||The Necessity for Cemetery Rules and
Many lot-owners regard Cemetery rules and regulations as
unnecessary interference with freedom and a restriction of liberty. Fortunately
those who regard them as a nuisance and a source of annoyance are in the minority.
Most lot owners realize that without reasonable rules and regulations there would be no
freedom of action, no orderly development of the grounds and no proper or efficient
The primary reason for the existence of
a cemetery is to provide a place of burial for the
dead. It is also necessary to maintain and beautify the grounds and insure proper
conduct on the part of the cemetery and lot-owner, employee and visitor.
The rules regarding burial of the dead are few and to a large
extent are governed by law. By far, the majority of cemetery rules have been made to
insure good order in the maintenance and embellishment of the grounds. In a
cemetery, such as ours, with almost 30,000 adjoining lots and a like number of lot owners
having their own individual ideas and opinions as to how their lot should be improved and
beautified, it is not hard to imagine the chaos and resulting confusion if no restrictions
or limitations, were in effect.
Annually, an almost endless variety of requests must be
refused on the basis that to grant them would constitute an infraction of the rules, but
you can rest assured that there is something more tangible in back of the refusal than a
mere violation of the rules. Ordinary requests for permission to disturb the turf to
plant flowers, or to place an urn or other obstruction on the lawn would seem like trivial
matters, yet, if granted and multiplied by hundreds of similar requests, would increase
tremendously the cost of maintenance and detract seriously from the beauty and general
appearance of the grounds.
It is perfectly natural and normal for one to desire to
improve and beautify the last resting place of a loved one, and sentiment in this regard
is recognized to the extent that every effort has been made to provide for the fullest
possible freedom of action, consistent with the rights of others. It is obvious
however, that all are not endowed with a sense of esthetic values and appreciation of what
is right and proper in regard to the embellishment of a burial lot. Therefore, it
becomes the duty and obligation of the cemetery to guide and direct by means of reasonable
rules and regulations. Much in the same manner that cities adopt building and zoning
laws for the protection and guidance of its citizens, cemetery officials have adopted
rules, based on long experience and careful study, for the benefit and mutual protection
of the lot owners and the cemetery as a whole.
Rules and regulations must not be regarded as a restraint on
personal liberty. In this limited space we have, tried to show you they are proper
and necessary. If fairly, courteously and impartially enforced on our part and
observed and complied with on your part, they can and have reacted to your benefit in
decreased maintenance charges and lower Perpetual Care costs. Do not form the
opinion that in their enforcement those in charge are being capricious or arbitrary.
Remember, we are all striving to achieve the same end - the beautification of the
home of our beloved dead, which should be a source of pride to you as a lot-owner, a
credit to us and an acknowledged beauty spot in the community.
Administration Office for St. Patrick Cemetery and St. Mary Cemetery is located at 1251
Gorham Street, Lowell, Massachusetts.
2. The Cemetery Office is open 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Monday through Friday.
The office is closed on all holidays and Holydays of obligation.
3. The cemetery gates open at 8:00 A.M. and close at 4:00 P.M. daily. During the
summer months the gates are open until dusk.
4. Automobiles or other vehicles are not allowed to travel at a speed greater than
ten miles per hour, and must not turn in the avenues.
5. Fences, hedges, curbing enclosures, ironwork, wirework, seats, vases, urns,
posts, vigil lights, and steps are prohibited.
6. Grading, sodding, seeding, fertilizing, filling in lots and any type of planting
by persons other than cemetery employees is prohibited.
7. All work within the grounds of said cemetery will be performed by cemetery
8. Articles such as shells, stone chips, mulch, glass receptacles, wooden crosses,
statues, emblems, flag standards or any other object which may be considered objectionable
will be removed by the Superintendent without further notice.
9. The Superintendent will dispose of all floral designs at his discretion. Funeral
flowers will be removed immediately following the interment service. A longer period
is injurious to the sod and detracts from the general appearance of the cemetery.
10. Any person who destroys or defaces any monument, tree, shrub, plant or building
is guilty of a serious offense, punishable by fine, imprisonment or both. The law is
strict on vandalism in cemeteries, and will be rigidly enforced.
11. Potted plants and
decorations are prohibited during the mowing season (April thru October). Artificial
flowers, baskets, wreaths, sprays, etc., are forbidden except during the winter
12. All Memorial Day
plants and decorations will be removed seven days following the holiday.
13. All Easter, Mother's
Day and Father's Day plants and decorations will be removed three days following the
1. The treatment of the grounds shall be subject to the general supervision and
approval of the cemetery management, and to such reasonable rules and regulations as the
management may pass for the future welfare and appearance of the cemetery.
2. No transfer of lots or graves will be made without, the consent of the Director
or Superintendent. Forms for legal transfers may be secured at the Cemetery Office.
3. Said lot shall be indivisible and upon the decease of the owner, his heirs at law
shall succeed to the privileges with the same restrictions, limitations and
4. When a lot owner so wishes he may designate the person or persons to be interred
in said lot after his demise, by filling out the proper instrument conveying the lot in
trust to the cemetery, after the person or persons have been interred, the lot will be
5. To prevent grave settlement, concrete containers are required as outside cases
for all burials.
6. The Superintendent may use his best judgment in opening a grave, when the
instructions are indefinite.
7. The cemetery management may refuse interment in any lot against which there is a
bill outstanding, or any lot that is not under endowed care.
8. Because of the uncertainty of soil conditions, the Cemetery will guarantee only
one burial in each grave.
9. The capacity of a grave may be increased, whenever possible, by opening graves
double deep. This service is subject to an extra charge.
Monuments, Markers and
1. Repairs and upkeep of all memorials is the responsibility of the lot owner.
The Cemetery will not be responsible for damage by vandals to any memorial within
2. Information relative to type and size of memorial allowed on any given lot may be
obtained at the Cemetery Office.
3. The Superintendent shall have the authority to reject any plan or design for any
memorial which, for reason of size, design, inscription, finish or quality of stone is, in
the opinion of said unsuited to the lot or section on which it is to be placed.
4. The dimensions and composition of all monuments to be erected must be submitted
to the Office of the Cemetery to be approved by the Superintendent.
5. No monument susceptible to disintegration or corrosion, such as limestone,
sandstone, cement, or metal will be permitted.
6. All monuments shall be located on the lot by the Superintendent according to the
plan for that particular lot.
7. Foundations will be built by cemetery employees only.
8. Flat markers are not allowed on lots marked by monuments. One monument or flat
marker to a lot. Granite Veterans Markers are allowed on all lots, contact the
Cemetery Office for details.
9. Lot owners and monument dealers may obtain more detailed copies of rules and
regulations governing the erection of monuments and markers by applying at the Cemetery
Flowers only (either annuals or perennials) may be planted at the base of a monument with
the following stipulations:
1. The flowerbed may be no wider than the width of the monument base and must come
out from the monument base no more than eight (8) inches.
2. No shrubs, trees, or bushes may be planted in the planting bed.
3. Ornaments, such as plastic decorations, pinwheels, animal figurines, balloons,
etc. are not allowed.
4. No bed covering, such as mulch or stones, etc. may be added to the planting bed.
5. Upkeep of the planted materials is the sole responsibility of the person who has
planted the flowers.
6. St. Patrick Cemetery
bears no responsibility for upkeep nor does it assume liability for damage, theft, or
vandalism with regard to the plantings or the planting bed.
7. If plantings and
planting bed are not maintained, or if inappropriate materials appear in the bed, St.
Patrick Cemetery reserves the right to remove any dead plants or inappropriate materials.
8. On occasion, the cemetery maintenance staff may remove plantings to accommodate a
burial or other activity. Cemetery staff cannot replace plantings.
9. Note that plantings
cannot be placed on a Flat Marker Lot, but only on a Monument Lot.
American Flag Display and
St. Patrick Cemetery adheres to the following guidelines regarding the display, care and
removal of the American flag:
The American flag may be displayed from May 1st through November 30th in front of or on a
The American flag must be displayed in such a way as to ensure it is not desecrated in the
process of display not touch the ground or become soiled. If it becomes wet
it must be dry before being stored.
If a flag becomes soiled or torn, it must be removed and properly disposed of (burned).
This is the responsibility of cemetery personnel.
The American flag will never be treated as waste or debris by cemetery personnel. All
remaining flags will be removed by November 30th by cemetery personnel and turned over to
the Veterans Administration. If you wish to retain your flag, you must remove it
prior to November 30th.
revised May 2011