St. Joseph's Cemetery - Batavia, NY

Burial Guidelines

Catholic cemeteries, regardless of size, location or length of time in operation, share the primary goal of providing dignified burial places for the faithful departed. They must offer services and facilities in harmony with the teaching of the Church, and show a degree of care that reflects the spiritual values inherent in the tradition of the Catholic burial.

Guidelines are designed for the express purpose of governing the activities in the Catholic Cemetery for the mutual protection and benefit of lot holders and the cemetery as a whole. They are established with certain restrictions to ensure uniformity and control within the cemetery grounds. These guidelines are not intended to be restraining, or all inclusive, but rather to define an orderly plan of operation, care and permanent maintenance. A complete set of the rules and regulations are kept on file at the cemetery office and are available for your inspection during regular business hours. With this understanding in mind, the lot holder is requested to honor the following provisions. 



Burial Placement of the remains of the deceased in a cemetery.
Grave A measured piece of land in a cemetery for the purpose of burying the deceased.
Interment Placement of the body of the deceased in a grave.
Mausoleum A free standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the burial spaces of the deceased.
Crypt A space in the wall of a mausoleum to receive a casket, which is then sealed and covered with a marble or granite front.
Entombment Placement of the body of the deceased in a crypt.
Columbarium Above ground structure for the placement of cremated remains.
Niche A recessed space in a mausoleum or columbarium used for the placement of cremated remains.
Inurnment Placement of cremated remains in a niche or grave.



  1. The purchaser of a crypt/niche/grave in the Cemetery does not acquire the property itself, but only the “Right of Burial”.
  2. No burial will be permitted in the Cemetery, or rights acquired by the purchaser, until such time that full payment has been received for the plot.
  3. The burial fee and memorialization charges are separate and distinct from the purchase of the “Right of Burial”. The burial fee must be paid in full prior to the interment.
  4. Burial spaces may be used for the burial of human remains only. A grave or crypt may have one full body or two cremated remains. If space permits, a family may purchase additional “Rights of Inurnment” for cremated remains. Normally a maximum of one full body and two cremated remains are permitted in a single crypt or grave. Only one inurnment can be placed in a single niche.
  5. Burial spaces in the Cemetery may be exchanged as partial payment on other burial spaces with the approval of the Cemetery. A release form for the exchange must be signed by the purchaser and the original easement must be returned to the Cemetery.
  6. If a person wishes to disinter a family member buried in the Cemetery, he or she may do so with approval by the cemetery and the proper document completed.  A separate fee will be charged for the disentombment/disinterment and subsequent entombment/interment. In addition, a special liner must be purchased from the Cemetery if the body is placed in a crypt. Other expenses not directly assessed by the Cemetery may also be incurred at the time of transfer.
  7. Assignment or transfer of any burial space will, at all times, be subject to guidelines established by the Cemetery. No crypt/niche space or interest therein will be transferred or assigned without the consent of the Cemetery. A notarized statement indicating permission of the original purchaser and/or his /her heir(s) is required. A recording fee will be charged to provide this service.
  8. Under normal conditions, the Cemetery grounds are open for visitation each day of the year from dawn until dusk.

The mausoleums are open for visitation each day of the year from 8:00am until 4:00pm




Inscriptions on all crypt/niche fronts are to be uniform as determined by the Cemetery. After full payment is received for the crypt/niche space(s), including the inscription fee, the inscription may be ordered and placed on the crypt/niche front.



  1. Graves must be paid in full before a memorial may be placed.
  2. The size, style and number of lawn level memorials will be determined by the section of the Cemetery and size of the grave on which they are to be placed.
  3. In keeping with Christian ideals, a Christian character or emblem will be the main feature on all memorials. Prayers and Epitaphs of a positive nature, may be permitted with Cemetery approval, and must be of limited wording.
  4. Etchings of nature scenes may not exceed 25% of the face of the die. Etchings of the bust of an individual may not exceed 10% of the face of the die with a max- imum of 80 square inches. Etchings of any other kind are limited to 4”x 4”.

Grave Decorations

  1. One approved in-ground vase or non-decorative clay or plastic pot of flowers will be permitted on each grave during the grass cutting season of April 1st – October 15th. The pot should not exceed 10” in diameter or 10” in height. Decorations will not be permitted during the Fall clean up period of October 16th – October 31st.
  2. Winter decorations will be permitted from November 1st – March 15th. They will not be permitted during the Spring cleanup period of March 16th – March 31st.
  3. Certain monument sections in the Cemetery may have planting privileges. Please check with the Cemetery office for more information.
  4. Due to the possible hazards they may cause to employees and visitors, the placing of chairs, toys, shells, chips, gravel, trellises and similar articles will not be permitted
  5. Artificial decorations mounted on upright supports, those constructed on wire, wood or plastic that stand above ground, are not permitted during the grass cutting season.
  6. American flags may be placed on Veterans’ graves 24 hours prior to and removed within 48 hours after the following designated holidays: Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4th, and Veteran’s Day. A family may choose to place the flag in an approved pot for the summer season as long as it is off the ground and properly maintained.


If, in the sole discretion of the Cemetery, a crypt/ niche/grave can be utilized by the Cemetery, it may be returned under the following conditions:

  1. You must be the original purchaser; no Power of Attorney will be accepted.
  2. The burial space to be returned is not marked
    with a family or individual memorial. Any existing memorialization must be removed prior to the return, at the family’s expense.
  3. Proper notarized documents must be submitted to the Cemetery.
  4. If a burial is returned to the Cemetery, a retainage fee will be imposed for all returns.



Catholic cemeteries will now allow the burial of domestic pets with their owner(s). Any animal that has been adapted or tamed to live in intimate association with people is considered a domestic pet.  

Rules and regulations have been set by New York State, to govern these burials.