A graveyard is an area where people are buried. It is also sometimes referred to as a cemetery or burial ground.

Many families consider the re-use of a grave site to be a desecration of their loved one’s resting place. This can often cause problems when cemetery authorities have to consider this option.

What is a graveyard?

A graveyard is an area of land where people are buried. It can also be referred to as a cemetery, though this term is usually reserved for more modern burial grounds that are not associated with a particular church.

In the Middle Ages, burial was a sacred practice under the control of the Church (the Christian organization), and burying could only take place on the lands around a church, or in the part of the churchyard dedicated to graves. When people wished to have their bodies buried away from church land, they were moved to new graveyards.

The caretakers of a graveyard dig and fill the graves when someone dies, usually before mourners arrive. They may use mechanical equipment to reduce the labour. Historically, the term gravedigger has been used for this job. Nowadays, the caretakers are more likely to be called cemetery workers. They are also responsible for maintenance of the cemetery grounds and buildings.

What is a cemetery?

A cemetery is a place where people come to mourn the deaths of their loved ones. It is usually a large outdoor space with graves grouped together, and sometimes a chapel. It is often maintained by a full-time staff that digs the graves and cares for the tombstones and monuments.

Cemeteries are normally owned by a public or private institution, and they may be religious or secular in nature. The ownership structure of the cemetery determines the mix of burial options and services offered.

Historically, graveyards were attached to churches or other places of worship. Today, a cemetery can be located anywhere, and it is not always tied to a particular church. The terms are still used interchangeably, but the word cemetery implies a more permanent resting place than a graveyard. It is also more likely to offer a wider range of burial options. In addition to traditional burial, many cemeteries have areas for green or natural burials that allow the bodies to return to the earth quickly so they can be re-used.

What is the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery?

Although the words graveyard and cemetery are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between them. The term “graveyard” refers to a burial ground that is attached to a church, while the term “cemetery” refers to a burial ground that does not have a church.

Graveyards are generally smaller than cemeteries, and they tend to have older tombstones that may be in a more disorganized way. Cemeteries are larger and have more modern family plots, which are neatly organized into rows.

Another difference is that graveyards are traditionally run by a church, while cemeteries are not. This means that graveyards can often be choosier about who is buried there, as they must follow strict religious guidelines. This can lead to some controversy, as many families feel that their loved ones are being disrespected if they are moved from one grave to another. However, this is typically only done when the burial site is full, and the family does not want to wait for a new grave.

What is the meaning of the word “graveyard”?

The word “graveyard” can be used to describe a whole area of land that is reserved for the burial of dead people or individual gravesites within such an area. It can also refer to a burial ground that is attached to a church or other religious facility, in which case it is sometimes called a cemetery.

Alternatively, it can be used to describe an empty lot or garden that has been turned into a graveyard by the removal of all the plants and the placement of memorials. Finally, it can also be used to describe a collection of gravestones that has been assembled in one place.

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Cemetery Design

Bidding a loved one farewell is always a difficult experience. Considering this, Cemetery Design must be sensitive and must offer ease of accessibility to all visitors.

Taking this into consideration, a well-thought Cemetery Master Plan can help in the effective use of space and resources. It can also enable long term sustainability for the Cemetery.

Master Plan

A cemetery master plan is a roadmap to guide future changes and additions. It provides a way to determine a fixed time frame and can also be used as a sales tool. WC Fry Design works with cemetery professionals, leadership, and stakeholders to create cemetery master plans, extensions and new sections. We have experience working with both public and private cemeteries.

Using existing natural features to their full potential, locating focal points and other elements that add value to the surrounding landscape is an essential aspect of cemetery design. Whether it is making good use of a waterway or taking advantage of an elevation change, these thoughtful considerations can provide both interest and value to the cemetery and its visitors. It can also increase the overall sustainability of the site, while demonstrating its permanence as a community fixture to city planning committees and residents. A Cemetery Master Plan can also be an opportunity to analyze the viability of a variety of projects, balancing development costs with revenue and capacity production.

Landscape and Architecture

A cemetery should be more than a peaceful place to bury the dead. It should be a space to connect with family, friends and community, a place to reflect and inspire.

Cemeteries today need to provide burial options for a wide range of preferences and cultures. Adding new monuments and architectural features that support these trends will help to attract future generations.

Modern cemetery design focuses on landscapes with graves rather than simply laying out graves in a grid. This approach allows for greater differentiation of landscapes and a better sense of flow through the site.

Ponds (natural and man-made) provide aesthetic appeal, reduce mowing requirements, enhance wildlife habitat and add a peaceful touch to the landscape. They can even serve as a focal point for memorialization. Mourners can leave a flower or posy on the wall of a columbarium or at the base, close to their loved one’s plaque. This is a wonderful way to express the meaning of life and death in a beautiful setting.


Many cemeteries have been designed in ways that exclude those with limited mobility. By incorporating more sidewalks, wheelchair-accessible paths, and gardens that are designed with low maintenance, you can welcome all visitors to a cemetery.

While it is customary to leave flowers and other offerings, it is important to respect cultural norms about touching tombstones and refraining from whistling in a graveyard. It is also important to read about a cemetery’s rules before you visit so that you don’t accidentally cause damage or disturb the resting place of someone else.

A digital map that is updated regularly and accurately reflects the physical layout of the cemetery helps both staff and visitors find information easily. By using a mapping solution like Chronicle, high quality images of the grounds can be collected and plots drawn on top with precision, accounting for every grave and monument before being matched to records. This allows a cemetery to plan more effectively for the future.


Besides the main signage indicating the layout of the graves, cemeteries display other information about the site and its cultural or historical importance. Such signs may also serve to identify specific grave sites for friends and family members seeking out the burial place of their loved ones.

Signs displaying this information generally follow the same basic guidelines as those for directional signs: for example, a proposed identification sign at the old Jewish cemetery in Rohatyn (Ivano-Frankivsk oblast) follows Ukrainian national standards for the sign size, corner radius, arrow form and typeface, substituting brown coloring for the standard blue and adding a custom symbol, which is similar to the rounded headstone silhouette that distinguishes Jewish headstones from crosses typically used for Christian grave markers.

By using a QR code, your cemetery can link visitors directly to your online cemetery public records and maps (by Chronicle). This not only helps with customer service but allows you to reduce your administrative work.

Cemetery is the place where people are laid to rest after death. Historically church graveyards served as designated final resting places, but as these were often overcrowded independent sites became more common.

The information gathered at cemetery locations can provide important clues to your family history research. Learn how to use these locations to your advantage.

1. A Place of Remembrance

Many people visit cemeteries to grieve, heal and remember. This is important for the health of their loved ones who have died, and for themselves as well.

Traditionally, people have been buried close to family members, reflecting the belief that ties of family last beyond death. This has led to a proliferation of tombs, mausoleums and graveyards.

In many cultures, burials are increasingly being replaced with cremation. Urns can be kept at home, scattered or placed in significant places, but this does not allow for the same type of communal memorial experience that a cemetery provides.

As such, there is an increasing demand for spaces that provide a place to grieve and heal. In this context, memorials offer a range of healing possibilities that extend beyond the ocular dimension of traditional memorials to include multisensory exploration and engagement.

2. A Place of Healing

For many, choosing a final resting place is instrumental in the grieving process. When a cemetery is carefully selected, it can provide a peaceful sanctuary and a serene backdrop for remembrance.

It’s normal to feel a whirlwind of emotions when visiting a loved one’s grave. While touching the memorial is not recommended, it is ok to gently brush or clean it.

Additionally, a cemetery can offer an opportunity for healing by fostering a sense of community and shared grief. In communities across the country, individuals who have experienced similar losses come together in grief support groups to share their stories and receive comfort from others who understand their journey. Embracing these communal practices helps to foster a deeper understanding of the complex nature of grief.

3. A Place of Peace

The selection of a final resting place is an important step in the grieving process. When choosing the right cemetery, families can find peace and comfort in a serene space that carries with it cherished memories and shared bonds.

The choice of a gravesite is also an opportunity to reflect on the nature of life, often providing a much-needed perspective during grief. This understanding of life’s cycles, from birth to death, can help individuals to reassess their values and priorities, and find peace with the knowledge that they are not alone in their loss.

This episode of The Good Grief podcast, Mike O’Connell and Amber Miller discuss the role that cemeteries play in facilitating the healing journey after losing a loved one. Listen in to learn more about how selecting the right cemetery can make all the difference.

4. A Place of Community

Cemeteries have been traditionally public spaces for many cultures. They’re the host of funeral services, post-funeral events and rituals for families. This communal nature gives a sense of community and support for grieving friends and family.

With a more open, accessible approach to space management, cemeteries can be used for all sorts of purposes. They can become walking trails, parks or even event venues.

Unlike their spooky portrayal in movies, cemeteries can bring communities together. With the help of new technology, it’s easier than ever to create a more meaningful place experience for all. Digital mapping allows a cemetery to make more informed decisions about their space. It also allows them to expand their reach to a larger audience and bring more value to the local community.

5. A Place of History

Cemeteries serve as a record of our history. Their architectural and artistic designs provide insight into the prevailing tastes and styles of a particular era. They also serve as a rich source of historical research and genealogical information.

Preserving a cemetery requires more than just restoring tombstones and landscapes. Cemetery conservation encompasses an entire site, ranging from trimming overgrowth to ensuring that water and drainage systems are working properly.

Educating communities about the importance of preserving these historic sites can help cultivate a sense of pride and ownership, encouraging responsible stewardship. It can also help highlight the intricate connections between grave site conservation and sustainability.

memorial park

Memorial parks use dignified flat engraved markers in open, beautifully natural settings. This creates a setting that is less about mourning and more about celebration of life.

This monument honors the Navy submariners who went to their ultimate sacrifice during World War II. Every name is easily located by referencing the panel address.


In the early 1920s, city leaders debated how best to honor the city’s soldiers who died in World War I. They ultimately decided to remake Putnam Park into Memorial Park to honor all soldiers. It was the first park in the nation dedicated solely to honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

During the early days of Pinelawn Memorial Park and Arboretum, families came to bury loved ones in this peaceful, green space. The cemetery also provided overnight accommodations and a place where they could relax and reflect during their time of mourning.

1100 Architect designed this non-denominational sanctuary to offer family members a private, serene place to grieve and remember. The birch panel wall defined and partially enclosed the space while a translucent fabric canopy masked outside noise to create a dignified and tranquil interior.


Memorial Park offers a modern approach to burial grounds, offering families the opportunity to place permanent memorials that reflect their loved ones’ beliefs and relationships. Memorials can include both formal biographical information (epitaph) and a pictorial representation of the individual integrally cast into the memorial itself.

Flat flush markers or monuments that lie flat on landscaped plots form the primary design. These open, beautifully natural settings set the stage for services that are less about mourning and more about life celebration. The Park also includes elegant mausoleum designs and a variety of other options for final resting.

The Submariners Monument, which was the first memorial added to the Park in the new century, pays tribute to Navy submariners who are on eternal patrol having never returned home. It is centered between the flags of two nations, the United States and South Korea and is dedicated to the submariners “whose Silent Service – Pride Runs Deep.” In keeping with the Park’s patriotic theme, it became one of the Village’s most fitting September 11th Memorials.

Picnic Areas

Memorial Park has a variety of picnic areas. The largest pavilion available for rent is a screened in pavilion that can seat 300 people and includes overhead lights, 20 picnic tables, electricity, water access and two large grills. It can be reserved online or first come, first serve.

Several picnic areas are located throughout the park, including Clay Family Eastern Glades, Picnic Loop, and Northside Picnic Areas. The park also offers a children’s playground, tennis courts, softball field (additional fee), open grass areas and public restroom facilities.

Discovery Green is a small park with lots of activities. Its a great place to bring your whole family. There are plenty of street parking spots and a garage but it can get busy. Its a good idea to bring your own food and beverages. There are no picnic tables, so opt for the traditional picnic blanket experience. The park is surrounded by restaurants and food trucks so you can easily find something to eat.

Jogging Trails

In Memorial Park, joggers will find a wide variety of trails to help them get their steps in. The park’s main trail, the Sandy Reed Memorial Trail, is a 10-foot-wide concrete path that allows cyclists, walkers and joggers to use it simultaneously. Runners who want to be closer to the water can take advantage of the five-foot-wide asphalt Kinder Footpath along Buffalo Bayou.

If you’re looking for a challenging jog, check out the Memorial Park Running Complex. Designed to be a central hub for park users, it includes the 400-meter Roy H. Cullen Timing Track, viewing decks, an event plaza and terrace, gathering spaces and trails.

Another great jogging option is the 3-mile Seymour Lieberman Trail that runs along the park’s golf course. This gravel path is so popular that you’re bound to encounter other joggers at all times of day. The park’s other wooded trails range from easy 3/4-mile segments to more challenging 2-mile routes that wind through natural ecosystems.

funeral bureau

Funeral services are complicated, and the death of a loved one is an emotional time. If you think that a funeral home mishandled your loved one’s remains, consult a Long Island funeral home neglect lawyer immediately.

Only a licensed funeral director can make arrangements for the care, transport and preparation of a deceased person for burial or cremation. Funeral directors, embalmers and hospitals file death certificates with the City of New York.

North Dakota State Board of Funeral Service

In North Dakota, the state board of funeral service regulates licensed practitioners and funeral establishments, including crematoriums. It also investigates complaints and takes appropriate action. The board is responsible for adopting standards and regulations that ensure the safety and welfare of the public.

Cremation is a common choice for families in North Dakota, and the state has specific requirements for handling and documenting cremated remains. In addition, the state regulates funeral homes’ transportation of the deceased.

Many people choose to keep cremated remains in a special urn at home or to create a memorial in a special place. Additionally, some cemeteries offer niches for cremated remains that are less expensive than a cemetery plot.

Georgia State Board of Funeral Service

The Georgia State Board of Funeral Service is responsible for licensing funeral directors and embalmers in the state. The board also administers the Funeral Service Law, which is designed to better protect life and health by preventing the spread of contagious, communicable, and infectious diseases.

In order to become licensed, an individual must meet all educational requirements and pass a state board’s examination. In addition, a license must be renewed every two years. A license can be waived if an applicant is unable to take the exam due to hardship, illness, or disability.

Licensed funeral directors in Georgia are required to address the cultural and religious needs of diverse communities. This includes recognizing and accommodating different customs and traditions, including funerals and burial ceremonies.

Nevada Funeral and Cemetery Services Board

In Nevada, the Funeral and Cemetery Services Board licenses funeral homes, cemeteries, and crematories and oversees their operations. The board also investigates complaints and enforces the law against violations of the state’s rules.

KVVU reports that the board’s executive director, Jennifer Kandt, called Hites’ storage of bodies “unacceptable,” adding that cases involving lack of dignity and respect are some of her worst. Ultimately, the board suspended Hites’ establishment permit for six months.

The Board can impose penalties for violations such as advertising prices that exclude caskets or offering service at cost plus a percentage, where the determination of that cost lies within the control of the advertiser. Other prohibited activities include using profane or indecent language or soliciting a commission, bonus, or rebate for providing cremation or burial services.

New York State Department of Health

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has a wide range of functions that support the health and safety of 19 million people in the state. The agency recently became one of the first large state health departments to achieve accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board. This achievement was made possible by a deliberate and rigorous approach to performance management and quality improvement across the organization. New York State also has a number of other agencies with jurisdiction over special activities that affect the health and safety of its citizens. These include the State Environmental Conservation, Labor, Agriculture and Markets Departments and the United States Public Health Service. Charter SS 558 authorizes the Board of Health to publish a code to regulate all matters and subjects that touch upon health, and may add thereto such additional provisions for the security of life and health in the city as are not inconsistent with this constitution or laws of the state.

Cemetery and Funeral Bureau

The Cemetery and Funeral Bureau licenses, investigates complaints and examines protests against 13 distinctive permitting classifications in California, encompassing memorial service foundations; funeral establishments; funeral directors; embalmers and apprentice embalmers; cemetery brokers, salespersons; and the nearly 200 authorized private cemeteries in the State. It also regulates crematories and incinerated remains disposers.

The Board is staffed with an executive director, administrative assistants and field representatives. The executive director oversees the licensing, inspection and enforcement activities. The audit program director directs the examination of preneed funeral funds, cemetery improvement care trust funds and cemetery preneed merchandise and services trust funds.

The Bureau advocates consumer protection and licensee compliance through proactive education and consistent interpretation and application of laws governing the death care industry. It also addresses issues that impact the mission of other governmental agencies which regulate the funeral industry, including licensure qualification and exam, international exchange of information, and state-to-state reciprocity of licensure.


A morgue is a facility in a hospital or medical center where bodies are stored. They are kept there until they can be identified or an autopsy is performed.

Oftentimes, funeral homes have their own morgues so they can provide more services than just an autopsy and burial. They can also perform embalming and have onsite cremation services.


Morgue is a place where bodies are kept temporarily until they can be identified or autopsied. It’s typically located inside a hospital or medical center, although some standalone morgues also exist. While movies often show a morgue as an empty room with a few drawer-like compartments, most real-life mortuaries have much more spacious and well-insulated cold chambers.

These can maintain either a slower positive temperature that doesn’t prevent decomposition or a negative one, which completely freezes the body and slows down decay. There are also special mortuary freezers that can be used to transport the bodies for further processing.

Because the bodies in a morgue are highly infectious, the facilities must contain the spread of germs. For instance, it’s important to provide safety showers and eye wash equipment within the morgue. The facility should also have a back-up system for the refrigeration in case of power outage.


Embalming is the process of replacing body fluids with chemicals to preserve and disinfect the remains. It’s not required by law in the US, but many funeral homes choose to embalm their clients to provide a more respectful goodbye. This machine looks like a toilet but is actually used to drain and replace bodily fluids during embalming. It’s a vital tool in the mortuary that saves a lot of time and effort.

To begin the process, a funeral director will insert a specialized embalming solution into an artery, often in the neck’s carotid or jugular vein. He or she will then wash the body, focusing on private areas, and position it, bending, flexing, and massaging arms and legs to relieve rigor mortis. Once a peaceful pose is achieved, the face will be set. This step is important because it gives family and friends a chance to make arrangements, talk, and say their last farewells before the casket is closed.


Coffins are boxed containers that have been used to carry and protect bodies for funerals in many cultures across the world. They’re important because they provide a barrier between the body and the funeral home staff, which helps prevent the spread of any infectious diseases that may be present. In addition to other procedures like embalming, coffins can help slow the rate of decomposition and preserve the body until the time of burial or cremation.

The most common type of coffin is a wooden box that’s about six-sided and narrower at the feet and head than it is at the shoulders. It’s usually painted or decorated and can feature wreaths, carving, or other symbols of death. More elaborate coffins are often reserved for wealthy families or people of high status.

Caskets are similar to coffins, but they’re typically made of metal or wood with a hinged lid. They’re more expensive than coffins, but they offer a better opportunity for family members and friends to say their goodbyes. Many funeral homes sell caskets as part of their services, and they can be rented for use during viewings.


Cremation is a common choice for many families. It allows for more flexibility with memorialization and can save money compared to burial costs. However, there are some disadvantages to it.

First, the body is prepared for cremation by washing it with water and a disinfectant. Then the funeral director sutures any incisions and applies cosmetics. This may include the use of specialized makeup or regular store-bought products.

In some Christian countries and cultures, traditional burial is discouraged as a rejection of the respect due to humans who are created in God’s image. However, cremation is becoming more acceptable to the majority of Christians and other religions.

As the earth’s land resources are limited, cremation can also help conserve space by not using a casket or grave site. Ashes can be scattered or kept in a special urn. They can also be used to make jewelry or incorporated into other art pieces.


A graveyard is a place where people are buried. The word “graveyard” comes from the Greek word koimeterion, which means bedroom or resting place.

Historically, a graveyard was affiliated with a church. Therefore, only members of that religion could be buried there. Cemeteries, on the other hand, are not tied to any particular faith and can be much more expansive.

What is a graveyard?

People often use the terms graveyard and cemetery interchangeably. However, if you are planning your own end-of-life arrangements, it is important to understand the differences between these two burial sites.

For starters, a graveyard is typically located on church property and only allows traditional burials. A cemetery, on the other hand, is a large burial ground that is not attached to a church. It also allows cremation and ashes burials.

Moreover, a graveyard tends to have older tombstones and is often unkempt. Cemeteries, on the other hand, are usually newer and more organized.

The difference between a graveyard and a cemetery is important to know because it will impact your decision-making process. Especially if you are considering joining your loved ones in a specific location after your passing. Make sure your next of kin understands the difference between these two sites, so they can carry out your end-of-life wishes. Create a free Cake end-of-life planning profile and share your wishes instantly with family members.

Where is a graveyard located?

For some, it may seem like the words graveyard and cemetery are interchangeable — but for those who choose to honor their loved ones in a traditional manner with a casket or urn burial, there is a difference between these two types of final resting places. The main differences between a graveyard and a cemetery are their location, religion, and whether they are tied to a church.

Traditionally, graveyards are located within the grounds of a church. This is because, until about the 7th century in Europe, burials were firmly controlled by the church and could only take place on consecrated church ground.

As populations in Europe began to grow, church burial grounds quickly filled up, and independent sites called cemeteries were developed. As a result, those who were buried in a cemetery weren’t necessarily church members. Today, many people are buried in both a graveyard and a cemetery, depending on their preferences.

What is a cemetery?

A cemetery is a place where individuals are buried, or in some cases entombed in mausoleum crypts or sarcophagi. Many people visit cemeteries to pay their respects, offer prayers or simply seek solace in a serene environment. Graveyards also serve as historical sites, showcasing the evolution of burial practices and memorialization over time.

While the two terms are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences. The term graveyard is typically associated with smaller, older or church-associated burial grounds, while the term cemetery refers to larger, more modern and secular burial spaces.

The etymology of the word “graveyard” is fairly straightforward; it literally means a yard filled with graves. The word cemetery, on the other hand, is derived from the Greek word koimeterion, meaning bedroom or resting place. The development of the term cemetery came about as church-affiliated graveyards became full and new, independent burial grounds were needed. As the population of Europe grew, the capacity of church-affiliated graveyards began to run out, and completely new burial places popped up, including those that were more secular.

What is the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery?

There are many words that are often misused or used interchangeably, especially when it comes to death and funerals. Understanding the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery will help you be clear when explaining your end-of-life plans to your next of kin.

The word graveyard originally referred to a burial ground that adjoined a church. As churchyards became full, new burial grounds were established outside of the church and these are now referred to as cemeteries.

Cemeteries are generally more secular and can have fewer restrictions on the headstones that may be used. They can also be much larger than a graveyard.

As the practice of cremation becomes more accepted, the distinction between a cemetery and a graveyard may become less important. However, if you want to stick with linguistic precision, then it is better to use the term graveyard for a burial ground within a churchyard and to refer to a cemetery as an unaffiliated burial site.

Cemetery Design

A cemetery needs to have a master plan that addresses how the different elements will be incorporated into the property. The plan is a great way to show visitors what is available, as well as help in marketing the property.

Modern cemetery design must think beyond a place to lay a grave; it is a vibrant celebration of life, family, history and individuality. Harboring lands to avoid runoff, introducing forestry alongside burial grounds are examples of this.

Landscape Design

Landscape design is one of the most important aspects of a cemetery. It creates an environment that is both beautiful and meaningful for visitors. It also helps people to navigate the cemetery with ease.

For example, creating scenic vistas with an end terminus like a mausoleum or chapel and an intermediate terminus such as an estate garden or water feature can provide a clear sense of direction throughout the cemetery. Well-designed plantings with appropriate climate, soil conditions and flow are another way to enhance a cemetery’s landscape design.

Cemetery owners should take the time to think about their landscape design in a holistic way, ensuring that the cemetery is both functional and interesting for all of its visitors. Upfront investments in sustainable landscaping such as changing over from asphalt to permeable roads, switching to organic fertilizers and avoiding invasive species can reduce maintenance costs. Similarly, creating natural or man-made ponds can help to control storm water drainage and provide a habitat for wildlife.

Burial Space Design

Burial space design in a cemetery includes all spaces used for interment of caskets, urns and cremation ashes. Cemetery design should be sensitive to the emotional needs of visitors and respect the cultural and architectural context.

Cemetery layout and design can also consider other types of interment products including mausoleums, lawn crypts and columbarium niches. Cemetery layout and design should take into account population trends in your community to best provide interment products to meet the needs of families and friends.

Proper grading is essential to ensure that water flows away from grave sites and buildings. This can be accomplished by designing drainage systems that include subsoil drains, reed bed construction and surface water catch all designs.

Excel is a popular choice for managing cemetery data and transitioning from paper records, but it was not designed to be a comprehensive cemetery management solution. Moving to software like Chronicle, which is purpose-built for cemetery mapping and data management, can improve efficiency, accuracy and overall management.

Monument Design

The monument design process allows bereaved families to commemorate their loved ones in a variety of ways. Each family’s needs and budget are considered. Inscriptions, religious symbols and other details all add up to the final product. Monuments can come in a number of shapes and sizes including the traditional upright monument, slant style memorial or foot marker.

Meisner: Cemetery design should take advantage of natural features on the site. Water features, wooded hillsides or high points are just a few examples of what can be incorporated into the master plan. These unique areas can become the focal point for the cemetery as visitors view them.

Cremation has given rise to a number of new options for cemetery use, including columbaria and interment gardens. These types of burials can utilize less land and are much less disruptive to the natural systems on a cemetery property. They can also be designed to create a sense of place for the community, as well as work with the existing landscape.

Signage Design

Modern cemetery design moves beyond a place to lay a coffin; it must be a vibrant celebration of life, family and history. It must also express a new way of thinking about death and individuality integrated within a community.

Cemeteries with natural landscape features such as lakes and ponds have the opportunity to provide a serene environment that invites connection with nature, families and communities. These features are also opportunities for environmental stewardship.

A cemetery’s master plan must consider all of these factors. Too often, cemetery development obliterates the unique setting to create a typical cemetery like those along every highway outside of cities and towns across America. Instead, we encourage our clients to find a niche in their landscape and be unique with their cemetery. This differentiation will help them attract more people who will want to visit and support the success of the master plan. This can be achieved by implementing a number of cemetery signs to guide visitors, as well as by using interpretive maps with clear, simple language.


Cemeteries are a great place to visit loved ones, reminisce, and communicate with the deceased. They provide a serene environment and create a bond that helps with the grieving process.

It is a good idea to bring a map of the cemetery and write down the locations of the graves. This will help you avoid searching the same places again.


Until recently, nearly all burials took place within church-affiliated graveyards. However, as the populations of cities and towns grew and these sites began to fill up, it became necessary to create new places of rest that were unaffiliated with churches. This led to the creation of cemeteries.

Cemeteries are generally not attached to a specific denomination as church-affiliated graveyards are, and they are often located away from city or town centers for increased space. Their etymology stems from the Greek word koimeterion which means sleep or resting place.

Occasionally, a cemetery will also contain a mausoleum, which is a separate structure from the grounds and may or may not be religious. The management of a cemetery involves the allocation of space for burials, digging and filling graves, constructing headstones or plaques, and the care and maintenance of the grounds and landscape. The majority of the work is done by the surviving family or friends of the deceased person.


A cemetery has a long history. Before the invention of mass transportation, people had to travel long distances to visit their loved ones who were buried in far-away graveyards. This also meant that burials were crowded and posed health risks.

After the 7th century, churches controlled burials and allowed them only on church land. This led to the development of the graveyard, which was usually located beside or behind a church. Because of space restrictions, graveyards were smaller and were choosier about who was buried there.

In the 1700s, new cemeteries began to open outside of city centers and towns. The landscaped cemeteries became more popular as people wanted to have a more natural and peaceful place to honor their deceased loved ones. Cemeteries were also a great place for socializing and community gatherings. This StoryMap gives a glimpse of how these places were once used in the past. Burial records were also kept at these locations to record the interment of dead persons.


Although the terms cemetery and graveyard are often used interchangeably, there are significant differences between these two sites. A graveyard is affiliated with a church and is usually located on church property. As a result, churches may have stringent stipulations about which faiths can be buried in their graveyards. In addition, church-owned graveyards are typically smaller and may have older tombstones that are not as well manicured as those found in a cemetery.

A cemetery is generally more organized than a graveyard and is often able to offer a greater selection of burial options, services and memorialization. A cemetery may also have a system in which plots are numbered and grouped into sections. As a result, people who are looking for a specific grave may be able to find it using a map provided by the cemetery. In addition, a cemetery may keep a record of each burial in order to track headstones. Making a rubbing of a tombstone is a great way to study its inscription, however, it is important to remember that even chalk can be damaging to a stone. Taking a photograph is a better alternative.


Whether it is a monumental cemetery, memorial park, garden cemetery or natural or green burial ground, a cemetery offers many services to its customers. Some of the services include obtaining permits and other necessary documentation, opening and closing graves, digging and excavating the interment space, installing and removing lowering devices, backfilling and sodding the grave site, and regrading and leveling if needed.

Historically, churches were entirely responsible for burials, and thus churchyards were located on their premises. However, as population growth was rapid, churches began to run out of space, and independent cemeteries were established as final resting places. This also allowed people of all religious backgrounds to be buried there, unlike the limited options offered in churchyards.

Regardless of where you choose to be buried, make sure your loved ones are aware of your wishes by creating a free Cake end-of-life planning profile and sharing it instantly. You can also find out more about the differences between a cemetery and graveyard by comparing their features side-by-side.