What follows below is a summary of the rules governing a Natural Burial setting; before you sign a contract with us, however, you must read and agree to the full rules and regulations, by clicking on the green button.
A natural burial is an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to a traditional funeral, and significantly reduces the impact on the environment. Much of what constitutes a natural burial was once standard practice in this country, not the exception. At Cool Spring, it means we return the body to the earth as simply as possible.
Traditional metal caskets are not allowed. Instead, burials are conducted using low-impact biodegradable containers made from simple materials like unvarnished wood, cardboard, or even a simple shroud.
Except in the case of cremation, bodies entering the cemetery may not be embalmed.
The Natural Setting
At Cool Spring, the Shenandoah River flows lazily along the base of Virginia’s great Blue Ridge. Nestled in Virginia’s northern Shenandoah Valley, eagles and herons fly above meadows of wildflowers and cool, green woodlands. Deer and wild turkey wander peacefully across the hallowed grounds.
The Natural Setting needs your help and your family’s help
When you choose to be buried here, please also be sure to pass on to your loved ones our simple rule: no grave site decorations are permitted. This includes no landscaping or alteration of gravesites whatsoever. The only permanent exception is a memorial stone that can be engraved with name and dates, if desired.
We encourage planting of trees, but only in the Woodland Rest. All plantings, including trees, require specific and individual approval. Please come talk to us before purchasing any plants—this just helps us communicate and work with you to maintain consistent simplicity of woodland and meadow as you honor your loved ones.
If you see other graves that have been decorated or landscaped, please understand temporary leniency with a grieving family does not imply it is okay for you to do likewise. We reserve the right to remove all decorations and reverse any landscaping other than the one, simple, engraved river stone per burial.
Final Resting Places
Clients may choose a final resting place in either the cool shade of an eastern hardwood forest or on a sloping meadow overlooking the Shenandoah River with spectacular mountain vistas.
Religious Affiliations and Funeral Services
Cool Spring Natural Cemetery is located on sacred ground, and has been consecrated as a Roman Catholic Cemetery, but people of all faiths and beliefs are welcome to be buried here. There is no religious affiliation requirement at Cool Spring; elements of your specific religious tradition may be incorporated into your burial service.
The monks themselves do not participate in nor do they offer funeral services. An open-air pavilion chapel is available for services that you arrange with the funeral director.
This page is only a summary – read the full regulations, which are part of your contract, by clicking the green button, found at both the top and bottom of this page.