Rules & Regulations
"The Church through its funeral rites commends the dead to God's merciful love
and pleads for the forgiveness of their sins. At the funeral rites, especially at the
celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice, the Christian community affirms and
expresses the union of the Church on earth with the Church in heaven in the one
great communion of saints. Though separated from the living, the dead are still at
one with the community of believers on earth and benefit from their prayers and
intercession. At the rite of final commendation and farewell, the community
acknowledges the reality of separation and commends the deceased to God."
The above paragraph from the General Introduction of the Order of Christian
Funerals expresses our confident belief in the resurrection of the body and the
communion of saints. As a further seal and symbol of our faith, the Church regards
its cemeteries to be sacred and holy places and raises a cross in each as a sign of
hope to all Christians in the resurrection.
Since the earliest days of Christianity, Christians have respected and honored the bodies of the
dead and the places where they rest. Catholic teaching is that the human body is the temple of the Holy
Spirit and as such should be treated with respect in life and in death. To insure the dignity and
reverence and sacred character of its cemeteries, Rules and Regulations were created to maintain good
order. The following are the Rules and Regulations of Gate of Heaven Cemeter which guide its mission.
All the rights of interment, entombment or inurnment are subject to the Rules and Regulations of the
cemetery which are now in force or which may here after be adopted without prior notice by said
CERTIFICATION OF BURIAL RIGHTS
Throughout these rules and regulations, purchase of a burial area shall mean, and in actual
practice it shall involve, only the right to use the area for the interment, entombment or
inurnment of dead human bodies or parts thereof as covered by the Statutes and Disciplines
of the Catholic Church. One casketed interment will be allowed per grave, crypt, or niche space unless
otherwise stated on the original Certificate of Burial Rights. The Cemetery shall retain the right of
ingress and egress over the burial area, the right to use the area temporarily for anything consistent
with the function of the Cemetery and shall retain exclusive control of all work incidental to the
operation of the land as a Cemetery.
As evidence of purchase of a burial area, the Director of the Cemetery shall issue a
Certificate of Burial, Entombment or Inurnment Rights for the area purchased.
The Certificate owner shall control all burials made in the area and may permit an interment consistent
with the rules of the Catholic Church and Gate of Heaven Cemetery by signing a burial authorization.
The owner may, by means of a Transfer Certificate and with the approval of the Director,
transfer all or any part of the burial area to anyone qualified under these regulations by
appearing at the Cemetery office to execute the necessary papers and by paying the transfer
fee as established by the Director. The Director shall issue a Transfer Certificate to the
transferee, shall record in the Cemetery records and shall endorse on the original Certificate
of Burial Rights the details of the transfer.
As of November 1, 2011, the owner may no longer sell all or part of original purchase back to the Cemetery for the original purchase
price, less 30%, and/or contractual penalty, as established by the Director, provided all
charges against the area have been paid. These rights shall terminate after the death of the original owner,
1. The owner has, by a devise in his Will, disposed of the burial rights in the area to any
person or persons entitled to burial in the area according to the rules of the Catholic Church.
Whenever an area is so disposed of, a certified copy of the Will must be filed in the Cemetery
office to have any binding force. The burial rights must be specifically mentioned as such
in the Will for the devise to be effective.
2. All of the decedent's heirs at law have provided proof of consent to the sale.
After the death of the original owner, the surviving spouse shall have the right to one
burial space in the area for burial of self. This right shall take precedence over all other
burial rights except those established by Transfer Certificates authorized by the original
owner and shall be activated only if the surviving spouse acquaints the Director of the
Cemetery in writing with the location wherein interment is desired as the Cemetery shall
not otherwise be responsible for a lack of available interment space in the area. Such
control and burial rights shall be terminated only by divorce, remarriage or death and
burial elsewhere of the surviving spouse.
After the death of the original owner, all the next of kin of the owner, together with their
spouses, shall have right of burial in the area upon certification of the relationship of the
person to be buried to the original owner. This right shall be operative as long as there are
grave spaces in the area not occupied and not disposed of as outlined above.
In the event that all the burial spaces in the area are not disposed of as outlined above,
the right to use the remaining burial spaces shall descend in accordance with the following
Sequence of Inheritance:
1. Jointly to the children of the owner.
2. After the death of the last child of the owner, jointly to the grandchildren of the owner,
thence to the great-grandchildren, etc.
3. After the death of the last direct descendant of the owner, jointly to the parents of the
4. After the death of the last parent of the owner, jointly to the living brothers and sisters
of the owner.
5. After the death of the last brother or sister of the owner, jointly to the nephews and
nieces of the owner.
6. After the death of the last nephew or niece of the owner, jointly to the grandparents of
7. After the death of the last grandparent of the owner, jointly to the uncles and aunts of
8. After there is no longer any living persons who could be classified in any of these
groups, the burial rights in the area shall be terminated and remaining space left unused
INTERMENTS, ENTOMBMENTS, INURNMENTS AND REMOVALS
1. Interments shall be permitted on any day of the year except Sunday, Good Friday,
Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day.
2. All orders for interments must reach the Cemetery office within a reasonable length of time
prior to the scheduled interment. A minimum notice of 24 hours is
considered reasonable; Saturday, Sunday and Holidays excluded.
3. All funerals upon entering the Cemetery shall be under the exclusive charge and sole
direction of the Cemetery authorities with due consideration given to the task of the funeral director.
4. All tools and equipment used in connection with the actual interment must be those
owned and operated by the cemetery. Interment equipment provided by an outside vendor may be used, but
the cemetery disavows any responsibility for the function and safety of said equipment, the responsibility
becomes that of the vault company and the funeral director.
5. The hour and manner in which interments, entombments, inurnments, disinterments and removals will or
will not be permitted shall be designated at the sale direction of the Cemetery authorities and may change
without notice due to scheduling conflicts, weather, or condition of the grounds.
6. The burial of cremated remains on top of a previously buried casket is not permitted.
Opening of Casket
The casket may not be opened at any time within the Cemetery without the expressed
permission and in the presence of the Cemetery authorities and then only. Permission
to anyone to open the casket or to touch the body for a good and worthy reason without
the consent of the legal representative of the deceased or without a court order shall be
refused. In the event necessity requires, the Cemetery authorities may take appropriate
steps to correct any obnoxious or improper conditions.
Disinterment is the recovery of human remains by exhumation, disentombment, or disinurnment.
1. No disinterment or removal shall be allowed except for a good reason and with the
permission of the Cemetery authorities. Ohio Revised Code Section 517.23 states in part that disinterments
may be performed upon the order of...(i.e.) Hamilton County, or by direction of the cemetery to correct an interment
error. A written application for the disinterment must be completed with the cemetery
by the requesting party prior to the scheduling of the dis-interment. The cemetery,
without written application or order of a court, can make a disinterment and reinterment
to correct an interment error. Owners and purchasers acknowledge on behalf of themselves, their heirs,
successors, and assigns that Gate of Heaven Cemetery has the right to correct any errors that involve
the interment of the deceased person. The cemetery must follow its own rules and is required
to notify the decedent's last known next of kin.
2. The Cemetery authorities shall exercise due care in making a disinterment, but shall
assume no liability for the damage to any casket, outer container or their contents
incurred while making the disinterment or removal.
Garden and Community Mausoleum
1. Only caskets of metal construction may be placed into a mausoleum crypt.
2. Only embalmed or cremated human remains may be placed into a mausoleum crypt.
All cemetery fees for a given space must be paid in full prior to the use of that space. Double occupancy
spaces are regarded as a single purchase and therefore must be paid in full before use.
All burial areas in the Cemetery will be sold with Endowed Care included in the purchase
price. This Endowed Care shall include the cutting, re-seeding or re-sodding,
fertilizing, weed control, leaf removal and the maintenance of plantings. The cemetery and the Archdiocese
also assume the responsibility for road maintenance, snow removal, water and drainage systems and care of
buildings as the Director shall deem necessary.
Any shrine, memorial, marker or vase is the property of the individual owner. As such, a shrine should
be added to your homeowner's insurance to protect against theft, vandalism, storm damage, etc. The cemetery
will exercise due care as it goes about its daily business. The cemetery will attempt to notify the lot owner,
or his/her descendants, or any concerns it may have concerning shrines, memorials, markers or vases.
Work Within the Cemetery
All planting and work of any nature shall be under the exclusive control of the Cemetery;
planting or other work accomplished in any other manner shall be removed and the owner
of the burial area charged for the reconditioning of the affected area. Turf shall not be disturbed for any
purpose except under written authorization of the Cemetery authorities.
All grave, mausoleum and columbarium floral decorations are to be of natural cut flowers
or artificial flowers only. Potted plants, glass or pottery containers are strictly prohibited.
Only that type of vase is permissible which, when not in use, may be inverted and sunk in
the ground, or which is permanently attached to a crypt or niche front and meets cemetery
design. All floral decorations or decorations in general will be removed and discarded by
cemetery personnel on a weekly schedule (printed schedule available upon request from
cemetery office). At no time may anything other than permanently attached bronze plaque, vase,
religious emblem or photo cameo be attached to a crypt or niche front.
The Cemetery disclaims all responsibility for the theft or disappearance of any decoration including
plastic vase liners and reserves the right to remove any decoration when, in the opinion of the
Director, it becomes advisable to do so.
The placement of American flags shall be permitted on graves of Veterans of the Armed Forces;
however, these flags shall be removed when, in the opinion of the Director, it is
desirable to do so. Further, the flags must be stuck in the ground as the placement of flag
holders or emblems attached to the memorial marker shall be prohibited and the holders or emblems
shall be removed.
The cemetery shall charge a placement fee to be determined by the Director for the placement of decorations
delivered to the cemetery by outside vendors due at time of delivery.
Pets are not allowed on the Cemetery grounds.
Where permitted in accordance with Cemetery regulations for memorials, markers and vases may be placed
by the owner, next of kin, burial informant, executor/trix, or their assigned legal representative.
A marker shall be defined as one piece of natural granite or cast bronze, no larger than 56"
in width and 16" from front to back. All markers shall be designed with at least one, but
not more than two (three in Section 9) inscriptions referring to individual burials thereon;
shall be constructed with a flat top and shall be set flush with the ground surface. Only one marker
shall be permitted at each grave in the Cemetery except for those graves in the "Cloistered Garden" or
Section 9 as outlined below; the placement to be either at the head or the foot of the grave, as
determined by the Director.
The inscription of any marker may include proper name, middle name or initial, surname, nickname
(cemetery approval required), birth and death dates of the person at whose grave the marker is to be
placed, religious emblem (required), and optional personal inscription. Fraternity emblems must represent
Christian fraternities only. Only if two bodies have been
buried in the same grave (in the instance of cremation) may two inscriptions appear on the same marker.
Exceptions noted below by section.
A marker may be placed at a vacant grave space if the data on the marker refers to a living person
who intends to be buried in the grave and if the necessary arrangements are made at the Cemetery office.
In addition, a marker may be placed at a "false grave" as a memorial to a person whose body is not
buried in the grave if the necessary arrangements for records are made at the Cemetery office. Any
"false grave" so marked shall be considered as occupied and no future interments will be permitted.
All lettering on granite markers shall be incised at least three-sixteenths of an inch and on bronze markers
shall be raised three-sixteenths of an inch. The height of all lettering must be in keeping with the
design of the marker, with the width in proportion to the height.
A memorial is considered the personal property of the person who purchased and arranged for
placement of same.
Neither Gate of Heaven Cemetery nor the Archdiocese of Cincinnati shall have liability for loss or damage
to memorials or flower containers, and shall not be responsible for damage or destruction of the property
except to the extent that such damage or destruction is caused by the cemetery's willfull misconduct, gross
negligence or inadvertent damage by equipment.
For placement at the graves of children, a marker of appropriate scale and design is required. For
example: a marker 16" in width, 8" from front to back, and 4" thick if granite or 16" x 8" if bronze,
uniform in design, may be used in any Children's interment garden constructed prior to 2002. For
Children's gardens constructed after 2002, specific requirements are available per section. These markers
are designed for use only in the children's gardens.
Memorial is 56" x 16" bronze mounted on granite base, vase inclusive, and is designed for dual
inscription. This marker may only be provided by the cemetery as part of the interment package.
Section 28 Lawn Crypt
Lawn Crypt marker to be bronze only 16" x 24" mounted on a granite base 20" x 28", vase inclusive.
This marker is designed for dual inscription may only be provided by the cemetery as part of the interment
Section 28 Traditional Adult Gardens
Graves within these sections are sold primarily as a pre-packaged unit of grave, vault, fees, and marker.
Only markers 24" x 14" are permissible. Flower vase, if desired, must be incorporated into the marker. No
free standing vases are allowed. Marker may be mounted on a granite base, 28" x 18" x 4" in size.
Section 28 Infant or Children's Garden
Marker designed for use in this section is 10" x 20" ledger style Bronze memorial with or without
vase and is provided by the cemetery, or 10" x 20" x 6" granite Memorial, ledger style. Only vases
which are incorporated into the memorial are acceptable. In the area provided for miscarriages, a 12"
x 12" x 4" granite marker can be used, no vase is permitted.
For placement in the "Priest's Circle" all markers shall be uniform and shall be furnished
by the Cemetery in the shape of a Cross.
Traditional Adult Sections
At all other graves in the Cemetery, a marker must be 24" in width and 12" from front to back and must
be at least 6" in thickness, with smooth sides and bottom if made of granite. A bronze marker must
conform to the sizes set forth above for granite, must be at least 1/4 of an inch in thickness, must
have four corner lugs or bolts 1/4 of an inch in diameter. Individual bronze markers may be mounted on
a finished granite base 28" x 16" x 4" in size, sawed sides, or a 24" x 12" concrete foundation.
Granite markers are to be 24" x 12" x 6" sawed sides only. Granite marker bases are intended to provide
a two inch perimeter on all sides of the bronze memorial. A granite marker base must be four inches
thick, sawed sides only. Veteran's granite markers are not permitted.
A monument shall be defined as any structure of natural granite or bronze set in the
monument location on those lots designated monument lots. In the design of a monument all bases
thereto must be at least ten inches in thickness; all dies shall not exceed three feet and six inches
in width or height, and be at least eight inches in thickness. Urns designed for the growth of plants
are unsatisfactory; therefore designs with urns shall be rejected.
The Cemetery shall require that a memorial application be submitted for placement of
every memorial prior to its delivery to the cemetery. Each memorial application submitted shall be
inspected by the Director or by those persons authorized by him/her to act in this capacity and the
application, together with the memorial described thereon, either accepted or rejected on the basis
of size, structural stability, location, lettering, inscription, color, material, and in compliance
with these rules and regulations.
After the memorial application has been approved, the charge for the foundation, based
on standard charges adopted by the Director, must be paid before the Cemetery will
proceed with the necessary constructions.
All markers shall be set by the Cemetery employees in the manner prescribed by the
Director, or by cemetery designated contractors in compliance with Cemetery guidelines, supervision,
F. REMOVAL OF MEMORIALS
The Cemetery reserves the right to remove any memorial which becomes dangerous or
unsightly or any memorial placed in violation of these rules and regulations without previous
notice to the owner of said memorial.
Shrines constructed on shrine lots shall be per cemetery design; and carved from granite or marble,
composite materials are unacceptable. Statue not to exceed 54" in height, pedestal not to exceed
30" in height and appropriate width and depth for the statue. Pedestal engraving must have prior
approval of cemetery administration. Huts covering the statue are not permitted due to safety
concerns. Any existing huts will be removed when their condition warrants, and will not be replaced.
All shrines are to be approved and provided by the cemetery.
H. PRIVATE MAUSOLEUMS
Private or Family Mausoleums are provided by the cemetery only for construction on sites designated
specifically for same. All terms of care and maintenance are contained within the purchase contract.
Care of buildings for which the owner has not contracted for endowed care is the responsibility of the owner
or of his/her heirs. Endowed case may be purchased at any time at a rate of 15% of the current purchase
price of the building, and includes care and maintenance of the building only including exterior pressure
washing, re-caulking or tuck pointing of seams and leveling of steps as required. It shall not include
any restoration to art work or repair of damage due to vandalism except that which is necessary to make the
building secure. It is the responsibility of the family to make known to the cemetery officials a
family contact person following the death of the original owner.
All persons are encouraged to visit the Cemetery. However, the Catholic Cemetery is a
sacred place, especially to those persons whose family and friends are buried therein;
therefore, all visitors must conduct themselves in an acceptable fashion with due regard to
the feelings of others. To this end, the Director and his/her assistants
shall have the right to eject from the grounds any person or persons whose actions they
The Cemetery reserves and shall have the right to correct any errors made by the
Cemetery employees in making interments, dis-interments or removals, in planting or
grading work, in memorial work or in the description, transfer or conveyance of burial
rights either as to the rights in a particular burial area conveyed or as to the person to
whom conveyed. In particular, the Cemetery may correct any errors in the description,
transfer or conveyance of burial rights by substituting and conveying in lieu thereof burial
rights in other burial areas of equal value and similar location as far as possible, or as may
be selected by the Director, or at the sole discretion of the Director, by refunding the
amount of money paid in such transactions and repossessing the burial rights. In the event
such error involves the interment of any person in such burial area, the Cemetery reserves
and shall have the right to dis-inter and transfer such remains to such other burial area of
equal value and similar location which may be substituted and conveyed in lieu thereof.
The Cemetery authorities, their agents and employees, other grave and lot owners
and those reasonably entitled thereto, shall have perpetual right over graves and lots to
pass to and from other graves and lots.
The Cemetery authorities may at any time, or from time to time, for the erection of
buildings, or for any purpose or use connected with, incidental to, or convenient for, the
care of, preservation of, or preparation for the interment of dead human bodies or other
cemetery purposes: Re-survey, enlarge, diminish, replant, alter in shape or size, or otherwise change
all or any part or portion of the Cemetery area.
The Cemetery authorities shall have, to be exercised at any time and from time to time,
easements and rights of way over and through said Cemetery premises for the purpose of
installing, maintaining and operating pipe-lines, conduits, drainage, electric or communication lines,
or for any Cemetery purpose.
Normally the cemetery is open for visitation from dawn to dusk every day o the year. The office is
open from 9 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday, and from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday.
TRANSFER OF BURIAL RITES WITHIN THE CEMETERY
All accepted requests for transfer of Burial Rites will be charged the standard Recording
An individual who wishes to transfer from their originally purchased area of this cemetery
into another area of this cemetery prior to an interment having been made in the original
lot may do so by presenting his or her written request to the cemetery Director for approval.
The owner will be credited the original purchase price, minus a recording fee, toward the purchase of
any other property within the cemetery. The balance, if one exists, will be paid in either
cash or time contract by the purchaser. Exceptions are as noted below.
An individual may transfer his/her site for another within the same section or like section, in
most instances, by simply paying the recording fee. Like sections currently refer to:
- Section 7 and 21,
- any Lawn Crypt division for any other Lawn Crypt division,
- equivalent grave space for equivalent grave space,
- equivalent garden mausoleum space for equivalent garden mausoleum space,
- equivalent niche space for equivalent niche space.
An individual who wishes to transfer from their originally purchased area of this cemetery
into another area of this cemetery after an action has occurred on the original lot or crypt,
i.e.: interment, entombment, inurnment, marker placement, vase placement, may do so by
presenting his/her written request to the cemetery Director for approval. The owner will be credited
with the original purchase price of the lot minus a recording fee, minus the value of
interment, entombment, inurnment, burial vault, marker, foundations, etc., and additionally
charged the standard disinterment or disentombment fee, whichever of the above stated
Gate of Heaven Cemetery
11000 Montgomery Road at I-275
© 2007 Gate of Heaven