Choosing A Headstone: What you need to know

A headstone is a lasting memorial to a life that was lived, and something that will be visited by future generations of the family for many years to come. Choosing a headstone that is durable, easy to maintain, and inscribed with the appropriate wording means creating a tribute that will stand the test of time.

  • Know the rules. Some cemeteries have strict regulations about headstones. These rules encompass everything from size and style to the materials from which the headstones are made. Once you know the parameters, you can begin to make your own plan.

  • Determine your budget. Headstone prices vary, and you can buy them from many different sources. Research the market, and decide how much you are able to spend, understanding that limiting your budget will limit your options in terms of materials and style.

  • Choose your materials. There are many options for headstones, including granite, bronze, marble, slate, sandstone, limestone and fieldstone. It’s important to consider factors like the look of the stone and ease of carving, as well as the climate and how the weather will affect the headstone over time.

  • Decide on your design. You can choose an upright headstone or one that is flat to the ground. There are also many different shapes and sizes on the market, including capped stone, tablet, plaque or sculptured cross. The headstone can include a vase or can be part of a larger monument. For married couples, you can choose a double headstone.

  • Personalize with inscriptions and engraving. Beyond the name of the person, and sometimes room for a spouse’s name, there are symbols, photos and other carvings that can be etched onto the headstone. You can also choose a fitting epitaph and have that inscribed on the stone.

  • See to the maintenance of the headstone. The care and maintenance of the headstones is usually shared between the cemetery and the family of the deceased. Find out what’s expected of you, so that you can ensure the headstone remains in good condition.

Committed to Care, Concern, Cooperation and Service, the Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society has been helping Greater Cincinnati families plan their final arrangements since 1843. If you’d like to learn more about choosing a headstone or planning a Catholic funeral, we can help. Stop by to meet us and see what we have to offer, or visit our website for more information.

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