Cemetery Rules & Regulations

Rules and Regulations of the Board of Cemetery Commissioners of the City of Waltham, Massachusetts are made for the protection of Grave and Lot owners in conformity with City Ordinances and Statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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Monuments, Headstones and Markers
Plantings, Decorations and Use of Property
Conduct of Visitors
Perpetual Care
Veterans' Graves

For the purpose of the sale of a lot or grave, the term, “Resident”, is defined as follows:

  1. Any person who currently resides in the City of Waltham and has for the entire preceding year.

  2. Any person who is a permanent resident in a Waltham nursing home or long-term care facility.

  3. Any person who has lived in Waltham for a minimum of one year, but has moved from Waltham is grandfathered for five (5) years. Proof will be required. 

    The final decision regarding residency remains with the Superintendent of Cemeteries. 



  1. No funerals, interments, prayer services or organized processions, mock set-ups with a casket or urn, with or without Funeral Directors, are allowed on Sunday or on the following Holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in Grove Hill and Mount Feake Cemeteries. The cemeteries are open on Sundays and New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day for visiting only. Monday thru Saturday any funerals, interments, prayer services or organized processions, mock set-ups with a casket or urn must be scheduled and approved by the Cemetery Superintendent.

  2. Twenty-four hour notice (or eight work hours) is required for all interments. Funeral directors MUST have all orders for interments signed by the lot owner or an appointed representative of said lot.  The necessary burial permit must accompany said orders.

  3. A concrete liner or vault is compulsory with all earth burial interments.

  4. All funerals must enter through the entrance on Prospect Street for Mount Feake Cemetery, and Main Street for Grove Hill Cemetery, unless otherwise directed by the Superintendent.

  5. The Superintendent will be in complete charge of funerals after they enter the Cemetery.

  6. No more than six interments of ashes may be made in any one grave other than two only in the Urn Garden.

  7. No ashes may be interred in the same grave as an earth burial.

  8. No interment of ashes may be made in a lot except in a regular grave space.

  9. No person may bury or scatter ashes at any time within the Cemetery boundaries.

  10. There will be an extra charge for all funerals on Saturdays and holidays and for processions arriving after  1:30 p.m. on weekdays.

  11. The Superintendent may require that an interment be postponed if too many funerals are scheduled to arrive at the same hour, or when the weather is prohibitive.



  1. Monuments, headstones and markers may be erected subject to the approval of the Board of Cemetery Commissioners or its designee. 

  2. Signed orders with designs and specifications must be submitted to the Board of Cemetery  Commissioners.

  3. No statues or designs deemed objectionable by the Board of Cemetery Commissioners will be permitted. 

  4. All work in the Cemetery must be done during normal office hours as set forth above.


  1. All monuments, headstones and markers must have a foundation built by the Cemetery Department.  No monuments, headstones or markers will be set without a foundation.

  2. There is a per square foot charge for foundations.

  3. All orders must contain the height, width and length of the monument, headstone or marker; lot number and section; and a sketch of the monument, headstone or marker.

  4. The Cemetery Department shall install all foundations.  Foundations will not be installed during months when frost is in the ground. 

  5. Orders for foundations for Memorial Day must be submitted before the first day of May.

   Monuments, Headstones and Markers

  1. Only natural stone and bronze will be allowed.

  2. Grave, Lot and Section numbers must be identified on the base of the stone.

  3. No monument, headstone or marker will be placed on the lot unless the lot is paid for in full.

  4. Flush markers will have at least a four-inch butt.  No flush markers will be permitted prior to interment in  the grave to be marked.

  5. Only one flush marker is allowed to identify both interments in an Urn Garden Lot.

  6. Only one upright stone will be allowed on a lot; all other stones will be flush markers except that on an old lot, existing markers may be duplicated. 

  7. Only one flush marker per grave space will be allowed.

  8. Designs for all monuments, headstones and markers must be approved by the Cemetery Department.  Motifs on monuments, headstones and markers must be superimposed and part of the monument.  All monuments, headstones and markers must be monolithic regardless of the theme.

  9. No stone may bear anything of an advertising nature.

  10. The size of a flush marker shall be consistent with the size of the lot (see #11) and not protrude above grade.

Monuments, headstones and markers will not exceed the following maximum limits:

Single Grave           

2’ x 1’ x 2’ high

Two Grave Lot   

3’ x 1’ x 3’ high

Three Grave Lot   

3’ 6” x 1’ x 3’ high

Four Grave Lot     

3’ 6” x 1’ x 3’ high

Six Grave Lot  

3’ 6” x 1’ x 3’ high

Baby/Stillborn Grave

1’ 2” x 8” x 2’ high

Urn Garden Lot     

2' x 1'  flush marker

  1. All inscription work on new monuments, headstones and markers must be done prior to setting.

  2. Inscription work on all existing monuments, headstones and markers require a work permit signed by the lot owner or his or her legal heir and identifying the lot number and section.

Government Markers
Only one (1) Government Marker is allowed on each Veterans’ grave in the Veterans’ section.

The Cemetery Department is not responsible for any damage to monuments, headstones or markers.


  1. No shrubs will be planted or replaced without a planting permit.

  2. No shrubs will be planted in Section R.

  3. No planting will be allowed on lots that do not have an upright monument or headstone.

  4. No planting will be allowed on lots with flush markers.

  5. Flowerbeds must conform to size and may not be placed more than 12 inches from the face of the monument.

  6. Roses, rhododendrons, azaleas and other leafy shrubs will not be allowed.

  7. No enclosures of any nature including, but not limited to fences, ditches, curbs, boxes or urns are allowed.

  8. Vigil lights are not permitted.

  9. Potted plants, baskets and flowers will be permitted at Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Memorial Day or any other day that commemorates a special occasion including, but not restricted to, a birthday or anniversary. Wreaths or sprays of natural evergreens are allowed during the Christmas season.

  10. All decorations will be removed ten (10) days after the specific holiday or as soon as they become faded or unsightly whichever comes first.

  11. The Cemetery will not be responsible for any flowers, decorations, holders or other devices or receptacles placed on graves.

  12. A visitor is forbidden to walk across Cemetery lots unless on his or her way to visit a grave.

  13. Motor vehicles will not be operated with the Cemetery at a rate of speed that is greater than 15 miles per hour.


  1. The following are the provisions for the conduct of persons who may enter any of the public cemeteries of the city; provided, however, that no provisions herein contained shall be construed to limit or lessen the powers conferred upon the board as to matters not contained in these provisions:

    1. No person, other than a lot owner upon his own lot, shall walk, stand or lounge upon the grass, the flower beds, or the graded lots or borders within the cemetery limits.

    2. a.  No person shall, within cemetery limits, gather any wild or cultivated flowers, or disturb any floral design or vase.  
      b.  No person shall write upon or mark any monument, gravestone, or other structure or thing planned or designed as a memorial for the dead.

    3. No person shall, except as otherwise permitted in this section, carry any firearm, cross bow, hunting bow, or any other dangerous weapon within cemetery limits.

    4. No person shall, within cemetery limits, destroy, injure or harm any bird, squirrel, or other animal of any kind.

    5. No person shall operate any motor vehicle within cemetery limits with the sole intent to pass through the same, from street to street. No person shall operate any motor vehicle, within cemetery limits, at a speed greater than fifteen (15) miles per hour.

    6. No person shall ride a bicycle within cemetery limits, except a lot owner for the purpose of visiting his own lot.

    7. No person shall enter or remain in a cemetery for any purpose other than to attend a funeral or care for or visit a lot or grave.

    8. No person shall take any dog, nor allow a dog that he owns to follow him into any cemetery.

    9. No person shall land in Mount Feake cemetery from any boat, loaf, lounge or fish on the banks of the Charles River within the boundaries of the cemetery.

    10. No person shall engage in loud talking or boisterous conduct of any sort in any cemetery, or bring refreshments into the same.

    11. No person shall park any vehicle within cemetery limits, except for the purpose of attending a funeral or for the purpose of caring for or visiting a lot or grave, and then only in such manner as will not interfere with the owner of any other lot or grave or interfere with the movement of other vehicles.  No person shall park any vehicle in the entrance of any cemetery.

    12. No person shall enter, or remain in any cemetery later than three-quarters of an hour after sunset.

    13. No person taking care of his own lot or the lot of another shall leave weeds, grass, or rubbish of any sort on any other lot or on any of the paths or avenues of a cemetery.

    14. No person shall place, throw, deposit, discharge, or cause to be placed, thrown, deposited or discharged, any trash, bottles or cans, refuse, rubbish, garbage, debris, scrap waste, or any other material of any kind on any path, avenue, lot or any land within the cemetery limits.

    15. The following acts are specifically forbidden within the territorial boundaries of city cemeteries:

      1. Roller skating and skateboarding.

      2. The use of mini-bikes and go-carts.

      3. The display or sale of goods, wares, or merchandise.

      4. Instructing persons in the use and operation of a motor vehicle.

      5. The use of cemetery roadways for pleasure driving.

      6. Entering into, or remaining within, the cemetery after the main gates have been closed, without authorization by the superintendent of cemeteries.

    16. a.  Any person found to be in violation of any of the above provisions of the city ordinances, or of any cemetery rule or regulation, shall be subject to prosecution to the maximum extent allowable under all applicable laws, regulations, rules and ordinances.
      b.  The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to any cemetery employee, any member of the police or fire departments, or any other city employee if compliance with such provision would interfere with the ability of the employee to properly perform the duties of his position.
      c.  Not withstanding the provision of subsection (a) (3) of this section, members of military or veterans’ organizations may be permitted, subject to the approval of the superintendent of  cemeteries, to carry firearms onto the cemetery grounds when such firearms are to be used in connection  with certain ceremonies to be conducted within cemetery limits.


Perpetual Care includes:  maintenance of lots including mowing and trimming of grass; removal of unsightly decorations; maintenance of trees, shrubs and gardens in common areas; and maintenance of roads and paths.

Perpetual Care does not include trimming of bushes on lots or care of gardens on lots.


For all disinterments, a Funeral Director must be engaged to ensure compliance with relevant  Massachusetts’ laws.  Removals are not to be scheduled in winter months.  During any disinterment, no person other than Cemetery Department Personnel, Funeral Directors, or Vault Company Personnel shall be allowed within one hundred feet of the gravesite. 


Veterans’ graves are available to Waltham Veterans only.  Gravesites are not available to veterans’ wives.

The foregoing Rules and Regulations and prices are made by the Board of Cemetery Commissioners and are subject to change without notice. This publication supersedes all previous publications pertaining to rules and regulations. 05279