When your loved one is buried, it’s customary for the cemetery to charge a fee for "opening and closing” services. The specific cost can vary, depending on a few different factors, but it’s certainly something to be aware of.
Opening and closing services are required not just for in-ground burials but also for entombment in a mausoleum crypt or a cremation niche. Essentially, opening and closing services refer to the work that the cemetery staff conducts to physically prepare the area for your loved one’s remains.
For instance, for ground burials, the opening and closing duties encompass opening the grave ground (e.g., digging out the area where the casket is to be placed), preparing the site for the service, back-filling the grave, and ensuring that the landscaping looks appropriate following the service.
For entombment in a niche or crypt, meanwhile, opening and closing services can include opening the niche or crypt and then closing it back up once the casket or cremation urn has been placed.
There can be a lot of work that goes into this, which makes it a boon to have the cemetery handle it on your behalf. If you ever have any questions about what exactly these services entail or want to ensure proper coordination with the cemetery, you can always go straight to your funeral director.
You can also address the price point with your funeral director, who can give you advance notice how much opening and closing will cost and explain all the factors that are taken into account.
Opening and closing are important steps in providing your loved one with a final resting place and can help make the entire funeral process go more smoothly.