Burial Services

 


Tracy McFee
General Manager

Burial services often involve a visitation, followed by a funeral service in our offices or in a place of your choosing - perhaps a place of worship or local hall.

The casket is usually present at both these events and it is your decision on whether to have the casket open or not. Decisions need to be made on whether the body needs to be embalmed, what kind of casket to use, what cemetery to use and what to put on the headstone.

Burial Frequently Asked Questions:

How much does a burial plot cost?

This depends on the cemetery. Here in the Peace Country we have plenty of options when it comes to cemeteries. Click here to see a complete list of local cemeteries. Rural cemeteries are usually operated by local non-profit volunteer boards and caretakers. These volunteers donate countless hours in maintaining both the cemetery records (some of which are historical) and the grounds. They truly are unsung heroes and we at Oliver’s salute these individuals and feel honoured to work alongside in serving families. Cost for the rural cemeteries vary. We would be pleased to seek out specific pricing for you on a particular rural cemetery. Unlike city-operated cemeteries, the opening and closing of the grave is taken care of by a third party excavator - we will arrange this service for you. We also arrange the setting up and dressing of the grave along with the necessary equipment. For the City of Grande Prairie Cemetery their fees can include up to and beyond 50 separate services provided by their staff. Typically, cemetery fees include administration and permanent record keeping (determining ownership, obtaining permission etc., entering the interment particulars in the interment register, maintaining all legal files,) opening and closing the grave (locating the grave and laying out the boundaries, excavating and filling the interment space,) installation and removal of the lowering device and placement and removal of the artificial grass dressing. They also provide the levelling, tamping, re-grading and sodding the grave site and levelling and re-sodding the grave if the earth settles.

Can we dig our own grave to avoid the charge for opening and closing?

With the rural cemeteries their bylaws ‘may’ accommodate this request, please contact us so that we can confirm this with the respective cemetery of your choice. Due to both time and - more importantly - safety issues which arise around the use of machinery on cemetery property and the protection of other gravesites, the actual opening and closing of the grave is usually conducted by cemetery grounds or trained excavators personnel only. The City of Grande Prairie Cemetery will adhere to the latter and unfortunately (but for valid reasons) cannot accommodate such a request.

Why is is it so important to have a place to visit?

To remember and to be remembered are natural human needs. A permanent memorial in a cemetery provides a focal point for remembrance and memorializing our loved ones. Throughout human history, memorialization of our dead has been a key component of almost every culture. Psychologists say that remembrance practices serve an important emotional function for survivors by helping them bring closure and allowing the healing process to begin. Providing a permanent resting place for the deceased is a dignified treatment for a loved one’s mortal remains, which fulfills the natural human desire for memorialization.

What happens when a cemetery runs out of land?

When a cemetery runs out of land, it will continue to operate and serve the community. Many cemeteries estimate their capacity levels to be met within 50-75 years.

In a hundred years will this cemetery still be there?

We think of cemetery lands as being in perpetuity. There are cemeteries throughout the world that have been in existence for hundreds of years.

How soon after or how long after a death must an individual be buried?

There is no law that states a specific time from for burial. Considerations that will affect timeline include the need to secure all permits and authorizations from the province of Alberta, notification of family and friends, preparation of cemetery site and religious considerations. Public heath laws may have limitations on the maximum length of time allowed to pass prior to final disposition. At Oliver’s we have assisted families in the past with delaying burial for a number of weeks to permit family members the necessary time to gather together.

Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried?

The simple and legal answer is no. Embalming is a choice which depends on several factors - if there is to be an open casket viewing of the body or if there is to be an extended time between death and internment. Provincial, federal and international health laws may require embalming if the body is going to be transported by air or rail. At Oliver’s we encourage embalming as we believe in the practice and the benefits embalming provide. The three main purposes of embalming are:
For Public Safety (makes sense)
To Restore (due to illness or injury)
To Preserve (to “delay” the natural break down of our body after death).

What options are available beyond ground burial?

Besides ground burial, some cemeteries offer interment in lawn crypts or entombment in mausoleums. Grande Prairie City Cemetery has two private above-ground mausoleums for full size caskets. In addition, most cemeteries provide choices for those who have selected cremation. At the Grande Prairie City and Beaverlodge Cemeteries this includes placement of cremated remains in a niche of a Columbarium Wall owned and operated by Oliver’s Funeral Home. For more information on the Grande Prairie City Cemetery click here. And for more information on Oliver’s Columbarium Wall click here.

What are burial vaults and grave liners?

These are the outside containers into which the casket is placed. Burial vaults are designed to protect the casket and may be made of a variety or combination of materials including concrete, stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, bronze, plastic or fiberglass. A grave liner is a lightweight version of a vault which simply keeps the grave surface from sinking in, often made of wood, fiberglass or cement. At Oliver’s we like to explain the difference in simple terms like this: Vaults are sealed and grave-liners are non-sealed units. Both are used to keep the weight of the soil off the casket, and to prevent the grave from over-settling. If the grave does over-settle damage or leaning of the head stone may occur. To see images of liners and vaults click here.

Must I purchase a burial vault?

In many of our rural cemeteries here in the Peace Country grave liners and vaults are optional (the family’s choice). This means the casket may be buried directly in the ground with no outer receptacle required. At Grande Prairie City Cemetery the minimum requirement is the use of a fiberglass liner. Note: At Oliver’s we believe in some form of outer-receptacle to prevent over-settling of the grave. If you want to learn more about our reasons give us a call. We will be glad to share our thoughts and personal experiences that have brought us to this conclusion. Point of Interest: In Edmonton and Calgary and all other major cemeteries throughout North America the minimum requirement for an outer receptacle is a concrete liner with a lid.

If you have questions, please give us a call. We would be pleased to have a conversation with you and there’s absolutely no obligation. If you prefer, please send us an e-mail or even drop by and speak to us face-to-face (we’ll even buy you a coffee).
Telephone: 780.532.2929
E-mail: info@oliversfuneralhome.com

Our Oliver’s family will guide you through the necessary steps and decisions that come with planning a burial.

That is our promise to you.

 

 

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