Use of Friends Cemetery in Prospect Park

Prepared by the NYQM Cemetery Committee

“…Nothing has carried me up into the life of God, or done more to open out the infinite meaning of love, than the fact that love can span this break of separation, can pass beyond the visible and hold right on across the chasm”.
-- Rufus Jones

And this is the Comfort of the Good,
That the Grave cannot hold them,
And that they live as soon as they die.
For Death is no more
Than a turning of us over from time to eternity.
Death, then, being the way and condition of life,
We cannot love to live,
If we cannot bear to die.
They that love beyond the World cannot be separated by it.
Death cannot kill what never dies.
Nor can Spirits ever be divided
That love and live in the same Divine Principle,
The Root and Record of their Friendship.
If Absence be not Death, neither is theirs.
-- William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude, 1693

History of the NYQM Cemetery Who is eligible for burial?
Access to the cemetery, with map In case of death
Paperwork Important procedures
Funeral directors Friends Cemetery
Cemetery fees and burial charges Headstones
Gravesite and Tree Planting Memorial Meeting

History of the NYQM Cemetery

Situated on one of the highest points in Brooklyn, the Quaker Burial Ground, 160 years old, began in 1849 (before Prospect Park was created) when nine acres of undeveloped farmland were purchased land from four non-Quaker landowners. The cemetery is located on what was the border between the city of Brooklyn and the town of Flatbush. In the next several years, additional land was purchased, resulting in roughly 12 acres, although the original size may have been larger.

Back to Menu    Back to top

Who is Eligible for Burial?

Members and former members of New York Quarterly Meeting (NYQM), their spouses, children and their spouses and grandchildren are eligible for burial. On rare occasions, others may be buried with Cemetery Committee approval. 

Back to Menu    Back to top

Access to the Cemetery

Access can be arranged by contacting one of the committee members, or by calling the cemetery telephone at 646-580-9147 and speaking with one of the groundskeepers, or by leaving a message on voice mail (after 6 rings). Your call will be returned within 24 hours. If you are unable to contact the cemetery or any committee member, Quarterly Meeting Office (212) 777-8866 can assist you.

Click here for a map of the cemetery.

Back to Menu    Back to top

In Case of Death

The individual must be pronounced dead by a physician. If the individual dies at home but has been under medical or hospice care, the doctor should be contacted and asked to sign the death certificate. If this is not possible, the next option is to call 911. You should be prepared for a long delay, a police presence, and, if the death was unattended, the possible sealing of the residence. Once death occurs, there are several decisions and tasks to be undertaken. A member of the Cemetery Committee should be notified of the death. We are available to provide assistance and support as needed.

Back to Menu    Back to top


The funeral director provides the paperwork required by the Department of Health when the body is taken to the cemetery for a whole body burial. If there is a cremation, he will provide a cremation certificate. These documents are collected by the cemetery staff and forwarded to the Quarterly Meeting Office where they are kept with the Meeting records. The funeral director can also provide the family with extra copies of the death certificate, usually for a fee of $15.00 each. To settle the estate, a copy will be required for each bank and brokerage account, safe deposit box, social security, pension, and others. Copies will be provided quickly at the time of death but later requests can take weeks to months. We suggest you order 15 copies.

Back to Menu    Back to top

Important procedures

Please note that it is very important that at the time of burial, the following items are brought to the cemetery:

1. Burial certificate for either full burial or ashes. This is secured by the funeral home.

2. Death certificate This is also secured by the funeral home.

3. NYQM burial form, signed. This will be emailed to you by a member of the committee and filled out prior to burial.

4. $800 in cash for the gravedigger for a full body burial, or $100 check made out to NYQM of for ashes burial.

5. Payment for burial site to NYQM, if not already paid in advance.

Back to Menu    Back to top

Funeral Directors

The funeral director is chosen by the family or other responsible individual acting as the family’s agent. Friends are encouraged to make a decision about which funeral home they wish to use ahead of time and not wait until the time of death. The funeral home staff will prepare the body and hold it until arrangements for burial or cremation are made. Their fees will depend on the type of service provided and are paid by the family. Friends may select any funeral director. Two funeral directors who are familiar with our tradition of simplicity, and who have been used by Friends are:

Greenwich Village Funeral Home, 199 Bleecker Street, 10012, (212) 431-6712

Heights and Hill Funeral Directors, 115 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11201, (718) 797-3248, Ronald Spear.
Green burials are available at this funeral home.

Back to Menu    Back to top

Friends Cemetery

Friends are urged to choose a gravesite in the cemetery far in advance of illness or death. Friends are encouraged to speak to a member of the Cemetery Committee or call the cemetery telephone and make arrangements to visit the cemetery and select a gravesite.

If a family has chosen whole body burial, the body should be buried within one week of death. If a family has chosen cremation, burial of ashes may be done at any time. Prior reservation of a gravesite greatly simplifies the burial, especially when the weather is inclement.

Back to Menu    Back to top

Cemetery Fees

Costs for gravesites (Payments are made at the time a site is reserved):

Members of the NYQM: $500

Former Members and Family members of a Member of NYQM: $1,000

Others, not listed above, must be approved by the Cemetery Committee: $2,000

Burial charges

If there is to be a whole body burial, a member of the Cemetery Committee will assist the family in contacting gravediggers. The usual cost to open a grave is $800 and is paid in cash at the time of burial. Rarely, under exceptional conditions of frozen terrain or large boulders, the cost could be greater.

Cost of burying ashes

The cost for a burial of ashes is $100. Payment should be made by a check to the NYQM.

Costs for spreading ashes, no gravesite

Members of NYQM: $50

Former Members and family members of Members: $100

Others, not listed above, must be approved by the Cemetery Committee: $150

Additional costs (estimates only):

Funeral parlor: $1325 - $3500 (includes cost of pine box for ashes or pine casket)

Headstone: $645 - $1095

Engraving: $315 - $415

Name inscribed on memorial stone:

Members: $50 + cost of inscription.

The above cemetery fees are the responsibility of the family. Plots should be reserved and paid in advance. Since the fees do not cover the cost of maintaining the cemetery, Friends are encouraged to consider making an annual gift to the Cemetery Endowment Fund.

Please understand that the costs and prices can and do change. The costs and prices noted above are estimates correct as of May 2009 and are provided as a guide.

Back to Menu    Back to top


The Brooklyn Monument Co. (242 25th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232, (718) 499-8500, John Hakola, president) and Phil Madonick Monuments (98-20 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills, NY 11374 (718) 377-8500, Mark Markowitz) are two companies often used by Friends. Monuments must adhere to our tradition of simplicity; ones already in place are a good guide. The cost of the monument or inscription on the Memorial Stone is the responsibility of the family. If family members wish to be present when the stone is installed, a request should be made with the monument company to notify them.

Back to Menu    Back to top

Gravesite and Tree Planting

In order to avoid maintenance problems and obscuring gravestones, families are encouraged not to plant in their burial sites. Those wishing to plant anything other than ephemeral spring bulbs are asked to consult the Cemetery Committee in advance. Daffodils have done well over the years. Tulips have usually been eaten by resident creatures.

Anyone interested in contributing to the planting of trees throughout the cemetery to begin to replace some of the mature ones expected to be lost over the next decade can contribute to a special tree fund (e.g., Witch Hazel, Dogwood, Sourwood).

Back to Menu    Back to top

Memorial Meeting

This is arranged through the deceased Friend’s Meeting.

Fifteenth Street Monthly Meeting

(212) 777-8866

Flushing Monthly Meeting

(718) 261-9832

Brooklyn Monthly Meeting

(212) 777-8866

Morningside Monthly Meeting

(212) 777-8866

Staten Island Meeting

(718) 727-4535

Back to Menu    Back to top

Contact information

To speak to a Cemetery Committee member, please call 646-580-9147 and leave a message. The answering machine is checked daily, and someone from the Cemetery Committee will return your call.

Back to Menu    Back to top