New Jersey Cemetery Offers Natural Burials

Maryrest Cemetery in Mahwah, N.J., one of 10 Catholic Cemeteries owned by the Archdiocese of Newark, has had its first interment in a new section of the cemetery dedicated entirely to Natural Burials / Green Funerals.

It is believed that this is the first Archdiocesan cemetery in the state, perhaps in the country, that has an entire area reserved for the eco-friendly burial consumer.

According to Andrew P. Schafer, executive director of the Catholic Cemeteries of the Newark Archdiocese, the development of this site is in response to consumer requests and is part of a multi-year, multi-million dollar renovation and expansion of Maryrest. In keeping with green burial practices, this area of the cemetery will not allow concrete vaults or manufactured headstones. They will accept the deceased wrapped in a shroud or a sustainable / biodegradable casket, and if embalming is needed for ceremonial purposes, it must be with a non-toxic, formaldehyde free solution. Marking of the graves will be with native stone set flat in the ground.

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