Memorial Day Regulations
· Visiting hours will be from 9 am to 3 pm.
· Bathrooms are not available.
· Family and friends are asked to limit their visits to 15 minutes. Staff at the cemetery entrances may restrict the number of cars allowed in the cemetery at any given time.
· Visitors must wear masks and maintain social distance.
· Water faucets are turned off.
· The chapels are not open at this time.
· For visitors wishing to visit a grave site: please place fresh flowers, potted plants, palms or artificial flowers. No planting, balloons, food or memorabilia, please!
· For visitors wishing to visit the mausoleum(s): please place artificial flowers only. No flowers, plants, palms, balloons, food or memorabilia, please! Enter through the main doors and exit at the end of the corridors.
· Jogging, biking and dog-walking are prohibited for the safety of visitors and to retain the sacred atmosphere of our cemeteries.
· Due to the insurmountable amount of burials taking place every section of the cemetery, we cannot respond to comments and requests for specific maintenance services at this time.
· The cemetery will close to visitors at 3 pm. Please check our websites for information on when we can again welcome visitors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why is St. Mary’s Cemetery being closed to visitors and not burials?
A. St. Mary’s Cemetery is being closed to all visitors to protect the health and safety of our employees, families and visitors. The New York State Department of Health has advised the New York State Funeral Directors Association that visitation and funeral services are considered non-essential gatherings. We are taking proactive steps to mitigate the spread of the virus, as many of the cemetery’s memorials and visitor spaces do not allow for the recommended social distancing that is called for by medical guidelines. Families have been waiting patiently to bury their loved ones and we are continuing to accommodate this critical mission under current conditions.
Q. Whose burials does this change affect?
A. Burials are taking place Monday to Saturday during normal business hours. The funeral director and 4 other family members are permitted to wait in their car while a service is taking place. (We have generally said the funeral director and four family members may accompany the clergy officiant to the gravesite or entrance to the mausoleum for the Rite of Committal.)
Q. Have there been any changes to the process of scheduling a burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery?
A. No. Funeral homes or families who are looking to initiate a burial, entombment or inurnment should call St. Mary’s Cemetery at (914) 939-9032 to begin the scheduling process.
Q. When will St. Mary’s Cemetery reopen to the public, and how will the public be informed?
A. St. Mary’s Cemetery will continue to assess the situation and will keep the public informed as we adapt our policies and procedures to the changing conditions. We will regularly reflect all status changes via an updated banner on this website and other social media platforms. We encourage anyone who hopes to visit St. Mary’s Cemetery to continue checking this website for the most up-to-date information.
Q. How many cemetery caretakers/cemetery representatives are still onsite working? Are they taking any additional precautions?
A. St. Mary’s Cemetery has 20 cemetery caretakers and representatives working every day to ensure that our deceased are laid to rest with the dignified rites that are a cherished tradition at St. Mary’s Cemetery. Where appropriate, we are also maximizing the use of telework for our office staff. Our entire team is following both New York State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Q. Are staff at St. Mary’s Cemetery wearing face coverings?
A. In accordance with the Executive Order issued by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo on April 15, St. Mary’s Cemetery is following all State guidelines and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to protect the cemetery’s families, visitors and employees as we continue to perform essential burial services. St. Mary’s Cemetery requires employees (and highly encourages all burial attendees) to wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance.