Interfaith funeral arrangements

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This topic has 4 voices, contains 6 replies, and was last updated by  Virginia May Reynolds 7 years ago.

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March 9, 2010 at 6:16 am #4419


I am a Jewish male married to a Christian female. Can a non-Jew be buried in a Jewish cemetary, and if yes, what restictions would be one the ceremony? Can a Jew be buried in a Christian cemetary and if yes, what restrictions are there. Are there interfaith cemetaries?  What is proper etiquette when planning funerals in an interfaith family?

March 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm #4421

InterfaithFamily Administrator

Hi! Larry,

This is an important question which the Jewish community is beginning to address.  According to Jewish law, Jewish cemeteries have only been for the burial of Jews.  In recent years many cemeteries have opened sections for interfaith families.  The best way to find out which cemeteries have such sections would be to contact local Jewish funeral homes or Reform congregations in your community.
I am not sure if a Jew could be buried in a Christian cemetery, but there are non denominational cemeteries. recently published a Guide to Death and Mourning for Interfaith Families: … lies.shtml

There is a section about how to plan a funeral: … lses.shtml

If I can help you with any contacts within your community, please email me at

All my best,
Robin Schwartz
Network Director

June 26, 2010 at 6:43 pm #4776

Virginia May Reynolds

In the UK, where I come from both are possible but it depends largely on the priest/ chuch / temple…

As the poster before said, you might have to ‘book’ and ‘pay for’ lots in advance of your death/your partner but it has been done.

My in’-laws died when my husband was a kid in an accident and they had requested in both their wills to be buried together.  She was Jewish, he was Catholic.  They lived in North Wales (Anglesea) where there isn’t a huge Jewish community, if at all,  but for what Anne (my husband’s aunt – she’s Jewish) told me it was a beautiful DIY interfaith service.  Because the couple were loved by many they managed to get the rabbi and the priest (the rabbi had to come from mainland Wales) and they were buried together in a Christian cemetery but as I said, they made sort of special provision for them because they were both young and well loved.  However, I believe a non-Jewish partner can be buried in a Jewish cemetery too but I believe this could depend on how liberal a Jew you or the priest are.  I certainly want to be buried with my husband, in either!

June 26, 2010 at 6:47 pm #4777

Virginia May Reynolds

One thing I know is that I don’t want to be buried separate from Daniel and I bet a lot of people share my feeling about being buried with their spouses.

July 7, 2010 at 1:49 am #4827


The local Jewish cemetery where my wife’s family is buried doesn’t allow non-Jewish burials.  They do however have a close relationship with the cemetery “on the other side of the fence” for interfaith families.

I’m pretty sure the Catholic cemetery where my mother’s family is buried doesn’t accept non-Catholics but I’m not 100% on that.

July 7, 2010 at 11:19 pm #4835

Virginia May Reynolds

Try to talk to them though, that was the policy when my in-laws died and they got it!

July 7, 2010 at 11:25 pm #4836

Virginia May Reynolds

Not that I’m anybody but if it helps for you to talk to me, or even my husband or for me to contact the ministers of religion involved, I would be honoured.

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