Cemetary Operating By-Laws

Cimetière de la Paroisse St-StephenRegulations Concerning the Operation of St. Stephen’s Cemetery

The plots in St. Stephen’s Parish Cemetery are established for a period of 50 years with perpetual care renewable at 25 years reserved for the exclusive acquisition by any parishioner or persons connected to the parish.

1. Definitions

In these Regulations, unless the context shows otherwise, the following expressions mean:

“An Immediate Family Member” An immediate family member is considered a spouse, father, mother, daughter, son, brother, sister, grandfather, or grandmother.

“Christian Religion” All religions of which the baptism is recognized by the Catholic Church.

“Fabrique” A group of individuals that has been duly elected to look after the finances and upkeep of St. Stephen’s Church and the Cemetery.

“Leasehold” The granting of the procession, use and occupation of a plot for a specified period of time.

“Leaseholder” All persons of full age who have acquired a leasehold through a deed of sale, a will, a gift or by a lawful bequest.

“Markers” Markers are considered any memorial placed flush with the ground level.

“Memorial” All monuments or markers, of various shapes, used to commemorate the dead.

“Monuments” Monuments are considered any memorial placed above ground level.

“Parishioner” A person who attends St. Stephen’s Church Services, and supports the church regularly.

“Persons Connected to the Parish” A person who in the past attended St. Stephen’s Church Services and supported the church for over five years or more.

A person with an immediate family member already interned in the cemetery, who had met the requirements of a parishioner.

“Plot” A plot of ground, whose dimensions have been established by St. Stephen’s Cemetery Fabrique, and reserved for the burial of human remains or a cinerarial urn.

2. Right of enjoyment

The leaseholder of a plot in St. Stephen’s Cemetery confers its use solely as a burial site for a period of 50 years with perpetual care renewable at 25 years at applicable rate. This is in accordance to the regulations established by the Fabrique of St. Stephen’s Parish of Old Chelsea, Québec.

3. Beneficiaries

3.1 The right of occupation, enjoyment and use of plot is vested to all deceased persons designated by the leaseholder.
3.2 The burial of all persons professing a Christian religion is permitted in the Fabrique’s Cemetery.
3.3 All burials in the Cemetery of deceased persons other than those of a Christian religion must be approved by the bishop of Gatineau-Hull.

4. Transfer of rights

4.1 In the event that the leaseholder dies without having disposed of his lease, the lease shall be transferred unconditionally to the surviving spouse.
4.2 If there is no surviving spouse, the legatees, the lawful heirs or the beneficiaries shall designate a person as a successor to the leaseholder and so advise the Fabrique within ninety (90) days of the death of the leaseholder.
4.3 In the absence of such notification, the Fabrique will have the right to seek the cancellation of the leasehold by formal request to the Québec Court of the District of Hull, in accordance with the provisions of the Act concerning Roman Catholic cemeteries.
4.4 In case of transmission of ownership of any lot, the transmission to whomever claims to have acquired the right of burial in the Cemetery by succession, legation or donation, must provide official documentary proof to the Fabrique. A certified copy of the will and probate is sufficient or a letter of directions of administration under which someone is authorized by the court.
4.5 The successor shall take the lot subject to any existing conditions.

5. Contentious cases

5.1 Should certain problems arise concerning the right of burial in the cemetery, the leaseholder whose right is contested may not proceed with interment of whomever before the matter is resolved by mutual agreement, or by legal authorities. In the meantime, the remains may be interred or retained in a location designated for this purpose, at the expense of the leaseholder.

6. Non-transferability and non-distrainability

6.1 The rights in a leasehold must be held by only one person, save for those granted to Christian communities.
6.2 A leasehold is non-transferable and non-distrainable except as provided for in these regulations.
6.3 Where the Leaseholder dies intestate or by will, bequeaths interment Rights to more than one person, the cemetery reserves the right to refuse to register the transfer of interment Rights to more than one person.

7. Duration of leaseholds

7.1 Leasehold for plots for burial purpose are established for a period of 50 years as determined by the Fabrique.
7.2 Leaseholds are renewable, subject to the conditions and for the period that is in effect on the date of the renewal, as established by this regulation and amendments thereto.

8. Characteristics of plots and monuments

8.1 There are two categories of plots, those deemed for urns only and those deemed for human remains.
8.2 Cremation plots deemed for urns is nine (9) square ft. (3ft. by 3 ft.) A single plot deemed for human remains is twenty-seven (27) square feet (3 ft. by 9ft). A double plot deemed for human remains is fifty-four (54) square feet (6 ft. by 9 ft.)
8.3 A single plot will contain one single casket or four urns. A double plot will contain two caskets or one casket and four urns or eight urns.
8.4 No casket shall be placed in a single plot that contains an Urn. A cremation plot will contain only one single urn.
8.5 Monuments placed on a single plot are not to exceed 30 inches in width and 48 inches in height. Monuments placed on a double plot are not to exceed 60 inches in width and 48 inches in height. Monuments are not permitted on a cremation plot in the cremation section. Only markers are allowed and they should be no more than 24 inches in width.
8.6 All monuments are to be installed on concrete footing (i.e. ciment concrete grade 1:3:6) no less than 48 inches deep. The concrete footing is to be placed even with ground surface and should not exceed ground level. Monuments are to be placed at the head of the plot only.
8.7 Exception to these regulations should be requested in writing to the Fabrique. Written permission should be obtained before proceeding.
8.8 Minor scraping of the base stone due to grass mowing, will be considered by the Cemetery to be normal wear.

9. Schedule of rates (cf Annex 1)

9.1 Interment cost

Opening for a casket see cemetery rates
Opening for a cremation see cemetery rates

Exhumation cost will be decided at the time of request


9.2 Maintenance charges are for a stipulated period of time as stated in these regulations. Renewal will be subject to the rates and under the condition at the time of the renewal.

Cremation lot see cemetery rates
Single lot see cemetery rates
9.3 The Leaseholder is responsible for the contracting and installation of footing. This is to be done with the knowledge of the Fabrique.
9.4 The cemetery has no crypt services available.
9.5 Burial certificates are available upon request for a fee.
9.6 The cemetery has no storage facilities available.
9.7 When receiving a request for interment in a plot purchased before the introduction of the maintenance agreement, the Fabrique requests that the Leaseholder enters into a maintenance agreement covering all available open lots at the time of the interment request.

These rates apply to all leaseholders and to all those who receive such services from the Fabrique. The Fabrique may modify these schedules as required, and may, at anytime, by resolution, add new services, delete existing services and amend the applicable fees.

10. Acquittal of rights

10.1 Titles shall not be granted prior to the payment of all fees related to the leasehold.
10.2 Payments for the opening of a grave are due, in full, prior to the interment.
10.3 Payments of arrears are due prior to all burials.

11. Extension  of leasehold agreements

All contracts entered into with the Fabrique binds all the heirs and the legal representatives of all parties to the terms of the agreements.

12. Higher authorities and acts of God

The Fabrique shall not be responsible for damages sustained by the leaseholder resulting from an expropriation or from all decisions from higher authorities concerning the expropriation of the cemetery.

Nor will the Fabrique be responsible for any damage sustained by the leaseholder as a result of accidents or acts of God.

13. Interments

13.1 All requests for the opening of a grave must be made to the Fabrique at least three full day prior to the interment.
13.2 When a death occurs, persons charged with making necessary arrangements for the interment must communicate with the office of the Fabrique. A burial permit, signed by the leaseholder, the heirs or beneficiaries, must be presented to the registration officer prior to all interments.
13.3 The cemetery requires a written statement with the name, place of birth, last residence, age and date of death of the person to be interred. Along with this, it requires the name of the funeral director or transfer service before interment.
13.4 Where orders for interments are given by telephone, the Fabrique will not be responsible for any errors or misunderstanding that may arise. Such verbal orders shall be confirmed in writing before the interment.
13.5 The registration officer, with the assistance of witnesses and the information provided in the permit, shall complete the parish burial register.
13.6 No burial shall be allowed in a plot against which monies remain owing and unpaid to the cemetery.
13.7 No winter burials will be allowed to take place in the cemetery. Winter burial under normal conditions will be considered burials between November 1 and May 1. The cemetery will assume no additional cost that this may cause the leaseholder.
13.8 The Fabrique shall not be liable for the expenses because of errors in the location or the digging of any grave, when the error was not directly caused by the Fabrique.
13.9 The leaseholder may not perform an interment or other operation whatsoever on his/her plot. Such functions are the exclusive responsibility of the Fabrique.

14. Exhumations

All requests for exhumations shall be granted by the Fabrique on presentation of the required authorizations obtained in accordance with the provisions of the Act with respect to interments and exhumations (c. 1-11).

15. Maintenance

The Fabrique shall maintain the plot of the Leaseholders for 25 years from date indicated in contract and in keeping with the obligations stipulated therein.

16. Monuments and inscriptions

16.1 Only monuments constructed of granite or marble structure, having a base of granite or marble, and with a concrete foundation are permitted.
16.2 Markers may be either bronze or granite material. Bronze markers must have a base of either granite or concrete with a 2” border on all sides. Bronze markers shall be attached securely with at least four or more non-corroding fasteners.
16.3 The base must be at least 3” and no more than 6” in thickness. Letters, numbers and ornamentation shall be chased and buffed and shall not protrude more than .25 inches above the flat surface. The background shall be finished in dark bronze colour.
16.4 A granite marker shall be flat between 3” and 6” inches thick with nothing above the flat surface.
16.5 Markers are to be placed directly over the urn.
16.6 The leaseholder may erect only one monument on a plot. He/she may also install a marker on the surface of the ground in a location established by the Fabrique. Where a leaseholder possesses two adjoining plots, he/she may erect only one monument on the line adjoining both plots.
16.7 The leaseholder must obtain prior approval of the Fabrique before erecting a monument or a surface marker.
16.8 Footings or monuments erected without prior authorization, or which do not meet standards established by this regulation, must be removed at the expense of the leaseholder within ninety (90) days of being so advised by the Fabrique. In the event of non-compliance, the Fabrique may remove the monument, the footing and other unauthorized structures at the expense of the leaseholder.
16.9 A monument may not be erected on a plot nor may an urn be buried in a plot prior to the payment of fees for maintenance or other prescribed dues.
16.10 The Fabrique may erect a permanent identification plaque on the base of a monument so as to identify the location, size and the midpoint of the plot or grave.
16.11 The leaseholder is responsible at all times for all damages caused to or by his/her monuments.
16.12 The leaseholder may not remove, move or repair any monument without the prior written approval of the Fabrique.
16.13 The leaseholder must maintain his/her tombstone, surface marker or other monument in good order.
16.14 The leaseholder must carry out all repairs identified by the Fabrique within ninety (90) days of being so notified by the Fabrique to this effect. In the event of non-compliance, the Fabrique may execute or cause such repairs as are deemed necessary to be executed at the expense of the leaseholder.
16.15 The Fabrique may, following written notification to the leaseholder, dispose of all monuments or other objects that have been removed. These objects should be disposed of in such a manner as deemed to be least prejudicial to the leaseholder.

17. Flowers, Shrubs

17.1 Floral arrangements are allowed to be left behind after any interment service. These arrangements will be removed as they become unsightly.
17.2 The leaseholder may plant or place natural flowers in a flowerbed up to 12 inches in front of the memorial. This is providing that the total distance is not more than 24 inches from head of the grave. In all instances, these installations or planting must not hamper general maintenance operations.
17.3 Only small flowers either annual or perennial are allowed in the flowerbed (i.e.: no artificial or synthetic flowers, no other objects around the tombstones and nothing to exceed the width of the headstone). The cemetery staff is not responsible for damage to the flower beds.
17.4 The Fabrique asks that you appropriately maintain any flower plants or they will be removed by the cemetery staff. They will also be removed if they interfere with cemetery work, appear unsightly or become a safety hazard.
17.5 No shrubs, bushes or trees are permitted.
17.6 Upon sufficient notification, any existing tree, bush or shrub must be removed by the leaseholder or at their cost by the Cemetery Committee.
17.7 Only seeding and regular maintenance will be permitted.
17.8 No Leaseholder shall change the grading of a lot and, in the event of any such change, the Cemetery may restore a lot to its original grade at the expense of the Leaseholder.

18. Miscellaneous restrictions

18.1 Installation on plots in the cemetery other than those specified within this document are prohibited (article 16).
18.2 The Fabrique may deny admission or access to the cemetery to all persons or groups.
18.3 The maximum speed allowed within the boundaries of the cemetery is 20 kph.
18.4 The Fabrique may, at all times, remove or cause to be removed, at the expense of the Leaseholder, all inscriptions, effigies or other materials that are deemed inappropriate, distasteful or offensive.
18.5 The Fabrique shall not be responsible to the leaseholder or his/her beneficiaries, for any act or deeds that are unknown to it, which could, in whatever manner, affect the monument.
18.6 Due to the increased of size of outer containers that may reduce the number of interments per lot, they are not allowed in the cemetery.
18.7 Fences and enclosures, regardless of size and height, of whatever kind and nature are strictly prohibited. However, such enclosures erected before 1924 may be maintained at the Interment Rights Leaseholder’s costs but they shall not be rebuilt.
18.8 The Fabrique retains the right of passage over every plot so that cemetery operation may be performed effectively. Even if this requires the movement of monuments.
18.9 The use of any lot is for the right and privilege of the Leaseholder’s relatives for interment purposes only, and no lot may be acquired for resale for profit.
18.10 Scattering of cremated remains within the cemetery is forbidden.
18.11 The Fabrique may establish various sections of plots in accordance with its cemetery management plan.
18.12 The Fabrique shall, in no way, be responsible for errors in the location of graves.
18.13 No items are allowed that if they were damaged would become a safety hazard such as glass, plastic or light metal material. They will be removed by cemetery staff.
18.14 All Leaseholders are to abide by the existing regulations or such regulations as may from time to time be determined upon by the Fabrique, and approved by the Archbishop of Gatineau-Hull.

19. Adoption, nullification and modifications

19.1 The Fabrique may, as required, adopt or promulgate new regulations that conform to the provisions of the Act. It may nullify, modify or reintroduce other regulations in keeping with the provisions of the Fabrique Act.
19.2 Subject to vested rights these regulations supersede all previous regulations.

20. Corrections of Errors

The Fabrique may, to correct any error that may have been made be it either in making an interment, disinterment or removal, or in the description, transfer or granting of interment rights or lot, either cancel such grant and substitute and grant in lieu thereof other interment rights or lot of equal value and similar location as far as it’s reasonably possible and as may be selected by the Fabrique or refund the money paid on account for the lease of said lot. In case of any such error that may involve the interment or disinterment of the remains of any persons or person in any lot the Fabrique with the permission of the local Medical Officer of Health and the lot owner, may remove and reenter the remains in another lot of equal value and similar location as may be substituted and granted in lieu thereof.

21. Notice of Change of Address

Each Leaseholder shall notify the Fabrique of any change in his post office address. Notice sent to a Leaseholder at the last address according to the Fabrique’s records shall be deemed to have been received by him when in the ordinary course of post it would have reached him at the address in the Fabrique’s records.

Annex 1

Please see the Cemetary rates section for the costs.