We would like to provide this update to the Planting and Decorating Guidelines at Gethsemane Cemetery.
We have had multiple complaints with regards to the types and quantities of the decorations observed and the overall appearance of the cemetery due to some of these decorations. Vigil lights, candles, solar lights, pinwheels and the like have not been permitted for years. We have attempted to remove these items in bulk, tagging and bagging items so that they may be retrieved by families and providing an opportunity to educate the families on what is permitted and what is not. We also provide copies of the rules and regulations to every family when they meet with us as well as post signs at each entrance.
Just this weekend, there was a fire outside one of the mausoleum doors. Luckily, this fire was observed by a visitor and notified our supervisor who immediately set to extinguishing it. The flames were almost two feet tall; it caught an adjacent pot on fire, melted the window screen and created some smoke damage inside the mausoleum that had to be cleaned. This fire had been caused by vigil lights.
Beginning September 15, 2022, Cemetery staff will be removing decorations that are not permitted as per the Planting and Decorating Guidelines. Decorations may be removed in bulk or individually as they are observed and will be discarded without additional notice. Effective immediately, vigil lights or any type of candle will be removed and discarded without notice.
While we will be enforcing these guidelines, we would like to bring to your attention changes that have been made to the planting and decorating guidelines, based on the concerns and comments of you, our families, with regards to the use of artificial flowers not being permitted. After hearing how expensive natural wreaths had become and how quickly they were drying out, we revised the guidelines to permit artificial wreaths and logs from November 1 to March 15. Most recently we have heard many of you say that it is difficult for you to come out and water live plants as often as required to keep them from drying up, and we also know the deer that inhabit the cemetery and surrounding areas have been eating many of the flowers you have planted. Understanding these difficulties, we have changed the guidelines to allow for up to 2 artificial flower bouquets, placed in permitted vases and placed within the permitted planting area, year-round.
We understand everyone’s desire to decorate their loved one’s grave, crypt, or niche, and it is always difficult to create a policy which a wide and diverse group of persons will agree on. The goal of our policy is to make the cemetery grounds neat and clean with an atmosphere of simplicity, dignity, and elegance. At the same time, we must ensure that the cemetery grounds are a safe place for visitors as well as workers. We sincerely hope that all will understand the necessity of complying with these guidelines.
You may find all of the Rules, regulations and guidelines at https://gethcem.com/visitor-info/, Planting and Decorating Guidelines may be found HERE, or you may call the office at 610-929-2613 for more information.