Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Catholic Cemetery Conference?
The Catholic Cemetery Conference (CCC) is an association established in 1949 consisting of Catholic Cemeteries from Archdioceses and Dioceses located primarily the U.S. and Canada, but also with members in Australia, Guam and Puerto Rico. The primary function of the association is to provide a central office for facilitating communication, disseminating information and promoting high standards of cemetery management and operation to its 1100 cemetery and supplier members, thereby fostering the religious, charitable and educational interests of Catholic cemeteries and the people they serve.
What cemeteries are eligible to become members?
Catholic cemeteries that are wholly and exclusively controlled by their local Diocesan Bishop or are accepted and recognized as a Catholic cemetery when not exclusively so controlled, are eligible for membership. Each individual applicant shall, in the judgment of the CCCBoard of Directors, be otherwise possessed of proper personal qualifications for membership.
Is my local Catholic cemetery a member of CCC?
The easiest and quickest method to determine whether your local Catholic cemetery is a member is to navigate to the page on this web site, click on member cemeteries, and then select the appropriate state. A list of member dioceses will be listed. If your individual cemetery is not a member, you can contact the closest member cemetery for contact information. If this is not an alternative, please contact CCC staff directly who will then provide whatever assistance you might require.
What is cremation?
Cremation is the reduction of a deceased human body to recoverable bone fragments through a process that involves intense heat and evaporation. After the bone fragments have cooled, they are further processed into smaller fragments.
Is cremation permitted by the Catholic Church?
Yes; in the mid-1960’s, as a result of issues contemplated during the Vatican Council, the prohibition against cremation was relaxed. It is important to note that, though the prohibition was lifted, the intent of the Church is to have the cremated remains of the human body be buried remains. Cremation is not to be perceived to be the final disposition of the body; burial in the cemetery is the disposition preferred by the Church.
What is meant by the phrase “term grave?”
When European immigrants came to the United States, in some cases they brought with them their tradition of “term graves”, graves purchased for a limited period of time. In some cases, when the term period ended, the families were able to extend the term, or given the right to purchase the grave in perpetuity. In most cases, the practice of selling term graves ceased in the 1950´s.
Is it possible for non-Catholics to be buried in a Catholic cemetery?
In a spirit of Ecumenism, many regions now allow for the burial of non-Catholics in the Catholic cemetery, with some reservations. Non-Catholic members of the family, i.e., spouses, children, parents, and other relatives are generally permitted. Other Christian denominations with a connection to the Catholic Community, or who approach the appropriate Catholic cemetery authority for permission may also be allowed, subject to local Diocesan norms.
Why should Catholics be buried in a Catholic Cemetery?
Catholic Cemeteries are an extension of the parish church where those who have worshipped and prayed together in life now await the resurrection of the body in death. Whether an individual is active in their parish life or not, by choosing a Catholic cemetery, one selects a final resting place that reflects the beliefs and values from their own life’s personal journey. The Catholic cemetery provides a resting place that is sacred and shared with all fellow pilgrims awaiting resurrection of the dead and the promise of life everlasting.