Burial Options in Malta
Graves are a rare commodity to own in Malta and purchasing one is an almost impossible accomplishment. Most private graves are inherited from one generation to the next and are now owned by numerous family members, cousins, distant uncles etc… all having the right for burial in the same grave.
In 2018 the government of Malta has commenced construction of almost 3000 graves which should be ready by the end of 2020. However these graves were over subscribed for long before works had even begun. As a result these are now all sold and there is still a huge waiting list for other people wanting to acquire a grave for their own family.
Due to this shortage of graves, individuals not having access to a private grave are left with 3 options:
- Cremation overseas; which can work out considerably dearer than a local burial.
- Burial at sea in Malta; which may not be everyone’s preference.
- Burial in a state owned grave also known as a common grave.
Individuals preferring cremation or burial at sea to a traditional burial in a grave do not have any problem with the above options; however others not having the right for burial in a private grave may not feel comfortable with having their loved ones buried in a common state owned grave shared with random individuals.
Burial in a Common Grave
State owned or “common” graves are provided free of charge for those not having access to private graves, each usually having space for 4 people to be buried in. Once full, the grave is sealed for a period of 2 years (to allow sufficient time for all the bodies to fully decompose), after which time it is re-opened and cleaned out to make room for more burials. In essence this means that common graves are only a temporary resting place since after 2 years any remains left from the burials are then transferred into an ossuary held elsewhere within the same cemetery.
Purchasing a Burial Space in a shared Private Grave
Camilleri Funeral Directors have access to a number of private graves at Naxxar and Sta Maria Addolorata Cemetery in Paola. They offer the possibility for clients to purchase burial spaces or portions of these private graves, so that once a person is buried, remains will rest there forever. Furthermore, being a private grave, one would know exactly who is buried within it, the grave would be well looked after and clients have the option to purchase a commemorative plaque to be placed on it in memory of the person buried inside.