Completely Unique Setting and History Among Cemeteries in Washington, DC

Congressional Cemetery is a 35-acre iconic cemetery that offers the final residents for families on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. For over 200 years, we have been the cemetery of choice for scores of noteworthy citizens who left their mark on the city and the nation. We were designated a National Historic Landmark in 2011 and continue to build upon the legacy of American history. We are the only cemetery in Washington that allows green burial options. Accommodations are routinely made for family preferences, religious practices, and personal lifestyles and beliefs. Veterans from every American war can be found here. We promote innovative and sustainable practices, such as beekeeping, grazing goats, and dog-walking program. Give us a call today at 202-543-0539 for more information.

Are you looking for a genuinely singular burial place amongst the cemeteries in Washington, DC? Consider Congressional Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark that still actively receives new burials. The origin of the establishment dates back to the earliest years of city planning in the newly formed Washington District in the late 1790s. Provision for burial on the eastern side of the city had been made, but owing to a tendency towards flooding, the chosen property was deemed unsuitable for this use. Residents worked together to obtain a new segment of land in 1807. By 1812, the land was fully paid for and was deeded to the Christ Church, Washington Parish.

Washington Parish Burial Ground began to be referenced as “the congressional cemetery” not long afterward as prominent public servants and figures became permanent residents. It was and remains open to the public for burial. The cemetery was the first national cemetery (established 50 years before Arlington National).

As sometimes happens, the cemetery fell into a mismanaged state of disuse and disrepair until, in 1997, the burial park was listed among the most endangered historic sites. Local citizens who walked their dogs on the acreage started working together to restore the site. A nonprofit organization now holds a long-term lease from Christ Church and cares for the cemetery. The site is no longer endangered and is an attractive place to lay your loved one to rest in a respectable setting.

Washington, DC cemeteries

“I know of no other cemetery in this country superior to it in beauty of site.”
– George Watterson, 1842 –

A Few Types of Burial Solutions Available at Cemeteries in Washington, DC

There are multiple burial solutions and sites for humans available at Congressional Cemetery. The founding plans called for plots of three feet in width and eight feet in length. If you choose a double depth interment, each site can receive two complete remains or up to eight funerary urns.

Honoring with Traditional Burial: Earthen burial in a traditional grave is a disposition solution that works for many. Your chosen options will impact the total costs. Fees will be assessed for opening and closing the grave (more money for a deeper dig) and additional burial containment, such as a grave liner. Additional fees could be charged for a temporary tent shelter and chairs rental if you have a graveside committal service.

Eco-Friendly Green Burial: It is becoming more concerning to many citizens that some traditional burial options may negatively impact the earth. Congressional Cemetery is pleased to offer solutions to support a more natural return to the ground. Avoiding the toxic chemical load associated with embalmed remains and fully biodegradable encasements such as wicker or plain pine caskets and shrouds allow bodies to decompose naturally. Additionally, there is no requirement for an exterior burial vault or grave liner, making green burial a viable possibility at this cemetery.

Below Ground, Inurned Remains Burial: Burying a cremated body in a contained form (either urn, box, or shroud) allows the remains to have a permanent final resting place. The urn plot also acts as a site of permanent memorial, which is a known benefit to those who are grieving the loss.

Cremation Bench Niches for Secure Above-Ground Burial: Cremation benches serve as a multi-purpose instrument. The bench is designed to hold up to three sets of inurned remains. It also acts as an attractive monument memorial marker to pay tribute to those buried within.

Weatherproof Columbarium Niches: The Lockwood Columbarium structure at Congressional Cemetery makes for a weatherproof gravesite. Large and small niches are available and designed to receive single or dual interments. In addition, you can visit your loved one’s final resting place within the structure for a comfortable temperature-controlled experience.

Another way that Congressional Cemetery stands out amongst the cemeteries in Washington, DC, is the recent expansion to allow for a segment that is specific to the burial of pets. After years of research, saving, and planning, this “Kingdom of Animals” was thoughtfully produced. It makes for a dignified and respectful site to lay your furry friends to rest in a serene and beautiful setting.

K9 Memberships and Other Tickets Available for Seasonal Events and Tours

Funding a nonprofit cemetery and keeping plot spaces affordable sometimes requires additional revenue streams. Congressional Cemetery offers a K9 membership which, among other benefits, allows dog owners to walk their animals off-leash through the 35+acre grounds. This practice goes back to the concerned citizens who walked their dogs through the cemetery in the late 1990s, ultimately saving it and giving it new life. K9-day passes can also be purchased to participate for single-day use.

Other unique offerings available with event tickets are provided seasonally. This includes things like our popular “Cinematery” events where you can attend an outdoor movie on the cemetery grounds. In addition, guided tours of the cemetery are offered during certain months of the year.

Secure Burial Space for Yourself, Your Family, or Your Animals

At Congressional Cemetery, we pride ourselves on offering a memorable experience among cemeteries in Washington, DC. This is a beautiful destination for yourself, your family, and your beloved pets. See our lovely grounds set at 1801 E St SE, Washington, DC 20003, open each day from sunrise to sunset. Please call (202) 543-0539 to make inquiries.

Burial & Cemeteries FAQs

  • What are the benefits of green burial?
    • There are many benefits to choosing green burial over traditional methods. One benefit is that it significantly reduces the number of harmful chemicals that are released into the ground, air, and water. Green burial also requires less energy to maintain than traditional cemeteries, which can save money and resources over time. Additionally, green burial helps support local ecosystems by using native plants and animals instead of imported ones.
  • What are my options for eco-friendly burial?
    • Eco-friendly burial is becoming more and more popular as people look for ways to reduce their environmental impact. There are a number of different options available, including biodegradable caskets and urns, green burial plots, and more. You can work with the funeral home or cemetery to find an eco-friendly option that works for you.
  • How do I choose a cemetery?
    • There are many things to consider when choosing a reputable cemetery. Some people prefer a certain type of cemetery, such as a private or religious cemetery, while others simply want to be buried near other family members. Other considerations include the location of the cemetery, the size and type of grave marker you want, and whether you want traditional ground burial or cremation burial.