a combination. 


<<back to top


12725 SW 66th Avenue, Suite 105, Portland, OR 97223
Phone: 503.639.1186 Fax: 503.624.2903
In-State Phone: 800.304.5095 In-State Fax: 800.828.3415

Ā© Copyright 2010 Oregon Funeral Directors Association and FuneralNetĀ®

Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.