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.
Our staff is available weekdays from 9:00AM to 4:30PM and Saturdays from 9:00AM to 12:00PM to assist families by phone and email. At this time, there is limited access to our office as we work to ensure the continued safety of visitors and our staff. We ask visitors to kindly follow all posted notices and guidelines, including the wearing of a face covering at all times.
Appointments in advance are recommended for all sales of plots, crypts, or niches.
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. Committals continue to be performed outside and at graveside, with the number of attendees limited to 50 people. At this time, committal services are permitted in our cemetery chapels as long as the total attendees do not exceed 33% of each chapel’s maximum occupancy.
Attendees of committal services must wear face coverings and stay 10 feet away from cemetery workers at all times.
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
Please note that Masses scheduled at our cemeteries have resumed; initially, these Masses, in remembrance of loved ones lost during the pandemic as well as the anniversary Masses of those interred one year ago, are being conducted on an invitation-only basis in order to ensure compliance with COVID safety guidelines. Our hope is that our Masses may be more widely attended later this year.
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 September 18, 2020