I Have A Question

These are the answers to the most commonly asked questions. If you have another question, please ask here and submit for a prompt response.

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1. What hours may I come visit the Gardens?

Cemetery and Welcome Center Hours

Dawn to Dusk
7 Days a Week
Whenever You Need Us, The Gardens Cemetery is Here to Help. Call us Anytime.

Office Hours
8:00AM to 4:30PM
Available Any Time by Appointment

2. How do I get a headstone or get a name or a date engraved on an existing headstone or bronze memorial?

You may use any memorial company you choose or we would be happy to provide you contact information for a local Memorial Headstone Company.  We will accompany you to any Memorial Company or you may meet them at The Gardens Visitor Center.  They may be contracted directly to inscribe or install memorial headstones. Please have your lot number and Garden available when you contact them. We do not endorse any specific memorial company, and we are not liable for contracts negotiated between you and them. The authorized representative of the lot must sign all Cemetery applications for new memorials.

3. May I plant flowers?

Any resting place with an upright Memorial privilege may have annual and perennial plantings the length of the Memorial and one foot out.  Flush Memorial Gardens may not be planted in the ground.  Flowerpots and other florals may be placed on the flush memorials not to exceed the total square area of the memorial.  Please refrain from the following items: rosebushes, shrubs, trees, wire, or glass items on or near resting places.  Please see Guiding Principles (Rules and Regulations).

4. Are there any available graves near Mom and Dad’s graves?

If you have an interest in a tour of available resting places that may be close to mom or dad, Contact us anytime or come to the Family Visitor Center. There is a good chance we would have something close by.

5. Can I make payments?

Yes, you can make payments.
In today’s economy and with all the expenses we already have, The Gardens Cemetery wants to help ease the burden of end of life costs. Generally, with 30% down you may extend the payments out to 20 months with no interest. The Gardens Cemetery is nonprofit and at the time of a loss does require all fees paid before a ceremony or service. If the resting place is paid for years in advance, the family will have less financial burden and responsibility.

For more information, we encourage you to come in and have a conversation with us.  Please call us at 617-325-0186 to arrange a convenient time to meet.

6. What do I do if a family member or loved one is terminally ill or has died?

At The Gardens, we help you plan, organize and gently guide you through all the decisions that must be made before and at the time of loss.

We also work on your behalf with funeral professionals, celebrants, officiants and other people that may be involved in creating a meaningful ceremony for yourself or someone you love.

There are resources available here on this website for hospice and palliative care.

Please contact us as soon as possible at 617-325-0186 so we can provide compassionate and healing care right away.

7. Is there space left at The Gardens?

Yes. There will be availability for many years to come, but it is best to acquire your resting place in advance of need. Some gardens may have limited availability and families often wish to have a resting place near other relatives or in a specific Garden.

For more information, we encourage you to come in and have a conversation with us. Please call us at 617-325-0186 to arrange a convenient time to meet.

8. Why do I need a cemetery?

It is important to honor and remember those who have passed in a permanent resting place.  In a cemetery, your loved one will always be protected in a sacred place and remembered with dignity and respect.  Information about the deceased will be kept permanently in cemetery records.  Sometimes a cemetery memorial is the only tangible evidence someone existed. Generations from now looking for family information and history may find this only in a cemetery.

9. Who owns and operates The Gardens Cemetery?

From its inception, March 1873, The Gardens at Gethsemane Inc., according to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 114, Section 1A: Organization of cemetery corporations, is a mandatory Non-Profit Organization and is subject to MGL Chapter 179. There is no single owner of any cemetery in The Commonwealth and all cemeteries are governed by a Board of Directors consisting of 5 or more members.

In the fall of 2002, Alan J. MacKinnon, CCE & current President, joined with loving and caring people from the community and formed a non-profit organization which purchased the cemetery from the Lutheran Social Services of New England.

Alan J. MacKinnon, CCE, is designated as a Certified Cemetery Executive and is a graduate of the International Cemetery Cremation and Funeral Association University. He is currently one of five in the entire state of Massachusetts and has served as Secretary/Treasurer on the board of the Massachusetts Cemetery Association.

Mr. MacKinnon is the twelfth President in the almost 150 year history of the cemetery.  The philosophy of the cemetery laid out in the Vision, Mission and Values is well established and fully understood by all cemetery staff.

To ensure a solid future for The Gardens, a team of outside expert advisors was assembled to create a Strategic Plan for the organization.  The cemetery is committed to continuing and enhancing the Strategic Plan with the formal adoption of a succession plan and enlargement of the management team to expand services and guarantee the mission of The Gardens is carried out into the future.

We continue to meet with our families and leaders within the communities we serve to listen and learn what they would like from us to be sure that we live up to our mission in serving them.

10. How much does it cost?

We have a Preferred Choices brochure showing The Gardens unique value, compassionate and healing care and hospitality including pricing for each available resting place, service and ceremony. Our Preferred Choices Brochure is available at The Gardens Visitor Center.

Greater Boston Cemeteries

11. How long do I own the resting place?

The rights to the resting place are in perpetuity and are passed down from generation to generation unless otherwise specified in writing in a will or notarized document.

12. What happens when the Cemetery is filled?

The Gardens at Gethsemane has land for resting places well into the foreseeable future.

The Strategic Plan of The Gardens at Gethsemane addresses key components of our cemetery’s longevity including current tangible assets, industry trends, modeling goals and potential initiatives.

There is opportunity for additional land adjacent or close to our current location and we may also acquire other existing cemeteries or land to continue The Gardens Compassionate and Healing Care.

The Gardens also prudently invests funds to be used for long term maintenance of the Cemetery’s grounds and equipment.  The accumulation of these funds over many years are designed to provide sufficient interest income for maintenance in the future.