As Long Island emerges from the impact of the coronavirus, Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island has modified its practices. The most current items that families and visitors to our cemeteries should be aware of include the following:
Our hours have remained unchanged throughout the crisis. For Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury, Queen of All Saints Cemetery in Central Islip, and Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram, our properties are open from 8 am to 5 pm, with interior mausoleums closing at 4:30 pm, seven days a week. For information on Queen of Peace Cemetery in Old Westbury, with very limited usage at present, please call our office at Holy Rood (516-334-7990) for current visiting hours.
Visitors are asked to continue to comply with existing “social distancing” guidelines, including maintaining at least 10 feet of distance from cemetery workers and always wearing a face covering when interfacing with cemetery workers.
For the continued safety of both visitors and staff, our cemetery offices remain closed to the public at this time. Families wishing to meet with a Customer Sales & Service Representative must call for an appointment by contacting the respective cemetery office in advance, and the representative will meet the family member at a specific time and location within our properties. Again, the wearing of a face covering during such meetings remains a requirement at this time.
Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island remains proud of the fact that we were able to address all families’ requests for committals on a timely basis, and with the participation of a deacon where practical. All committals continue to be performed outside (not inside chapels) and at graveside, with the number of attendees limited to 25 people. Attendees must wear face coverings and stay 10 feet away from all cemetery workers.
Sales of Rights for Burial Plots, Entombment Crypts, and Cremation Niches
During the height of the pandemic, Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island understandably limited sales to those with “immediate need”. At this time, we have now resumed “pre-need” sales at our three active cemeteries (Holy Rood, Queen of All Saints, and Holy Sepulchre); this includes graves, crypts and niches at each.
In addition, we have limited graves at Queen of Peace Cemetery in Old Westbury offered only on “at need” basis. Speak to the Customer Sales & Service personnel at Holy Rood for further info on opportunities at Queen of Peace Cemetery.
Resumption of Key Ancillary Functions
At the outset of the crisis, Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island suspended certain non-critical functions, re-dedicating our focus to immediate burials. These functions, including Monument Work, Inscriptions, and Placement of Emblems have now resumed. Arrangements can be made to ensure that monuments and inscriptions are proceeding in our burial grounds and mausoleums. Also emblems are again available for purchase and placement. Please feel free to contact any of our Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island locations for further details.
Masses at Cemeteries
It has been our practice to have Masses said throughout the month across our sites. Due to limitations set forth by the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Masses are suspended during much of March through mid-June. We will be resuming Masses in the near future, but are unsure as to ability for attendees. We will post updates here on this webpage as plans become clearer.
Family-arranged inurnments (whereby families contact us directly to set plans for the placing of existing cremated remains of a loved one into a niche) were suspended by Catholic Cemeteries of Long Island at the beginning of the crisis, as we dedicated our resources exclusively to working with funeral directors in addressing the massive increased needs of our collective services.
We are now in a position to again work with those families who wish to discuss with us the final resting place of cremated remains which have not yet been addressed. Whether coordinated through a funeral director or brought to us directly by a family, we believe that all Catholics have a right to a committal in a Catholic Cemetery. Please feel free to contact any of our offices for further information. For more information on cremation services, click here.
Updated July 14, 2020