Rules & Regulations
City of Framingham Department of Cemeteries Rules and Regulations
These rules and regulations apply to Edgell Grove Cemetery, Edwards Cemetery, Main Street Cemetery (aka Church Hill), and Old South Cemetery, applicable July 1, 2023.
Department of Cemeteries Business Office Edgell Grove Cemetery
53 Grove Street
Framingham Centre, Massachusetts 01701
Business hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Cemetery visitation hours (every day of the week): 8:00 a.m. – sunset
The Edgell Grove Cemetery gates will be opened and closed each day in accordance with the visitation hours. The Edwards Cemetery, Old South Cemetery, and Main Street (Church Hill) Cemetery will adhere to these times as well, regardless of the closing of the gates.
The cemeteries will be closed when snow, ice, mud, and/or high winds deem it necessary for the safety of all.
For Buyers and Lot Owners: Lot/Crypt/Niche Purchases
Residency requirements – These cemeteries are special to the residents of Framingham and so those interred need to have a connection to Framingham. Thus, a purchaser of plots, crypts, and niches must be a current or past resident of Framingham. The immediate family of a current or past resident of Framingham can also be a purchaser.
Places of Interment - Lots are defined as 10-foot-long plots of land that allow for the interment of a full casket and its cement vault. A cement vault is required. A crypt is a storage area for a casket within the Mausoleum. A niche is a storage area within the Mausoleum or columbarium for an urn that holds cremains. In addition, up to four urns with cremains can be buried in the ground in a full lot, along with a casket. Smaller lots can be purchased that hold just two urns with cremains. These smaller lots can have only flat markers.
Note: Currently, places of interest are not available for purchase in Edwards, Old South, and Main St cemeteries. Interments will be limited to those who already own an empty lot and thus have a deed.
VETERAN’S LOT: For service veterans, the family must produce the honorable discharge certificate of the deceased.
BABY LOT: Parents must be Framingham residents at the time of death. The lot is donated by the cemetery.
Headstones and Monuments - Whereas these cemeteries are old and historic, the look and feel need to be considered when purchasing a headstone so it will fit in. Newly opened sections of the cemeteries will have material and finish guidelines to help provide continuity. Cemetery personnel are available to provide guidance on headstone and monument selection to ensure compatibility with surroundings and compliance with guidelines.
Owner’s Responsibility - All places of interest must be paid by the owner at the time of purchase. In the case of payment plans, the plan must be paid off before interment.
The owner, or family of the owner, must inform the cemetery office of any changes in contact person information when applicable.
An owner may not sell a place of interment to a third party but an owner can grant the place of interment to a relative or friend. If a larger place is desired, the owner can transfer the unused original lot back to the cemetery and the original purchase amount will be applied to the cost of a larger lot. The owner can sell the unused lot back to the cemetery for the original price paid, minus the perpetual care fee (10%). Since the owner bought the headstone or monument, the owner is responsible for fixing it if it happens to break.
The cemetery provides perpetual care which covers the maintenance of the surface of lots and graves, mowing the grass, raking, and leaf blowing, but does not include care of any kind to monuments, markers, or foundations.
Employees of the Department of Cemeteries are the only ones authorized to open and close places of interment. Before independent contractors can work in a cemetery, they need to obtain permission from the cemetery management.
The cemetery will exercise reasonable care in inspecting trees and removing, in whole or part, those apparently in an unsound and dangerous condition, but it expressly disclaims responsibility for injury or damage to persons or property resulting from trees or parts thereof falling from natural causes.
A 24-hour notice is required for funeral services in the chapel. The heated chapel is available for services year-round. The maximum seating capacity is 75 people. The funeral director or family must arrange for clergy, flowers, and music. Families will be responsible for any damage to the chapel that may occur. No food or drink is allowed within the Chapel. A damage fee of $200 will be charged before the event and refunded after the event if there is no damage done. Note that nothing should be stuck or glued to the walls. This has caused issues in the past.
Mausoleum and Columbarium
The cemetery will be responsible for lettering on the crypt shutters and inside niches. Exterior niche engraving must be done by cemetery-approved professionals for a fee, (applies to columbarium also). No work shall be done on or about said crypt/niche by persons other than cemetery employees. No Name will be attached to crypt/niche until fully paid.
No other use of the crypt/niche is authorized without the approval of the Board of Trustees. Plants, decorations, and other memorials are not allowed inside or outside the Mausoleum, in or around the shutters, or on the floor. Any such decorations will be removed without notice (notice applies to the Columbarium also).
The municipal cemeteries of Framingham are non-sectarian and non-profit. The Rules, Regulations, and prices of the cemeteries are subject to change without notice. Temporary markers will be removed one year after the date of interment.
The Department of Cemeteries will not be responsible for any monuments, markers, or for any flowers, decorations, holders, or other items placed on graves. Funeral flowers will be discarded one week after the funeral.
Operational Rules of the Cemeteries
Visitation is only permitted during defined hours. Children under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult. The gates may be kept closed in specific cemeteries when inclement weather makes driving treacherous. The driving speed limit is 10 miles an hour.
Planting - To provide a pleasant appearance for all visitors, only annual plants should be planted in the ground, no new perennials, shrubs, or bushes. All flowers must stay within 18 inches of the front of the headstone or monument. All flowers will be removed by the staff when they become unsightly. All flowers (cut or potted) must be natural, not artificial or silk flowers. Also, no plastic wrapping should be left on the ground.
Existing shrubs and bushes planted on lots must be restricted to a height of three feet or less and not infringe upon a neighbor’s space. The cemetery personnel will use their discretion to remove, without notice, any planting made in violation of these regulations and charge the lot owner for the expense incurred.
Memorial trees may be purchased from and planted by only cemetery personnel.
To maintain the tranquility of the cemetery for all, recreational use of bicycles, skateboards, scooters, ATVs, etc. is not allowed on the cemetery grounds. For the sake of those grieving loved ones, recreational activities, such as jogging, picnicking, or sunbathing are also not allowed. No headstone rubbing or cleaning without prior permission. No picking of flowers. And, sorry, NO DOGS ARE ALLOWED.
No statues, open flame candles, eternal lights, solar lights, balloons, shells, toys, knick-knacks, crockery, glassware, Christmas trees, decorations of permanent bushes with ornaments and similar ornaments or articles placed upon any grave or lot will be removed without notice. The cemetery is not responsible if something valuable is left.
No illegal drug use, firearms (unless used in a sanctioned ceremony), and no dumping trash.
Scattering of ashes is strictly prohibited without the review and approval of cemetery personnel.
No bark mulch, wood chips, and/or enclosures of any kind (fences, brick, or stones) are allowed around the headstones without special permission from cemetery personnel. No hanging plants.
No banners or flags other than the American flag (11”x17”) when installed during a cemetery-sanctioned event, such as Memorial Day, are allowed.
For Funeral Directors, family, and friends of the deceased…
A 48-hour notice is required for all interments. Interment fees must be paid for in advance or by the Funeral Director at the time of the funeral and must be accompanied by the usual burial permit. Burials will not be allowed without a permit. We may refuse to make an interment until a more feasible time and if too many funerals are scheduled to arrive on the same day or in inclement weather.
There will be no funerals or grave openings on Sundays or holidays celebrated by the city.
No Funerals after 2:00 p.m. (Monday – Friday)* No Funerals after 1:00 p.m. (Saturday)
Only three Funeral flower pieces will be allowed during winter months. (December 1 through March 15).
* Additional fees apply after noontime.
Details of those interred in Edgell Grove Cemetery will be entered into the database used by the cemetery and thus made available to the public via the application available on the Web.
Foundations and Monuments
A lot owner must sign a work order allowing monument companies to do work. Cemetery personnel do all foundations for headstones and military markers. No foundations, flat markers, military markers, or temporary stones will be allowed after November 1st. (Orders received after October 1st will be scheduled for May 1st. NO EXCEPTIONS.) Only one upright stone per lot. Monument benches are allowed with prior review and approval from cemetery personnel.
The largest stone allowed on a single grave or a two-grave lot is 2’2” x 1’2” x 3’ high. Three grave lots or larger, nothing over 5’ x 1’2” x 3’6” high.
A monument of larger size than the above dimensions will require more than one adjacent lot and will be subject to a detailed review and approval process with the Cemetery Board of Trustees with regard to dimensions, materials, location, and design.
FREE BURIAL SECTION – flush markers only. The largest size is 12” x 24” x 4” thick.
VETERAN’S LOT – flush markers only.
BABY LOT – flush markers only; largest size is 6” x 12” x 4” thick