Rules & Regulations

Amended May 26, 2009

Rules and Regulations governing the following Cemeteries:

Holy Cross, South Park Street, Halifax
Mount Olivet, Mumford Road, Halifax
Gate of Heaven, Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville

These rules and regulations were made to help ensure the preservation and proper operation of our cemeteries. They reflect accepted principles of cemetery management and our experience of over a century.

Please read this document and contact our office if at any time you would like more information, visit our website or please write to:

Catholic Cemeteries of Halifax
1531 Grafton St.
Halifax, NS
B3J 2B5


In the Rules and Regulations that follow:

Commission means the Catholic Cemeteries Commission whose members are appointed by the Archbishop and who are directly responsible to him in the carrying out of their duties.

Manager means the Executive Manager of the Commission who has supervision over all its Cemeteries and its employees and who carries on all business of the Commission and is directly responsible to it.

Superintendent means the foreman of the Commission who has supervision over all work and workmen and who is responsible directly to the Manager.

For the mutual protection of lot owners and for the best interests of our cemeteries as a whole, the Commission has adopted the following Rules and Regulations:

  1. All lot owners, all visitors within the cemeteries, all employees and other workmen, and all business firms or their representatives concerned are subject to these Rules and Regulations, as well as to any amendments or alterations as shall be adopted from time to time by the Commission. Also, any conditions or rules set forth in the Certificate of Ownership of a Lot or any other conveyance or document issued by the Commission shall have the same force or effect as if set forth in full herein.
  2. It shall be the duty of the Manager to see that these Rules and Regulations are complied with. It shall also be his/her duty to see that good order is maintained at all times and the best interests of the cemeteries protected and promoted. To this end, he/she is authorized to make temporary additional rules which he/she deems necessary from time to time to meet emergencies which are not covered by these Rules and Regulations.
  3. Special cases may arise in which the literal enforcement of a rule may impose unnecessary hardship. The Commission therefore reserves the right to make exceptions, suspensions, or modifications of any of these Rules and Regulations, without notice, when in his/her judgement such action appears necessary. Such temporary exceptions, suspension or modifications shall in no way be construed as affecting the general application of the Rules and Regulations concerned.
  4. The Commission hereby expressly reserves the right to adopt additional Rules and Regulations or to amend, alter or repeal any rule, regulation, article, section, paragraph or sentence in these Rules and Regulations, at any time, without notice.
  5. We welcome and encourage requests for burial locations related to personal on-site visits.

    If you are seeking background information about individuals buried in our cemeteries, please use the Interment Search option on our website

    There will be a minimum charge of $100 (including HST) per hour for information requests made for genealogical purposes.


  1. Lots for burial purposes will be sold for cash, at such prices as may be determined upon by the Commission and according to the plans on file in the Commission Office.
  2. Purchasers of a single lot acquire simply the right and privilege of a single burial of the human dead and of erecting monuments according to the Rules and Regulations from time to time in force. If the purchaser requests an additional burial(s), special consideration will be given to this request; however, if granted an additional Perpetual Care fee will be levied for each and every additional burial. See Boundaries and Care of Lots item 16.
  3. No lot will be considered sold or reserved for sale until reported at the office and approved by the Manager.
  4. Lots purchased will be conveyed by the Commission to the purchaser on the form adopted by the Commission and this deed is valid only in the limited sense of Paragraph 2 of these regulations. It will be given to purchaser only when complete payment for lot is made and all indebtedness to Commission is settled.
  5. The record of deeds kept at the Office of the Commission is the only evidence of title or ownership which is recognized. Consequently, when a person receives a lot by transfer from the proprietor he should send his deed there for record at once.
  6. In case of the death of a lot owner, who has received ownership by transfer, it shall be the duty of the heirs or devises to file with the Commission satisfactory proof of new ownership. This is a very important matter as the Commission may not allow interments to be made until such proof is furnished.
  7. No sale, transfer or assignment of any lot or part of lot shall be valid without the consent of the Commission endorsed on the conveyance. No lot owner has the right to transfer his lot. Such transfers are mere privileges extended in special cases by the Commission after careful investigation and the determination by members of the Commission that they are in proper order.
  8. When a lot is held by more than one person, the Commission shall not be bound nor shall it record or enforce any agreement as to parts or proportions of any lot to be used by either or such persons mutually holding a lot but the Commission shall accept from either orders for interment therein, regard being had to the capacity of such lot and to the Rules and Regulations governing same.
  9. Proprietors shall not allow interments to be made in their lots for remuneration.
  10. Trees, shrubs or vines may not be planted without approval of the Commission who reserves to themselves the entire control of every tree, shrub or vine growing within the cemetery enclosure, including the right to removal when it considers such advisable.
  11. The throwing of rubbish on roads or walks or adjoining graves or any part of the grounds is prohibited. Proper receptacles are provided at convenient points on the grounds for the deposit of weeds, decayed flowers and plants, or waste paper.
  12. If any monument or any structure or any inscription be placed in or upon any monument or structure which shall be decided by the Commission to be non conforming, the Commission may enter upon the lot and remove non conforming object or objects.
  13. The Commission at its own option reserves the right to have all work on the lots done by its own workmen.
  14. Proprietors and visitors are urgently requested to report immediately any act or discourtesy, annoyance, vandalism or other breach of proprietary within the grounds.


  1. A Cemetery has a two-fold purpose in the Community. It provides a permanent resting place for the mortal remains of our beloved dead and it should be a comfort and inspiration for the living. To achieve these ends, full cooperation of all Lot Owners and others concerned is required.
  2. Borders, fences, railings, walls, cut stone copings and hedgings in or around lots are prohibited.
  3. The size of a full or complete single lot shall be approximately 3' X 10' or thirty square feet.
  4. All owners of lots are required to keep in proper repair at their own cost and to the satisfaction of the Manager all stones, monuments and other erections upon such lots. They or their agents must remove refuse occasioned by the putting up or repairing of such stones, monuments or erections to such place of deposit as is provided by the Superintendent for that purpose.
  5. The Manager shall report to the Commission any lot upon which the stones, monuments or erections are out of repair; whereupon the owner shall be notified by the Commission that such lot must be put in proper repair to the satisfaction of the Manager. If the lot owner shall refuse or neglect for a period of one month to put such stones, monuments or erections in a state of proper repair, remove or otherwise deal with the same, at the owner’s expense.
  6. All notices required by any by-law, rule or regulation to be given to lot owners may be given personally to the owner, may be mailed to such owner or his legal office representative at his or their post office address as appearing in the books of the Commission, by registered letter.
  7. Implements or materials used in performing any work within the Cemeteries, which may be left on any lot or adjacent ground must be removed by the owner thereof without delay; otherwise the obstruction may be moved by the Superintendent and the expenses charged to said owner.
  8. No persons shall make any walk or cut any sod or move corner posts or grave marks in the Cemetery.
  9. Watering cans or other such things must not be left on any lot, tree, shrub or place withing the Cemetery except such as designated by the Superintendent.
  10. The use of glass jars or bottles as cut flower containers is prohibited. They are unsightly as well as dangerous to workmen mowing the grass.
  11. If any lot owner shall make any change in his lot interfering with the grading of the same, it will be re graded by the Superintendent at the expense of the owner.
  12. The placing of boxes containing winter wreaths or sprays is permissible only from November 1st to April 1st. After April 1st, they should or will be removed. This improves the general appearance of the Cemetery and permits the grass to grow.
  13. Flowers arrangements or vases placed on the ground are not permitted due to the interference with ground maintenance. The only acceptable plastic flowers will be saddle arrangements placed on top of the headstone or a vase mounted on the base of the headstone. Removal of these headstone flowers is the responsibility of the families. Cemetery workmen have been instructed to remove any flowers, natural or artificial, that are in excess or that have become faded or weather-beaten.
  14. Wooden markers of any design, even crossed are prohibited. The Commission will place a marker on any unmarked lot after a burial. It will be left there for a short time, approximately 6 months, that is until a permanent stone marker can be erected. After that, if necessary, the Superintendent may be asked to point out the grave
  15. Statues, or any like objects, made of plastic or other material are forbidden on the graves in the Cemeteries and will be removed. They are, as a rule, unsightly and they interfere with the cutting of the grass.
  16. The Commission provides annual care of lots and for this purpose it established a Perpetual Care Fund. The Perpetual Care fee is set by the Commission from time to time.

The Perpetual Care fee applies as follows:


  1. All monuments and markers installed in Catholic Cemeteries shall be made of granite or cut stone.
  2. A monument or marker shall not be permitted to be installed on a lot for which full payment has not been received.
  3. No monument or marker shall be permitted unless prior approval for its erection has been granted by the Commission.
  4. All foundations shall be installed by the Commission and the location shall be subject to their approval.
  5. Any stone which projects above the level of the ground shall be considered a monument and same as provided in Section II under this heading, only one monument will be allowed on each double lot. However, one marker may be placed in addition at each grave. Markers are to be placed flat on the ground, their tops at ground level.

    Markers shall not be more than 6 inches or less than 4 inches in thickness and of dimensions in keeping with the size of the lot. All markers shall be inscribed with a cross in proportion to the size of the marker.

    All memorials shall be inscribed with a cross in keeping with the size of the memorial.
  6. Lettered boards, even if cruciform, to designate graves will not be allowed.
  7. No monument shall have inscription or carvings on the reverse side unless that side is facing a roadway, pathway or the lots behind belong to the purchaser.
  8. No monument shall be erected on double lots less than 6 inches and not more than 8 inches in thickness and none with rough butt will be admitted.
  9. The minimum size of monuments erected on double lots or larger must be six inches in thickness, shall be three feet height including the base, no more no less. Bases for the monuments shall be eight to ten inches high, no more no less. No rough butt edges will be admitted.

    Monuments of eight inches in thickness shall not exceed 3 feet 6 inches in height including the base.

    The maximum size monument on double lots or larger shall not be any larger than 55 inches high including the base. The base shall not be longer than 7 feet by 14 inches by 12 inches high.
  10. On a single lot a flat marker 12" X 24" will be permitted or an upright monument 18" wide, 4" thick by 20" high on a base 24" long by 10" wide by 4" high. Single lots must be separately owned and situated in Single Lot Sections. Slant face markers and wedges are permitted.
  11. Single lot section 9 monuments shall be 36" high including base, bases shall be no higher than 10", 10" in width and be either 4 or 6 inches thick.
  12. In the Children’s section only single lots will be sold. On these graves a monument may be erected or a marker placed. The maximum size of these monuments shall be 16" wide by 18" high and 4" thick on a base 18" long, 8" wide and 4" high.
  13. All monuments shall be made out of cut stone or granite. Marble is not recommended since it deteriorates so rapidly in our climate.
  14. The only memorial permitted in Mount Olivet Cemetery Cremation Garden shall be a bronze marker 24" by 14" on a salmon color granite base 28" by 18" and 4" thick. Only flower vases which can be turned down into the ground when not in use are permissible. All flower vases for ground installation shall be of bronze.

    Vases must be integral to the marker and provided with a container so designed and of sufficient strength as to protect the vase in an inverted position in the ground.
  15. The Holy Cross Cremation Garden will allow for a single upright monument measuring 18" wide, 4" thick by 20" high on a base 24" long, 10" wide by 4" high. The base may be slightly longer to accommodate a vase/s. Flat markers may not be any larger than 10" wide, 24" long by 4" high with no base.
  16. No vaults shall be built without permission having been first obtained from the Commission.
  17. No monumental work shall be delivered at the Cemetery until the foundation is completed and the contractor is ready to proceed with the work of erecting the monument.
  18. All workmen employed in the erection of monuments, etc., must be subject to the control and direction of the Superintendent, and if the Commission so directs, any workmen failing to conform to this regulation shall not be permitted to participate in any work in the grounds thereafter.
  19. Masons and stone cutters are required to lay planks on lots and paths over which heavy materials are to be moved in order to protect them from injury.
  20. The Superintendent will, in all cases, designate the spots where materials are to be placed for uses in erection of monuments.
  21. Heavy loads will not be allowed to enter the Cemeteries when in the opinion of the Superintendent the roads are not in fit condition.


  1. The Superintendent of the Cemetery or his assistant is required to be in attendance at each interment.
  2. Whatever information may be required by the Superintendent according to the law of the land or according to the regulations of the Commission must be furnished before burial arrangements can be completed.
  3. Arrangements for interments must be made with the Manager at the Commission Office, at least twenty-four hours prior to the proposed burial, by the relative, friend or executor of the deceased, whose responsibility it is to care for this matter. The Manager can not be held responsible for any delay, if such notice has not been given.
  4. No interment or disinterment is allowed without the written order of the owner of the lot or person who has authority to represent him. All interments in lots shall be restricted to members of the family or relatives of the owner unless by special permission of the Commission.
  5. No disinterment is allowed without a Permit from the Department of Health concerned and the permission of the Ordinary of the Archdiocese. The former is necessary even if the disinterment is by Court Order.
  6. No grave shall be opened for an interment or removal by any person not in the employ of the Commission. No grave shall be opened nearer than 6 inches of the boundary of the lot.
  7. Two interments in one grave ordinarily are not permitted. Permission of the Commission is needed in each instance.
  8. Interments shall not be made in lots which have not been paid for in full except by special permission of the Commission.
  9. Children under 12 years shall not be admitted to the grounds except when in charge of an adult, who in all cases will be responsible for their good conduct.
  10. Each interment which takes place after 12 noon on a Saturday at Gate of Heaven Cemetery will be assessed the overtime fee reflecting overtime wages and benefits paid by the Commission to the persons engaged by the Commission for the interment.
  11. Regular operating hours for interments at Holy Cross and Mount Olivet Cemeteries are Monday to Friday 8 am - 4 pm except holidays.
  12. Regular operating hours for interments at Gate of Heaven Cemetery are Monday to Friday 8 am - 4 pm and 8 am to 12 noon on Saturday except holidays.