The Catholic cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia MENU

Traditional Catholic Burial in Philadelphia

The most traditional form of burial is called an in-ground, or below-ground, burial. This type of service typically involves a casket, as well as a memorial tribute such as a plaque or tombstone. Read below for more details on the components of this burial option.

Choose traditional Catholic below ground burial if you:

  • Want flowers and other decorations to be placed at the site
  • Want outdoor visitations
  • Want a marker or monument
  • Want to be alongside other loved ones
  • Want to be cremated within the guidelines of the Catholic Church (the Catholic church requires that cremated remains be buried or entombed in the same manner as bodily remains)

Five components of a Catholic Cemetery in-ground burial:

  1. The gravesite is the space or plot within the cemetery. If you’ve already purchased your space, you can complete your pre-planning by setting up an appointment to purchase the remaining necessary components
  2. The casket is the beautiful vessel that holds the deceased during wake services, and contains the deceased during burial. The casket can include cremation urns.
  3. The vault is installed in the burial site first, prior to placing the casket. The vault provides protection for the casket, and helps to maintain a flat and level gravesite, in turn providing safe, sure footing for your loved ones.
  4. The opening-and-closing service is to prepare the gravesite for burial. It consists of ground opening, closing (back-filling), and landscaping (to restore the gravesite's appearance).
  5. A memorial is a tribute installed at the gravesite to honor and celebrate a life worth remembering. The two main options are flat granite or flat bronze “markers” (typically installed at memorial parks) and upright granite “monuments” or tombstones (typically installed at cemeteries).

You can learn more about traditional below ground burial at any of the 12 Philadelphia Catholic Cemeteries in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by requesting a free, no-obligation planning kit filled with helpful information.