Burial Traditions

Burial Traditions

Until the middle of the twentieth century the only method of burial available was to be interred in the ground. The traditional churchyards and older cemeteries with a vast array of upright monuments were the norm. Subsequent to World War II, modern cemetery development, operations and management techniques were instituted throughout the country. Families now have several options available for their consideration.

One option is the memorial park. In this setting all memorials for the burials are lawn level. Landscaping and centrally placed religiously or historically significant statues adorn the cemetery sections. This provides open vistas and a serene setting. Cemeteries in the area that utilize this concept are All Saints Catholic Cemetery at 6001 Kirkwood Highway midway between Wilmington and Newark and Gracelawn Memorial Park located on the DuPont Highway in New Castle.

Another option is entombment in a community mausoleum. Historically above ground entombment in a crypt was an option reserved for the wealthy and prominent. Modern construction materials and techniques have now made it a cost-effective option for all. In an age when available ground is limited, burial in modern crypts provides a dignified and environmentally sound alternative to in-ground burial.

A modern crypt is an above ground burial space for one or two people. It is separate from other crypts, sealed and environmentally controlled. Each individual crypt, engraved with the names of the deceased, adds to the significance of the entire area. Because above ground burial eliminates the need to purchase an outer burial vault or memorial, it is often comparable in cost to traditional in ground burial.

Cathedral Cemetery located at 2400 Lancaster Avenue midway between Hockessin and Downtown Wilmington was the first cemetery in the area to build a community mausoleum. The first phase of the Queen of the Apostles Crypt was built in 1963. From that time until present day various interior and garden areas have been added. Presently there is a large availability in the beautifully appointed Queen of the Apostle Chapel and surrounding garden areas. There are also small crypts, called niches that are specifically designed for the entombment of urns that hold cremated remains.

All Saints Cemetery also has substantial availability of crypt and niche space in the Rosary and Way of the Cross Garden Crypts. These mausoleums are beautifully constructed using design and materials that enhance the scenic atmosphere of this religiously significant and well-maintained cemetery.

Gate of Heaven Cemetery has availability of individual and companion  crypt and niche space in the Pieta Garden Mausoleum.

Pre-need planning of your cemetery arrangements is another option offered. Selection of your cemetery accommodations prior to need brings both peace of mind and financial protection. It lessens hardship on your loved ones at a time of sorrow and confusion. By planning ahead you can make your decision in a relaxed and thoughtful manner. Not only does it help you make the best choices, but payment plans can also be made to suit your personal budget.