Because they are the only cemeteries in which the complete ritual and full graces of the Church are available, Catholics are ordinarily buried in Catholic cemeteries. Burial in a Catholic cemetery is a long-standing sign of the Church's reverence for the human body. Appropriately, the ground in Catholic cemeteries is consecrated to receive sacred remains. Burial in a Catholic cemetery recognizes baptismal commitment and gives witness, even in death, to faithfulness to the Church.
The Church maintains Catholic cemeteries because both in life and in death we belong to the Lord (Romans 14:8). Just as the faithful have shared and celebrated faith in the community of the Church, so in death their bodies rest with other deceased members of this community, awaiting the day when God will raise their mortal bodies to glory. Catholic cemeteries also stand a sign to the world that even in death, Christians believe in life. The images of saints in Catholic cemeteries and mausoleums are not mere decorations; they are a sign of belief in the communion of saints.
The place for the rite of committal, whether in an interment chapel or at the grave site, is designed to gather the community for prayer. Catholic cemetery personnel who prepare such sites minister the concern, the love, and the support of all the faithful.
The celebrant of the funeral Mass ordinarily conducts the committal service. When it is not possible for the celebrant or a parish priest to conduct the committal service, a retired priest or a permanent deacon may be asked to preside at the committal service. In the absence of a priest or a deacon, a suitable parish minister should lead those present in the rite of committal. The committal service may, and should, reflect and adapt the customs and language of the family heritage of the deceased.
Military services and certain fraternal rites are also permissible in the cemetery. These other services should be arranged in advance with the local priest and coordinated in such a way that they do not disrupt or detract from the integrity of the liturgical service.
This experience is never easy, but all staff went beyond basic services and acted like it was their own loved one.
The only Christian cemetery facing the north-south direction in the US is St. Joseph's Cemetery in Rayne, Louisiana.