Rules and Regulations

Raynham Cemetery Commission
Pleasant Street Cemetery Sign

For the mutual protection of every Burial Rights purchaser these rules and regulations are hereby adopted as the rules and regulations of the Cemetery Department of the Town of Raynham for all owners and visitors within the Cemeteries.

Conveyance of Rights to Burial in Raynham Public Cemeteries shall be limited to Town of Raynham residents.

All burial lots sold shall be subject to said rules and regulations, and subject, further, to such other rules and regulations, amendments or alterations as shall be adopted by the Raynham Cemetery Commission from time to time. The reference to these rules and regulations in the certificate of ownership to Burial Rights shall have the same force and effect as if set forth in full therein.


Authorized Person: A member of the immediate family of the deceased, a person authorized in writing by a member of the immediate family, if no member of the immediate family of the deceased wishes to assume responsibility, or in the absence of immediate family, a person authorized in writing by the deceased. Also see Custody.

Burial Rights: A burial lot purchase is not a purchase of property, but the rights to burial on an entire lot or grave as defined as grave spaces. Ownership rights to the entire lot or grave can be transferred or rights to an individual space can be granted by the license holder. A new Right to Burial certificate needs to be issued by the Cemetery Department when any burial rights are transferred be it entire lot, grave or individual space.

Cremains: Cremated human remains.

Custody: The right to make decisions, consistent with applicable laws, regarding the handling of a dead human body, including, but not limited to, possession, at-need funeral arrangements, final disposition and disinterment. State law dictates line of next of kin in determining custody.

Deed: See License of Burial

Disinterment: To exhume.

Grave: Space in a cemetery which allows the burial of one or multiple in ground burials, two human remains total per grave, two cremains or one casket within a vault and one cremains.

Grave Marker: Flat stone or metal marker, providing a permanent means of identification and/or memorialization at a grave.

License of Burial: The rights given for use of a specific burial grave or graves.

Monument: An upright structure of stone commemorating the life, deeds or career of a deceased person.

Perpetual Care: An arrangement made by the cemetery whereby restricted funds are set aside, the income of which is used to maintain the cemetery, indefinitely.

Vault: A two piece sealed receptacle for additional protection of the casket.


The Superintendent shall have general supervision of all Cemeteries and persons working for the Raynham Cemetery Department under the control of the Raynham Cemetery Commission.

1A. All funerals on reaching the Cemetery shall be under the charge of the Superintendent, or his/her designee.

1B. Once a casket containing a body is within the confines of the Cemetery, no Funeral Director, or his embalmer, assistant, employee or agent, shall be permitted to open the casket or to touch the body without the consent of the legal representative of the deceased.

1C. The Raynham Cemetery Department shall take reasonable precaution to protect lot owners and the property rights of lot owners, within the Cemetery from loss or damage, but distinctly disclaims all responsibility for loss or damage from causes beyond its reasonable control, and, especially from damage caused by the elements, an act of God, common enemy, thieves, vandals, strikers, malicious mischief makers, explosions, unavoidable accidents, invasions, insurrections, riots, or order of any military or civil authority, whether the damage be direct or collateral, other than herein provided.

1D. The Superintendent or his/her designee is hereby empowered to enforce all rules and regulations, and shall have charge of grounds and buildings and at all times shall have supervision and control of persons in Cemetery, including the conduct of funerals, traffic and employees.

Cemetery Lots

2A. Cemetery Lots may be comprised of Single or Multiple grave site(s) as determined at the time of purchase and stated by the deed provided by the Town of Raynham.

Interments and Disinterments

3A. In addition to being subject to these rules and regulations, all interments, disinterments and removals are made subject to the laws of the Town of Raynham, Bristol County, Commonwealth of Massachusetts and United States of America, and the orders of the properly constituted authorities of those jurisdictions.

3B. All interments, disinterments and removals must be made at the time and in the manner and upon such charges as fixed by the Raynham Cemetery Commission.

3C. Interment, disinterment or removal shall not be permitted on Sunday.

3D. The Raynham Cemetery Commission reserves the right to insist upon at least seventy-two hours notice prior to any interment, and at least one weeks notice prior to any disinterment or removal.

3E. The Raynham Cemetery Commission reserves the right to make interment only upon the written authorization of any one of the lot owners, if living, or the surviving spouse of any of the lot owners, if living, or, if no such living surviving spouse, the legal representative of anyone of the lot owners, if living, or, if no such living representative, the next of kin of any one of the lot owners.

3F. When instructions regarding the location of an interment space in a lot cannot be obtained, or are indefinite or when for any reason the interment space cannot be opened where specified, the Superintendent or his/her designee may, in his/her discretion, open it in such location in the lot as he/she deems best and proper, so as not to delay the funeral, and the Raynham Cemetery Department or the Commission shall not be liable in damages for any error so made.

3G. The Raynham Cemetery Department shall not be liable for any order given by telephone, or for any mistake occurring from want of precise and proper instructions as to the particular space, size and location in the lot where interment is desired.

3H. The Raynham Cemetery Department reserves and shall have, the right to correct any error that may be made either in making interment, disinterment, or removal, or in the description, transfer or conveyance of any interment property, either in canceling such conveyance and substituting and conveying in lieu thereof other interment property of equal value and similar location as far as possible, or as may be selected by the Superintendent or his/her designee, or in the sole discretion of the Raynham Cemetery Commission, by refunding the amount of money paid on account of said purchase. In the event such error shall involve the interment of remains of any person in such property, the Raynham Cemetery Department reserves, and shall have the right to remove and to transfer such remains so interred to such other property of reasonably equal value and reasonable similar location as may be substituted and conveyed in lieu thereof.

3I. The Raynham Cemetery Department shall not be liable for any delay in the interment of a body where a protest to the interment has been made, or where the rules and regulations have not been complied with; and, further, said Raynham Cemetery Department reserves the right, under such circumstances to have the body held, at no cost to the Raynham Cemetery Department, until such time the full rights have been determined.

3J. No more than two human remains, shall be interred in one grave. This includes; an infant child with an adult, or two children under five years of age, or two cremains. No more than one cremains may be buried in any grave already occupied or a grave with a vault.

3K. Artificial grass, lowering devices and other equipment owned or used by the Raynham Cemetery Department shall be used exclusively in making interments, disinterments and removals, except as otherwise determined by the Superintendent or his/her designee. Private arrangements made by the Funeral Director with a vault company will be allowed based on a current fee schedule.

Disinterment and Removal

4A. A body, or cremains, may be removed from its original lot with proper authorization and documentation, to another lot in a Town owned Cemetery or another Cemetery when there has been an exchange or purchase for that purpose.

4B. The Raynham Cemetery Department shall exercise the reasonable care in making a removal, but it shall assume no liability for damage to any casket or burial case or urn incurred in making the removal.

Roadway and Replatting

5. The Raynham Cemetery Commission expressly reserves the right to enlarge, reduce or replot or change the boundaries or grading of the Cemetery or of a section or sections from time to time, including the right to modify or change locations of, or remove or regrade roads, drives and walks, or any part thereof. The right to lay, maintain and operate or alter or change pipelines, gutters, or drainage, etc. is also expressly reserved, as well as the right to use the Cemetery property, not sold to individual lot owners, for Cemetery purposes or for anything necessary, incidental or convenient thereto. The Raynham Cemetery Department reserves to itself, and to those lawfully entitled thereto, a perpetual right to ingress and egress over lots for the purpose of passage to and from other lots.

Conduct within Cemeteries

6A. Persons within the Cemetery Grounds shall use only avenues, walks, and roads, where they are available.

6B. All persons other than the Raynham Cemetery Commission, the Superintendent or their designees are prohibited from damaging flowers, either wild or cultivated, or breaking trees, shrubbery or plants, or disturbing the birds or other animal life, in any cemetery.

6C. No person shall sit or lounge on any of the grounds, graves or monuments in the Cemetery or in any of the buildings without the prior authorization of the Raynham Cemetery Commission, the Superintendent or their designee.

6D. No picnics are allowed in any Cemetery.

6E. No loud talking shall be permitted in the Cemetery, within hearing distance of funeral services.

6F. Automobiles shall not be driven through the grounds at a speed greater than 10 miles per hour. Automobiles are not allowed to park or come to a full stop in front of an open grave unless such automobiles are in attendance at a funeral.

6G. No sign or advertisement of any kind shall be allowed in the Cemeteries unless placed by the Superintendent or his/her designee with Raynham Cemetery Commission approval.

6H. The Cemetery Department business hours are weekdays except holidays, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Cemeteries are open and visitors are permitted from 8:00 AM until Dusk, except the months of June through September when visitors are permitted from 8:00 AM until 7:00 PM.

Perpetual Care

7A. All lots sold must have “perpetual care” provisions, unless waived by the Raynham Cemetery Commission.

7B. All graves opened for burial must have “perpetual care” provisions. If a lot does not have “perpetual care” on all graves, it must be added before any opening occurs, at current rates.

7C. The term “perpetual care”, used in reference to lots, shall mean the cutting of the grass upon said lots at reasonable intervals, the raking and cleaning of lots, meaning and intending the general preservation of the lots, and the grounds, to the end said grounds shall remain and be reasonably cared for as Cemetery grounds.

7D. The term “perpetual care” shall in no case be construed as meaning the maintenance, repair or replacement of any grave stones or monument structures or memorials placed or erected on lots, nor the planting of flowers or ornamental plants. The term “perpetual care” shall include the maintenance, repair or replacement of a foundation under a grave stone, monument or memorial in the reasonable discretion of the Raynham Cemetery Commission in the event that the Raynham cemetery Commission has received prior written authorization for such work from any one of the lot owners, if living, or the surviving spouse of any one of the lot owners, or, if no such living surviving spouse, the legal representative of any one of the lot owners, or, if no such living representative, the next of kin of any one of the lot owners. The Raynham Cemetery Commission, In its discretion, may maintain, repair or replace a foundation under a grave stone, monument or memorial without such prior written authorization if it determines that such work is appropriate.

7E. The income from “perpetual care” fund(s) shall be expended by the Raynham Cemetery Commission in such a manner as will, in its judgment, be most advantageous to the property owners as a whole, and in accordance with the purposes and provisions of the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts applicable to the expenditure of such funds.

7F. “Perpetual care”, whether applied to lots, graves, or to any space within the confines of a Cemetery, shall be limited absolutely to the income received from any investment of the “perpetual care” fund – no part of the principle being expended – anything herein stated to the contrary notwithstanding.

7G. The records of the Raynham Cemetery Department, the Town Clerk, and the receipt issued by the Town Treasurer with whom such funds have been deposited, shall show the amount of “perpetual care” fund that has been required of an individual and set aside in each case.

Monuments and Foundations

8A. No monument or other memorial may be brought into Cemeteries, until a sketch or blueprint, showing the design, material, finish size and proposed inscription thereon, is first submitted to and approved by the Superintendent or designated representative for. The Superintendent and Raynham Cemetery Commission reserve the right to reject any plan or design for a memorial which due to size, design, inscription, finish or quality of stone is unsuited to the lot on which it is to be placed. Markers and monuments must be of natural stone, bronze markers are permitted for veterans. No artificial material of any description is permitted. All die stones shall be finished at least on front and back.

Persons engaged in erecting monuments and other structures, are prohibited from attaching ropes to monuments, trees and shrubs, or from scattering their material over adjoining lots, or from blocking avenues or walks, or from leaving their material on the grounds longer than is absolutely necessary.

  • They must do as little injury to grass, trees and shrubs as possible, and must remove all debris and restore grounds and sod to its original condition.
  • No material, machinery, or other things for the construction of monuments, or monuments themselves, may be brought into the Cemetery until required for immediate use; nor, under any circumstances, when a funeral is in process: nor between Saturday noon and Monday morning; and no work shall be during said time, without special permission of the Superintendent or his/her designee.
  • While a funeral or interment is being conducted nearby all work of any description shall cease.
  • Only one central or family upright monument shall be allowed on any lot. Markers must be flat and even with sod, except in cases where markers above ground already exist on a lot other markers to match will be allowed to complete said lot.
  • The size of monuments is to be governed by the size of the lot.
  • The length of the base shall be as follows:
    • 1 Grave Lot – ( Single Grave Lot ) – Flat Marker Only
    • 2 - 4 Grave Lot - base size: Two feet by One foot up to Three feet by One foot
    • 6 Grave Lot - base size: up to Four feet by One foot
    • 8 Grave Lot – base size: up to Five feet by One foot 
  • The height of the monuments shall be as follows:
    • The combined height for a 2 to 4 Grave Lot must not exceed 36 inches from the top of the foundation.
    • The combined height for a 6 or 8 Grave Lot must not exceed 42 inches from the top of the foundation.
  • While the Raynham Cemetery Department will exercise all possible care to protect raised lettering, carving or ornaments on any memorial, or other structure, on any lot, it shall not be responsible for damage or injury thereto.
  • No curbing, fencing, hedging, grave mounds, or enclosures of any kind shall be allowed on any lot. The Raynham Cemetery Commission reserves the right to remove same if so erected, planted or placed.
  • No removal of monuments once installed without the approval of the Superintendent or his/her designee.

8B. Foundations

The Raynham Cemetery Department, shall install all foundations for memorial, markers, etc. The charges for such foundations shall be reasonable and uniform. The Raynham Cemetery Department shall assume responsibility for the proper construction of such foundations.

Five business days will be required after receipt of order for the construction of foundations for monuments or markers, weather permitting.

Foundation orders received after May 1 cannot be guaranteed for Memorial Day. No foundation will be set between May 15 to May 31, nor between November 1 and April 1. No work will be set up in the spring until the ground is fully settled and in proper condition. No work may be brought to the Cemetery on a weekend or the day before a holiday.

Monument dealers should familiarize themselves with these regulations as they are expected to conform to all rules as stated above.

Shrubs, Flowers and Decorations

9A. Shrubs

Effective January 1, 2007, the Raynham Cemetery Commission will no longer allow the planting of shrubs or trees around monuments. Those monuments before this date will be allowed to continue as long as the family maintains the plantings. At the discretion of the Superintendent or his/her designee, if a planting encroaches on another lot, it will be removed without notice.

The Raynham Cemetery Department reserves to itself the entire control of every tree, shrub, vine or plant growing within its boundaries, including the right of removal without notice when it considers such removal advisable. All persons are forbidden to damage flowers or to break or injure any tree, shrub, vine or plant. The Superintendent or his/her designated representative may remove from lots anything objectionable or injurious to the uses and purposes of the Cemeteries or contrary to the rules and regulations.

9B. Flowers 

Lot owners shall have the privilege of planting to the extent of one (1) flower bed and it shall be the responsibility of the lot owner or family member. Plantings, where permitted, shall be at owner’s expense. All plantings are subject to prior approval and supervision of the Raynham Cemetery Department. 

Flower Beds may not exceed the length of the upright monument nor more than one foot in width (12 inches) and must be maintained in weed-free condition at all times by the lot owner. Flowerbeds not maintained may be removed without notice at any time at the discretion of the Raynham Cemetery Commission or Superintendent. A fee may be assessed for the removal, based on the cost to restore the area to original condition.

Cut flowers may be placed on a grave at any time. Floral items will be removed from a lot as they become faded and unsightly.

Artificial flowers are permitted on lots from October 1 through April 15.

The Raynham Cemetery Department will not be responsible for anything left on lots by the owners. When the owners perform work on lots, they must remove all rubbish and excavated earth to such place as provided for that purpose.

9C. Decorations

No settees, urns, statues, votive candles, iron work, fencing or any type of decoration (except a Veteran Flag) shall be allowed around a flat marker or upright monument, except decorations such as urns, statues, votive candles are allowed within a flower bed near a upright monument, if said flowerbed is maintained. Any permanent containers, urns, etc. must receive approval of the Superintendent or his/her designee. Decorations may be removed without notice and fee may be assessed if flower bed is not maintained, based on the cost to restore the area to original condition.

Christmas or other Holiday type decorative items must be removed within thirty days of the Holiday date; decorative items will be removed without notice after that time by the Cemetery Department.

Veteran flags may be placed on each qualifying grave site during the Memorial Day and the Veterans Day Holidays. After a two week period, on lots with upright monuments, the veteran flags will be moved without notice from the individual grave sites to the upright monument location.

Disclaimer or Liability

The Town of Raynham disclaims all responsibility for loss or damage to any lot, monument, memorial or planting from causes beyond its control, especially from loss or damage caused by act of God, the elements, earthquake, war, common enemy, air raid, invasion, insurrection, riot, order or any military or civil authority, thieves, vandals, strikers, malicious mischief makers, explosions, unavoidable accidents or any cause, similar or dissimilar, beyond the control of the Raynham Cemetery Department whether loss or damage be direct or indirect.

Special causes may arise in which literal enforcement of a rule may impose unnecessary hardship. The Raynham Cemetery Department and the Raynham Cemetery Commission therefore reserve the right, without notice, to make exceptions, suspensions or modifications in any of these rules and regulations when in its judgment, the same appear advisable; and such temporary exceptions, suspensions or modifications shall in no way be construed as affecting the general application of said rule.

The Raynham Cemetery Commission may and it hereby expressly reserves the right, at any time or times, to adopt new rules and regulations, or to amend, alter or repeal any rule, regulation, article, section, paragraph, or sentence in these rules and regulations.

Revised: October 2007