• 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.

  • Children and Funerals: How to explain what to expect

    For adults who have suffered a loss, attendance at the funeral is pretty clear-cut. If you were close to the person who has died, your presence is almost mandatory. Even if you were only passing acquaintances, it’s a good idea to go to the funeral if your close friend or family member was close to the person. For children, however, the choice is not as well-defined.

    Many people worry about taking children to funerals, worrying that they are too young to understand what has happened, or that it will be frightening for them. Some may raise the question, “How young is too young to attend a funeral?” The truth is, even very young children can attend the funeral of a loved one who has passed away, as long as they are adequately prepared.

    • Be honest. Speak to your children in simple terms, explaining death in a way that they can easily understand. Avoid euphemisms like “sleeping” or “gone to a better place”, because this can cause confusion. Instead, explain to your child that when a person dies, the body stops working and shuts down. You might explain that the person is no longer in his or her body, and the body is empty, like an eggshell with no egg or a house after people have moved out.

    • Describe the process. Tell your child what happens at a funeral. Explain what they can expect to see and hear, and how the service will proceed. Try to be as thorough as possible, explaining how a body is handled after death, what is involved in a wake or viewing, what will happen at the funeral, and how the graveside service will proceed. You might even be able to tell your child who will be there, and how long the funeral will probably last. This is a good time for your children to decide whether or not they want to attend the funeral, and it’s important that you allow them to make that choice.

    • Explain the purpose. Why do we have a funeral? Explain to your children that people who loved the person who died are going to come to the funeral to remember that person and to support each other. Tell them some of the phrases they’re likely to hear, like “I’m sorry for your loss” and practice appropriate responses.

    • Allow them to be involved. In big and small ways, children can participate in a funeral. Their involvement can be as simple as drawing a picture to leave with the flowers or placing a flower on the casket, or it can be more significant, like singing a song or reading a passage of scripture. Letting children be a part of what is going on can help them deal with the loss and begin to heal.

    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 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.

  • Planning a Post-Funeral Reception

    If you’re in charge of planning a funeral, it’s a good idea to consider a post-funeral reception. It’s not required, but it’s the perfect place for people to connect after the service, and that’s an important part of the healing process. Here, we offer a sampling of questions to ask yourself while you’re making your plans.

    • Why host a reception? As mentioned above, a reception offers people a place to connect. By serving food in a welcoming place, you’re fostering a relaxed atmosphere in which people can tell stories, share memories, gain closure, and help each other to heal.

    • Where should you hold the reception? In times past, people hosted receptions in their homes, with friends and family members bringing dishes to share. That’s still done in some cases, but the big trend right now is for funeral homes to provide reception space onsite, often with catering service provided, for the convenience of the families. If you have your heart set on a particular funeral home that does not offer this service, don’t worry. Many people find that choosing a restaurant that was special to the person who has died is an excellent and easy alternative.

    • What kind of food should you serve? The kind of food served at a reception depends largely on your heritage, tradition, where you live, and where you’re holding the reception. Some people serve only appetizers and light snacks, or pastries and coffee, while others provide a full spread. Others prefer to host a potluck style reception, inviting guests to bring their favorite dishes to share. If you’re dining at a restaurant, you might choose to have a limited menu or serve the food buffet style. Get some help planning this, whether it’s from a friend, a funeral director, or a restaurant manager.

    • Do you need audio-visual equipment? This may seem like an odd question, because you’re probably not planning on incorporating entertainment into the reception. It can be nice, though to play music or a DVD tribute to your loved one. If you choose a private reception hall over a restaurant, you have much more freedom to customize your experience.

    • Who should “work” the event? Obviously, if you choose a restaurant there will be staff, and the same is true for a catered reception. If you choose to go the potluck route, though, it’s a good idea to delegate responsibility. Friends and family members want a way to feel helpful and useful, so choose someone to organize details, and others to see to the logistics of the event.

    Planning the post-funeral reception can also be part of the pre-planning process. When you preplan your funeral, you get to decide on all aspects of the day, from the service to the reception to your final resting place. For more information about pre-planning, contact Cincinnati Cemeteries for more information by visiting our website .

  • Being a Pallbearer: What you need to know

    If you’ve been chosen as a pallbearer, you probably feel the weight and significance of this great honor. One of the oldest ceremonial roles at a funeral, pallbearer is also one of the most important, because pallbearers are responsible for carrying the casket. If you’re asked to carry out this meaningful task, it means the family trusts you and considers you a very valuable friend. You may feel unsure about your responsibilities, or even slightly daunted by the thought of playing such a vital part in the proceedings, but it’s fairly straightforward, most of the time.

    The funeral director can help answer any questions you might have, so think about your role and what you need to know in advance, and ask questions before the funeral. It’s very important for the pallbearers to arrive early, so that everyone knows his or her responsibilities. Before you go, make sure you have the pertinent details:

    • Get all the information you can about the funeral and the expectations of the family, including the dress code. Pallbearers are typically a little bit more dressed up than the average guest at a funeral, so make sure you look the part.

    • Ask about parking arrangements in general and where you, personally, should park, both for the funeral service and the graveside service. It’s a good idea to make sure you understand the rules of the funeral procession, too, so that everyone arrives at the cemetery at the same time.

    • Know where you’ll be expected to sit during the service. If you’re bringing guests or family members, make sure you know where they’re supposed to sit, too.

    • Make sure you’re clear about when to stand up and approach the casket, where and how to hold it, and how to appropriately transport it.

    • Find out where you’re supposed to sit or stand for the graveside service.

    As a pallbearer, you may be asked to do more than just carry the casket. Plan to stay a little bit late, to talk to the guests, share stories, and support the family. Being chosen as a pallbearer makes you a representative of the funeral, and shows that the family values you, so it’s good to honor the relationship by being available if they need someone after the service.

    If you don’t feel up to the task of being a pallbearer, that’s perfectly fine. Just be honest with the family, politely explaining why you don’t think you can do it. It’s a taxing responsibility, both physically and emotionally, and even though it’s an honor, it’s understandable if you can’t step up. You might be asked to be an honorary pallbearer, who walks along with the casket, rather than carrying it. The important thing is that you make sure to express your sympathy to the family, supporting them in any way you can during this time of grief.

    Since 1843, the Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society has worked to help Greater Cincinnati families plan their final arrangements and commit loved ones to the peace of our Lord. We’re committed to our community, and happy to answer any questions you might have about Catholic funeral services. Dedicated to caring compassionate service, we are committed to helping Catholics plan funeral services for their loved ones and find burial space in consecrated grounds, as well as providing preneed services for those who wish to pre-plan their own funerals. Visit our website to learn more about us and find out how we can help you plan a meaningful funeral.

  • What You Need To Know About Cremation

    Cremation has been around for thousands of years, but some people still aren’t sure exactly how the process works. The option of being cremated is becoming increasingly popular as opposed to traditional burials. If you’re pre-planning your funeral (and it’s recommended that you do), you should educate yourself on cremation to determine if the choice is right for you.

    Cremation Benefits

    • Often less expensive than burials

    • More environmentally friendly

    • Ashes can be kept in an urn by a family member or scattered wherever you choose

    • All funeral types still available

    Funerals with Cremation

    One common misconception is that if someone is cremated, they aren’t able to have a traditional funeral service. This actually couldn’t be farther from the truth. Your family can still hold a traditional funeral including body viewing with an open casket. This is because the ceremony is held before the body is cremated. A ceremonial cremation can also be held, with an urn in place of the body in a casket. Memorial services are also still an option with cremation.

    Catholic Cremations

    For many years cremation was not an appropriate action to be taken within the Catholic church. The Church has allowed cremation for at least the past 20 years, but the nuances may be a bit difficult to understand. That’s why it’s recommended that you meet with an officiating priest to learn more about a Catholic cremation. When Catholics are cremated they are often placed in a columbarium, which is a memorial structure that houses urns and allows your loved ones to visit.

    If you’re interested in learning more about cremation in Cincinnati, contact Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society today.

  • The Emotional Benefits of Holding a Funeral

    When a loved one dies, the grief can be intense. If you’ve suffered a loss, you may be experiencing sadness, disbelief, anger, and even guilt, and it may seem like shutting yourself away from other people will make the pain less intense. The truth is, however, that grief shared is grief lessened, and relying on others for support is the best thing you can do to begin to heal. Where does the path to healing start? Often, it begins at the funeral.

    • A funeral promotes connection with others. Those who loved the person who died can come together to remember and grieve, offering each other support and consolation. Social bonds are an important part of the healing process, as they remind you that you are not alone, and life will go on. When you dismiss the need to have a funeral, you not only isolate yourself but also rob others of the opportunity to benefit from leaning on each other.

    • Allowing people to share in your grief gives them a way to support you. When a friend suffers a loss, it’s easy to feel helpless and at a loss for something to do to help. Attending a funeral allows people to show that they care for you, and support you in your loss. That benefits you, but it benefits them, too.

    • Honoring a loved one’s life is important. The most important thing is not the death, but the life that was lived. Each person’s life is unique, special, and worth remembering. A funeral is a chance to say goodbye, but it’s also a chance to stop for a moment and reflect on exactly what that person meant to you, and why your loved one mattered.

    • Ritual connects us to our roots. The rituals surrounding a funeral help us find meaning in the loss, and hope for the future. Participating in these rituals helps keep us rooted in the faith traditions of our family, and connected to the family history. Personal rituals in the days, months, and even years following a loss, like donating to charity in that person’s name, planting a tree in memory of your loved one, or lighting a candle on special days, are an important part of keeping memory alive, and honoring your connection to the person who has died.

    • Closure starts at the funeral service. Gaining closure after a loss is important, and in order to do that, we must first work through our grief. In a culture that races through many of life’s events, moving ever faster, a funeral provides one of those rare, healing moments of reflection, in which to quiet your mind and begin to find meaning in your loss.

    Since 1843, the Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society has worked to help Greater Cincinnati families plan their final arrangements and commit loved ones to the peace of our Lord. We operate St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery on West Eighth Street in Price Hill, St. Mary and St. John Catholic cemeteries in St. Bernard, and Baltimore Pike all-faith cemetery in Westwood. Dedicated to caring compassionate service, we are committed to helping Catholics plan funeral services for their loved ones and find burial space in consecrated grounds, as well as providing preneed services for those who wish to pre-plan their own funerals. Visit our website to learn more about us and find out how we can help you plan a meaningful funeral.

  • Expressing Condolences

    When a person dies, it’s our natural impulse to want to reach out to the family with words of sympathy. Some people are reluctant to do so, though, fearing they’ll say the wrong thing. Bereaved families need the support of others, so we’ve come up with a few simple rules to guide you in the proper way to express condolences.

    • Say it simply. “I’m sorry for your loss.” “You are in my thoughts.” “This must be hard for you.” “He/she was a wonderful person who will be truly missed.” All of these are perfectly acceptable ways to express sympathy in a simple, honest way.

    • Avoid clichés. Don’t say “He’s in a better place” or “Everything happens for a reason.” Don’t say, “I know exactly how you’re feeling” or “How are you holding up?” because the answers to those are “No you don’t” and “Not so well.” Think about your words before you say them, and check to make sure they’re not insensitive or condescending.

    • Feel free to send a card. If you tend to choke when speaking about something difficult, it may be best to send a card or letter. That way, you can plan carefully and really think about what you want to say as you’re writing it down.

    • Flowers express sympathy without words. The most popular and traditional way to send condolences, flowers can be sent to the funeral home, for display during the funeral, or directly to the family. You can also choose to send a potted plant or tree, for a longer lasting memorial gift. Different flowers have different meanings, and some cultures do not associate flowers with funerals, so make sure the family in accepting flowers before you order them.

    • Sometimes people prefer donations. Families sometimes ask for donations to charity in lieu of flowers, especially if the charity was important to the person who has died. Even if no such charity is designated, if you know the family well enough to choose an appropriate charity, aligned with their beliefs, you may choose to designate a donation as a tribute to the person who has passed away.

    Since 1843, the Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society has worked to help Greater Cincinnati families plan their final arrangements and commit loved ones to the peace of our Lord. Well-versed in funeral etiquette, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Dedicated to caring compassionate service, we are committed to helping Catholics plan funeral services for their loved ones and find burial space in consecrated grounds, as well as providing preneed services for those who wish to preplan their own funerals. Visit our website to learn more about us and find out how we can help you plan a meaningful funeral.

  • Important Questions to Ask When Planning a Funeral

    If you’re planning a funeral, whether it be your own or that of a loved one, there are certain questions you’ll need to ask along the way. While planning your own funeral may sound a bit macabre, it makes sense for a lot of reasons. At the very least, discussing or recording your preferences ahead of time can make the process easier for your loved ones and leave them with fewer questions to answer.

    Burial or Cremation?

    While traditional burials are still popular, cremation has grown in popularity over the years. Both options allow the deceased to be memorialized, with an urn offering remembrance for cremation and a traditional burial plot also available. This is a personal choice that should be made or communicated ahead of time if possible.

    What Type of Ceremony?

    There are many choices when it comes to the type of ceremony you prefer. There are more traditional funerals and then more ceremony-like gatherings to remember the deceased. Will there be an open or closed casket is another consideration. Even if someone is cremated, they can often be in a casket for the funeral before cremation takes place.

    What Happens to Possessions?

    After someone passes away, their assets and possessions are typically distributed. If they don’t have some type of will or documentation of this, families can often get into arguments and the courts are left to decide what’s best.

    Who Pays for the Funeral?

    Funerals and their related expenses can often be quite costly. Pre-planning or pre-paying can take some of the financial burden off your loved ones should you pass away unexpectedly. If you are a veteran, the government might pay all or some of your funeral expenses.

    To learn more about pre-planning your funeral contact Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society today.

  • Ways to Cope After Losing a Loved One

    Each year millions of Americans have to deal with losing a loved one. This can make for a very difficult time, and it’s not easy to deal with a loss. Grieving is a natural process, and it isn’t the same for everyone. While everyone will mourn the loss of a loved one, some will grieve for a longer period of time or have more difficulty dealing with everyday activities than others do.

    Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way (or timeline) when it comes to dealing with the loss of a loved one. What you can do, however, is utilize some tips to help you cope after a loved one has passed away.

    One way to cope is by focusing on being mindful. Mindfulness has to do with being aware of your feelings and being proactive about approaching your life in a new way. It’s about learning how to control your grief so it does not control you.

    Being reflective is a good way to get started. Think back to other painful times in your life and how you were able to deal with them. This could be the loss of another loved one, or another painful circumstance such as losing a job, the passing of a pet, or going through a bad breakup.

    Think about the strategies you used to cope and then consider if those were effective and should be used again. Learning from our past can help make our future easier, so figure out what works for you when dealing with grief.

    Staying centered is also important when it comes to dealing with a loss. Try not to block your feelings, but acknowledge them instead. Try to stay calm and focused by trying techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to feel more grounded.

    Look to the future so you can see past this difficult time in your life. Consider how you may want to make positive changes to your life and spend some time focusing on things that make you happy, like hobbies. Seeing a future for yourself is a good way to stay positive and hopeful.

    Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society can help you cope with the loss of a loved one and walk you through each step of the process.

  • Memorial Options to Remember Your Loved One

    Losing a loved one makes for a very tough time, but thankfully there are a variety of options available to remember and memorialize them once they have passed away. Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society is proud to offer several memorial options including:

    Memorial Benches – Benches can be purchased in the memory or in the honor of a loved one. They provide a comfortable area for visitors to rest and are placed close to a chosen location.

    Urns – Urns provide a peaceful final resting place for those who are cremated. Cremated remains can be buried or placed in a columbarium memorial. Popular urn options include:

    • Metal Urns

    • Granite Urns

    • Bronze Urns

    • Ceramic Urns

    • Cloisonne Urns

    • Marble Urns

    • Wooden Urns

    Burial Vaults – Protect your loved one’s casket from heavy cemetery equipment and the weight of the earth. Most vaults can be customized and are available in a variety of styles including:

    • Venetian® Burial Vault

    • Custom Tribute Venetian

    • Legacy Venetian

    • Venetian Breast Cancer

    • Continental® Burial Vault

    • Lined Cemetery Vault

    Cremation Vaults – Similar to burial vaults, these vaults protect your loved one’s ashes and are available in a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes including bronze, copper, stainless, and lined.

    Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society provides Catholic burials and funerals at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, St. John Cemetery, and Baltimore Pike Cemetery. We also offer unique remembrances such as memory medallions and Light of Hope luminary eternal lights. Visit our memorials and vaults page to learn more and see some of our galleries.