Burials increased by 15% and cremations jumped 10% so far this year compared with 2020 at five cemetery sites overseen by The Catholic Cemeteries, likely driven by postponed committal services at the height of the pandemic, said Joan Gecik, executive director.
The impact of COVID-19 also continues, including the delta variant driving up recent infection rates, Gecik said. People concerned about gathering indoors are making reservations for summer 2022 for burials of loved ones cremated this fall so they can be together outside in greater safety and numbers, she said.
Because of the pandemic, Catholic Cemeteries’ annual Mass of Remembrance will not be held this December, she said. “Usually, we get over 200 people attending,” Gecik said, making it difficult to socially distance to help prevent spread of the virus.