Cemetery Prayer

Catholic Cemeteries FAQs

Are there any Catholic cemeteries in the Diocese of Arlington?

There are no diocesan cemeteries, but several parishes maintain their own cemeteries. Some cemeteries are open only to parishioners or their close relatives. Parishes which maintain cemeteries include the following:

  • Sacred Heart of Jesus, Winchester
  • Sacred Heart, Manassas
  • St. Anthony Mission, King George
  • St. Francis de Sales, Kilmarnock
  • St. James, Falls Church
  • St. John the Apostle, Leesburg
  • Basilica of St. Mary, Alexandria
  • St. Mary of Sorrows, Fairfax
  • St. Paul Mission, Hague
  • St. Peter, Washington

Visit our parish locator to contact these parishes.

My parish doesn't have an active cemetery. What are my other options?

The Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Richmond both have extensive diocesan cemetery systems-furthermore, both kindly offer services to all Catholics, regardless of residence. For more information on cemeteries in the Archdiocese of Washington or in the Diocese of Richmond, visit:


As a Catholic, must I be buried in a Catholic cemetery?

No, but it is encouraged whenever possible. Priests of the Diocese of Arlington may be buried in Fairfax Memorial Park Cemetery, originally established as a private Catholic cemetery but now unaffiliated. 

What is the Catholic teaching on cremation?

In 1963, the Church lifted its prohibition of cremation provided that the cremated remains are treated with respect and dignity, acknowledging the Catholic teaching on the resurrection of the dead and the immortality of the soul. A body can be cremated either before or after the proper funeral rite with the remains later either placed in a columbarium or interred as any other body would be. The scattering of ashes or the dividing of them among relatives is contrary to the Church's beliefs and therefore forbidden.