Throughout history, this has been the focal point so society's grief, ceremony, and memorialization.
- A place where dead a treated with reverence while providing the living with an acceptable environment to express their emotions and memorialize their loved ones.
- Many of the societal factors that have influenced the changes in funeral homes have also influenced the changes in these.
The only two places many people feel are appropriate for expressing their emotions.
- Crying, talking to the deceased, or just sitting and standing silently for as long as you like are acceptable behaviors.
- people know these are for that purpose
- It is not embarrassing to let other people see them
- Natural and accepted
Cemetery and Funeral Home
People want to be remembered after they die.
- Limited number of ways to do this
- Easiest way is with a cemetery monument of some sort
- The grave, niche, or mausoleum with a person's name on it makes a statement for all to see.
From the Greek word meaning "sleeping place", this is an area of ground set aside and dedicated for the final disposition of dead human bodies or cremated remains.
- The churchyard cemetery
- The garden cemetery
- The memorial park
The evolution of the cemetery can be traced by three occurrences:
One of the most significant influences on American cemeteries was the transition from a rural, agrarian society to a more urban, "community" based society. Rural folk along with immigrants froom Europe were flooding US urban areas. One of the first structures built in town was a church. The church grew to serve as a focal point of worship and community affairs in the town.
- People decided that it was the most appropriate place to bury the dead so that they would be close to God
- Europeans familiar with this practice
- Wooden floor lifted and person was buried inside the church
- Deceased's station in life determined where in the church they were buried (the more prominent and prosperous individuals were buried close to the altar).
- As space became limited, burials moved outside
- Established memorialization norms that are still used today
- Utilized the first slab "tomb stone"- included the name of the deceased, date of birth and death, and a favorite passage or scripture.
The Churchyard/Urban Cemetery
Urban growth came with a rapid concern over the sanitation conditions that were deteriorating in the Northeastern towns and cities in the early 1800's.
- Choera, yellow feaver, typhoid, diptheria, small pox, and other infectious diseases plagued the U.S,
- Some people blamed the immigrants from Ireland, Germany, and Italy
- Others blamed miasma
- Sewage, garbage collecting, street cleaning and the decomposing underground corpse
- Public health officials in New York: "the interment of dead bodies within the city ought to be prohibited."- warnings were ignored, urban cemeteries still overcrowded.
- New York lost 16,000 citizens from yellow fever, Boston and Philadelphia were also affected by the epidemics.
- Boston City Council called "for the immediate terminition of inter-city burials, as well as the exhumation of all crammed or shallow-buried corpses."
The Garden Cemetery- Environmental Concerns that led to them
Considered the first American suburban cemetery.
- Designed not only to "quarantine" the dead from the living, but also as a place to celebrate life and eternal life.
- Designed to resemble the rambling gardens of the English estate.
- Picturesque and peaceful, where man walks in tranquility and harmony with God (McRae).
- The answer to America's burial and death care problems
- For the first time in its history, the death care industry was accepted and seen as a meaningful and beautiful part of social life. (McRae)
Created in 1831 in Cambridge Massachusetts- Mount Auburn Cemetery
A cemetery or section of a cemetery with only flush to the ground type markers.
- Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, CA founded by Hubert Eaton in 1917 was the first
- Eaton's "memorial park plan" eliminated upright monuments. He envisioned Forest Lawn to be "a great park devoid of misshapen monuments and other signs of earthly death, but filled with towering trees, sweeping lawns, splashing fountains, beautiful statuary, and memorial architecture."
- A place where happiness is recalled and sorrow forgotten (Van Beck)
- Profound impack on the cemetery industry in this country
- Eliminated the upright memorial and the aesthetic garden setting found with the garden cemetery.
- Time and labor of ground maintenance was greatly reduced
- In 1942, Dr. Eaton combined the funeral home with the memorial park (Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuary).
The Memorial Park
- One of the most dramatic changes in cemetery design
- Ensures that the burial site remains as natural and simple as possible in all respects
- Interment is done with a biodegradable casket, shroud, or a favorite blanket.
- Designed to let nature take its course
- Earth friendly option when considering burial vs. cremation
- No embalming fluids, no expensive caskets or outer burial containers
- Common among US pioneers (when a casket was not available the person was buried directly in the ground) but not common in the US today.
- More popular in Britian
- 215 burial sites in Britian, more planned
A subdivision of a cemetery containing several blocks.
A subdivision of a cemetery containing several lots; these make up sections.
A subdivision of a cemetery containing several graves or interment spaces; these make up blocks.
An excavation in the earth as a place for interment.
Memorializing the dead is one of mankind's oldest traidtions. It is a powerful and meaningful way of expressing our love and honor for those who have touched our lives. There are many ways to memorialize someone. It is imperative that we have a basic understanding of the design, craftmanship and artistry that goes into a memorial (helps us and the families we serve):
Monuments and Markers
A structure, usually of stone or metal, erected to commemorate the life, deeds, or career of a deceased person; from the Latin word meaning to remind.
A small headstone, usually one piece, used to identify individual graves.
A physical object that is designed for the purpose of remembering.
- Upright marker/monument
- Die (Tablet)
- Slant Marker
- Flat Marker
- Bench Memorial
- Bronze Marker
- Die (Tablet)
Types of Markers (Monuments)
This is the most common form of memorialization used today. This consists of 2 pieces. The top piece is much larger and is called a "tablet" or die. The bottom piece is known as a "base."
The main part of a monument, the upright portion above the base where the inscription is located.
The lower or supporting part of the monument.
This typically stands 16" to 18" in height with the front slanting or sloping back at a 45 degree angle.
These lay flush with the ground. They are generally 24" X 14" but can be larger or smaller depending upon cemetery requirements.
A bench made out of granite. They typically consist of a top piece supported by two standards. Thse can serve as enduring memorials dedicating a park or other suitable location. They can also be used as cemetery memorials.
- Growing in popularity as landscape furniture in private residences.
- Permission is needed by the cemetery before this may be installed.
A flat marker cast out of bronze. These are either mounted to a granite or cement base that serves as a foundation.
Two basic finishes:
- polished 2
- polished 3
- polished 5
Creates a smooth surface of the stone. Abrasives are used similar to sanding wood to make the stone smooth and then the surface of the stone is buffed to a glass like polish. Available in several ways (2, 3, and 5)
Polished Memorial Finish
Front and back of the memorial are smooth.
Front, back and top of memorial are smooth.
Front, back, top and sides of the memorial are smooth.
Gives the stone a natural rough finish.
- Many upright memorials and bases
- Appears simple to create, but is not, requires great skill to create a "natural" versus an artificial appearance.
- Artisan uses a hammer and a set of chisels to create the desired product.
Memorial Design (Tops)
Lettering and Ornamentation
An inscription on a monument to commemorate the deeds or qulities of the departed.
Most often used in lettering and creating the ornamentation that is present on the memorial.
- craftsmen place a rubber stencil on the memorial, then use a direct stream of abrasive blown under high pressure (approx. 100 psi) against the memorial. When the stream strikes the rubber, it bounces off, but wehre the rubber has been cut away, the stream etches a pattern into the stone.
- Produces a 2 dimensional design such as lettering.
Normally done on dark granite for more contrast. Skilled workers use a diamond tip-engraving tool to remove some of the polished areas of the granite.
- As the polished areas are removed, the lighter etched areas remain to create beautiful works of art.
- Families are able to etch into the memorial picutures of the deceased or favorite versus or interests.
A monument erected to the memory of the dead, with the dead human body not present.
A building containing crypts of vaults for entombment; an above ground structure for burial.
- First above ground tombs credited to Egyptian Pharaohs.
- 353 BC- the first mausoleum was constructed by the Persian Queen Artemisia for her husband Mausolus. Mausolus was a satrap (governor) of the Persian Empire and virtual ruler of Caria in southwestern Anatolia, from 377/376 to 353 BC. After he died at a relatively young age, Artemisia honored him with a tomb that was so spectacular that his name has become synonymous with all above ground tombs (Mausoleums).
History of Mausoleums
- Private/family mausolea
- Community moausolea
- Chapel Community Mausolea
- Garden Mausolea
4 Types of Mausoleums
A very premium form of above-gound entombment. Constructed to provide above-ground entombment to an individual or family at a pre-selected site at the cemetery. There are several factors to consider with these:
- The expense associated with the construction of the mausoleum
- Cemetery restrictions and regulations
- The number of individuals to be entombed in the mausoleum
- The style of mausoleum to be constructed
Designed to accomodate a large number of people.
- More affordable than private mausoleums- cost of construction and care is spread out among a larger group of people.
- Provided cemeteries with opportunities to efficiently make use of land in the cemetery.
- Because the availability of developable burial space in cemeteries being at a premium, above ground entombment have been increasing.
A building with indoor crypt spaces, climate controlled for year round comfort, and can offer a quiet setting with natural lighting, carpet, stained glass windows, features, seating areas and a comfortable atmosphere for services or for all who visit their loved ones.
Chapel Community Mausoleum
A building with all exterior, outdoor crypt spaces. There can be features and benches around the Mausoleum.
A chamber in a mausoleum, of sufficient size, generally used to contain the casketed remains of a deceased person.
A grave space where two or more persons may be buried in a grave liner which have been stacked one on top of the other, with the first person who dies being buried in the deepest grave liner with subsequent burials on top.
A structure, room, or space in a mausoleum or other building containing niches or recesses used to hold cremated remains.
A recess or space in a columbarium used for the permanent placing of cremated remains.
- Some want clean, dry, above-ground entombment
- Some individuals do not want to be put in the ground
- Some want to make it more conveinent for their loved ones to visit during inclement weather.
Reasons why families select above ground entombment
The four major concerns that exist are bodily fluid leakage, decomposition odors, infestation and casket deterioration over time. These concerns have continued to exist regardless of:
- Geographical location- north, south, east or west
- Type of mausoleum- chapel, garden and private family mausoleum
- Type of construction- poured-in-place or pre-cast concrete crypts
- Type of caskets entombed- gasketed-metal, non-gasketed metal or wood caskets
- Quality of the entombment procedures
- Age of the mausoleum
- Extent of an integrated pest-management program
Mausoleum Related Concerns
- Body fluid leakage
- Decomposition odor
- Casket deterioration...over time
4 Major Concerns of Mausoleums
- Most of the time fluids flow into the adjacent crypts and the crypt chambers beneath the problem crypt
- The fluids can exit a crypt even when the plastic shutter is perfectly caulked in place because concrete is porous
- Once the fluids reach the granite or marble front, severe staining occurs
- New crypt fronts need to be used and old fronts are removed from the mausoleum
Body Fluid Leakage
The vent in the front of the crypt chamber is designed to evacuate the odor from the chamber. When the flow of air is limited or non-existent, the decomposition odor is absorbed into the concrete and can become recognizable in the mausoleum.
The Phorid Fly, Megaselia Scalaris, has become a persistent pest of the mausoleum industry.
- Can become so intolerable that visitors are forced to leave the building
- Many families and visitors find the insect electrocution lights loaded with dead flies to be equally disgusting. (male flies are most attracted to these)
- Bigh lights detract from the beauty of hte building and interrupt prayer and meditation
- Conventional pest-control methods are not effective on mausoleum Phorid flies because the source of the problem is within the occupied crypt chamber. This increases as the mausoleum structures age and become more occupied
- Even with operational improvements, vetilation, crypt sealing, etc., this insect proved much too difficult to control.
- Control the casket by the use of a casket protector
- Pesticide program that will reduce the population by killing female flies
Two ways to reduce infestation
Recognizable problems have occurred with caskets entombed only 9 days from the date of entombment. Caskets have become active for fluid leakage, odors and infestation after being entombed for 30+ years.
Casket Deterioration.....Over Time
- In ground removals to the mausoleum
- Transfer cases from other cemeteries
- Temporary entombment's communicable diseases cases
- Poorly embalmed cases
- Unembalmed cases
- Problem cases that become recognizable years after entombment
Mausoleum Managers Must be Prepared for:
A sealed unit that is designed to provide a controlled environment for the casket.
- Covers both wood and metal caskets
- Engineered to allow gases to escape, contain liquids, and control infestation
- Maintain the overall quality of the cemetery/mausoleum
- Contribute to the general well being of the environment
- Provide additional peace of mind and comfort to the families of the deceased.
Three-Fold Purpose of the Use of a Casket Protector