PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) Mementoes and most decorations will be barred from grave sites at seven Catholic cemeteries, according to the Diocese of Providence.
”When we look at the thousands and thousands of people interred in our system and those families who come to these cemeteries, you want to make sure they convey a certain respect and dignity,” says Arthur Lurgio, associate director of Catholic cemeteries for the diocese. ”Unfortunately what might seem wonderful to one may seem terrible to another.”
Increasingly, Lurgio told The Providence Journal, people are decorating their beloved’s gravestones with plastic windmills, wind chimes, photographs, figurines and even balloons. The trend has generated more complaints, too, he said.
The diocese issued a statement Monday saying the policy barring all grave adornments except flowers was not new, but has not been enforced in recent years. It will be enforced as of July 1.
Some mementos are placed in the grass or they fall off the tombstones and break. ”There is a safety issue here” if groundskeepers mow over them, Lurgio said.