Frequently asked questions

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Cemetery + Funeral Services FAQ

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR REFURBISHMENT OR REPAIRS ON GRAVES AND MEMORIALS?

The family are responsible for the refurbishment of Sections graves and will need to engage a stonemason to complete the work. For Lawn Graves and Plaques the family can organise the refurbishment through our office for a fee.

HOW DO I CHANGE OWNERSHIP OF A GRAVE?

It depends on the circumstances of ownership, and if there is no will you may be required to provide a death certificate and the application may need to be signed by all of the next of kin (for example all of the children of the deceased will be joint owners of the grave). Please find our application for Updating Burial License Form to begin the process, but please contact the cemetery office as we can assist you to make the process easier.

WHAT DO I DO TO GET A HEADSTONE ENGRAVED OR A PLAQUE?

Commence by filling out the appropriate form for plaques. You can then choose your tribute text, appropriate borders and other decoration such as photographs and military insignia. This process is managed by the cemetery office in conjunction with the stone mason. See the list of available stone masons.

DO I HAVE TO USE A FUNERAL DIRECTOR?

In NSW it is very difficult to arrange a funeral without a Funeral Director due to health and legal requirements. The Cemetery requests that registered Funeral Directors are used to ensure compliance with regulations, this ensures safety is adhered to during the service.

FUNERAL DIRECTORS SOMETIMES REFER TO “UP TO THE CEMETERY GATES.” WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

A funeral director generally makes arrangements for a funeral “up to the gates” referring to the arrangements before the service, the transport to (and sometimes from) the cemetery. Chapel, interment, condolence lounge and catering are arranged through the cemetery.

CAN THE CASKET BE OPEN DURING A SERVICE?

Yes, this can be arranged by request with your funeral director. With approval from the priest or minister and compliance with cemetery rules.

HOW CAN I ENSURE THAT MY WISHES AS TO BURIAL OR CREMATION ARE CARRIED OUT WHEN I DIE?

Instructions should be provided to the person who will be responsible for your funeral arrangements when you die. It is also recommended that the instructions are written in your Will.

WHAT CAN BE PRE-PURCHASED?

Everything is available for pre-purchase – Graves, Crypts, Niches and Cremations including chapel services and memorialisation.

DOES IT COST MORE TO PRE-PURCHASE?

No, it does not cost more to pre-purchase, but it does offer the advantage of securing your funeral at today’s prices, as well as ensuring that last wishes are fulfilled.

WHO OWNS THE GRAVE?

No one owns a grave. A Right of Interment is held by the person who orders the burial or pre-purchases the grave. This means the holder of a Right of Interment is responsible for approving any burials and any memorialisation.

WHO MAINTAINS THE CEMETERY GROUNDS AND MEMORIALS?

Catholic Cemeteries & Crematoria is responsible for maintaining the gardens and ensures that pathways are maintained for safe access by visitors. We will repair any damages incurred during our general maintenance.

Garden Memorial + Burial FAQs

I DO NOT HAVE A REGULAR PLACE OF WORSHIP TO HOLD A SERVICE, WHAT DO I DO?

We have a Pavilion onsite to conduct burial services and gatherings afterwards. Catering is also available through our provider Celeste Catering who offer a wide range of packages to suit your personal taste and size of the congregation.

HOW DOES KEMPS CREEK MEMORIAL PARK CATER FOR DIFFERENT RELIGIONS AND ETHNIC GROUPS?

We understand the importance of being buried with people of the same faith and community group and we have available a variety of lawns including Korean, Vietnamese, Polish and Maronite. Please inquire with our customer service staff about your individual needs.

IS THERE A TIME LIMIT ON GRAVES?

No, All graves purchased for burials are owned by the family in perpetuity. The exception is Sydney Natural Burial Park, which as an environmentally sustainable resting place, has tenure of 30 years.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TRADITIONAL SECTION GRAVE, A MONUMENTAL GRAVE AND A LAWN GRAVE?

A lawn grave is generally a simple plaque that is level with the ground and offers a very natural and peaceful setting. A monumental lawn headstone allows a more personalized decorative tribute to be erected. A traditional section grave includes the grave covering as well as the headstone and can be made from various types of stone if required.

HOW MANY INTERMENTS CAN TAKE PLACE IN A GRAVE?

The traditional section graves can accommodate two, whereas lawn or monumental graves can accommodate three. Cremated remains may also be interred. Families wishing to have the option to bury up to three individuals within one plot should advise their funeral director at the time of the first burial taking place so that the grave can be dug to a greater depth.

CAN I HAVE A FUNERAL ON A SATURDAY OR SUNDAY?

Yes, funerals can be arranged on Saturdays by prior arrangement; however there is an additional cost factor involved, Services are not offered on a Sunday.

CAN MY FAMILY SELECT A GRAVE FOR ME WHEN THE TIME COMES?

Yes, your family may personally select a grave at any of our cemeteries. Our staff who will show you the available sites.

DO I GO STRAIGHT TO THE GRAVESITE OR DO I WAIT?

With both cremations and burials, the funeral cortege will arrive at the main driveway where it will wait until the scheduled time. Mourners will then fall in behind the cars and proceed to the place of commitment.

I AM PLANNING AHEAD, WHAT CAN BE PRE-PURCHASED?

You may pre-purchase a grave, or a memorial placement. A separate certificate is issued for all pre-purchases. Catholic Cemeteries & Crematoria provides pre-need agreements for the following: grave sites, memorial sites, cremations, and mausoleum crypt entitlements. Some funeral directors can also arrange pre-need agreements for their services.

WHAT MEMENTOES CAN I PLACE AT THE GRAVE?

Fresh Flowers are permitted but anything left on the lawn or concrete beam will be removed to allow us to carry out maintenance. Any item which can be broken may cause injury to our staff and other visitors. Items such as glass/ceramic vases and artificial flowers are not allowed as they often get caught in lawn mowers causing injuries.

Cremation FAQs

WHAT DO I DO WITH THE ASHES AFTER THE CREMATION?

This is a personal choice, but memorialisation is an important part of the grieving process and provides a connection for friends and family as well as for future generations. Memorialisation can include a niche wall or garden or placement within a family grave. Some families choose to divide the ashes to keep at home as well as creating a permanent tribute at the cemetery.

IS CREMATION MORE EXPENSIVE THAN BURIAL?

Cremation is cheaper than burial, and we offer the most affordable cremation services in Sydney. Memorialisation is an additional cost but there are many personal options available for different budgets.

DOES THE CREMATION TAKE PLACE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE SERVICE?

The cremation will follow as soon as is practicably possible, (by law, the cremation must take place within 48 hours.)

CAN CATHOLICS BE CREMATED?

Yes, cremation has been acceptable since 1963, and we should respect the remains in the same way we do burial. Families have the option of celebrating the Eucharist or simply a funeral liturgy within our Catholic Chapels. Others may prefer to celebrate mass in their local parish church, and conduct the cremation at the crematorium.

MY PARTNER AND I HAVE DIFFERENT PREFERENCE BETWEEN BURIAL AND CREMATION, CAN WE STILL BE TOGETHER?

The ashes of one partner can be interred in the grave of the person preferring burial, and both can be memorialised at the grave.

HOW DO I KNOW I HAVE THE RIGHT CREMATED REMAINS?

The coffin is identified with a label which follows the coffin throughout the entire procedure. Only one cremation is ever carried out in a chamber at one time and the remains are withdrawn from the chamber before it can be used again.

HOW LONG AFTER CREMATION DO I HAVE TO WAIT TO PICK UP THE CREMATED REMAINS?

Generally they are available with 24 hrs of the cremation taking place.

WHAT DOES CATHOLIC CEMETERIES AND CREMATORIA RECOMMEND FOR THE FINAL MEMORIAL OF CREMATED REMAINS?

The Catholic Church believe cremated remains should be treated with the same respect with which we treat the body, so cremated remains should be placed in a family grave, crypt, niche wall or cemetery garden and memorialised by a headstone or plaque.

IS IT TRUE THAT PACEMAKERS OR RADIOACTIVE IMPLANTS MUST BE REMOVED BEFORE CREMATION?

Yes, these implants can explode at high temperatures, not only causing damage to the cremator, but also placing crematorium staff at risk.

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