Sterling Cemetery Company

Sterling, Virginia 



Visitation daily dawn to dusk

Sales by appointment only


The Sterling Cemetery does not provide funeral services beyond the sale and marking of the burial site and all landscaping maintenance.  Funeral arrangements are handled by the Funeral Home of your choice.

What do I do when someone dies?

If the death occurs at home, contact a doctor who will confirm that the person is deceased. If the person is in hospital, the hospital will provide the death certificate. Call the deceased's minister or close family friends to provide support to the family. Then call your Funeral Director to co-ordinate to collect the body and plan the funeral or service.

What documentation and information might be needed by the Funeral Director to arrange a funeral?

  • The deceased's ID document
  • Place of birth and place of death
  • Details of any hazardous occupation in which the deceased worked or was employed
  • Details of any funeral policies or any prepaid funeral plans
  • A passport 
  • Medical certificate issued by a doctor

What are my responsibilities for arranging a funeral?

Once the necessary documentation has been given to the Funeral Director with your instructions on details of the funeral, they will coordinate all the arrangements associated with the funeral, memorial service or wake. This includes registration of death, booking of grave/cremation with the relevant authorities, contact with minister, placement of death notices, etc.

How much choice does my family have in arranging a funeral?

Except for a few legal requirements, families have abundant choice. The funeral arrangements are executed in accordance with a family's specific requests.

How much does a funeral cost?

It is very difficult to answer this question as the costs vary depending on the method of disposal (burial or cremation), the type of coffin or casket, the cost of a grave as well as the funeral service you choose.

Is viewing necessary?

While a Viewing before the funeral is not compulsory it offers a chance to see and spend time with the deceased, to say good bye and validate the reality of death. It is a very important part of the grieving process. Identification by a person who knew the deceased, is required to confirm that the correct person is buried or cremated.

What is the purpose of a funeral?

A funeral is the last opportunity for family and friends to say good bye and honor the life lived by the deceased. Ultimately it is a very important step in the grief process.

Can a funeral be planned in advance?

We encourage the planning of funerals in advance. This process provides peace of mind to both you and your family that the important aspects of a funeral, memorial service or wake have been taken care of. The deceased will determine the nature of disposal as well as how his/her life is to be celebrated. This will prevent families not having to make difficult decisions, either financial or regarding the nature and extent of the funeral, during this time of dire grief.

What is an autopsy?

It is the medical examination of the body after death has occurred. In the case of all unnatural deaths, an autopsy is a legal requirement to be performed by a state pathologist to determine the exact cause of death. Family members may also request an autopsy in the case of natural deaths.

What is embalming?

Embalming is a process of replacement of body fluids with chemicals to disinfect, preserve and restore the human body to an acceptable physical appearance. The decomposition of the body slows down drastically and the preservation of the deceased is enhanced. Embalming normally takes place where a longer viewing period is required and when a body needs to be sent overseas.

Do I choose a burial or cremation?

Due to changing values, economies and the shortage of graves in the city, more families these days are considering cremation as an alternative for traditional funerals. However cultural beliefs and customs require some families have burials.

What is a cremation?

Cremation is where the body is prepared for final disposition. Over a two to three hour period the body is transformed by intense heat to a state of small bone fragments. All organic matter is consumed by heat or evaporation. After the cremation process is complete, the cremated remains are processed into fine particles and placed into a small cardboard box or urn.

What is the cost of a cremation?

Cremation charges vary from area to area and normally consist of crematorium, doctors' and administration fees.Cremations are generally cheaper than burials since the cost of grave fees are normally higher than cremation charges and cheaper memorial alternatives exist for cremations.

How do I know that the cremated remains are that of my loved one?

Crematorium personnel must adhere to strict control measures and a code of conduct set by the National Funeral Directors Association. Only one person is cremated at a time and all of the cremated remains are placed into an individually marked container.

Is a coffin or casket needed for cremation?

Yes. For combustion, handling, dignity and sanitary purposes a standard wooden coffin is required by most crematorium operators. The type of coffin or casket used will depend on the family's request.

What guarantees do I have that the coffin or casket I paid for is the one used during cremation?

All coffins and caskets are not re-used and each product has its own unique stock number. Stringent control measures have been put in place at the crematoriums.


 Sterling Cemetery Company, Inc., hereafter SCC,  is not responsible for the contents of any off-site pages referenced and does not constitute an endorsement. These links are provided as an information service only. It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate the content and usefulness of information from other sites. Since the SCC is not responsible for the availability of any outside resource or link, or their contents, you should direct any concerns regarding any external link to its administrator or webmaster.