Rivera Family Funeral Home owns and operates its own crematory which is located at our Espanola location. All cremations are under our control and supervision and the process is always done in a respectful and dignified manner. We realize that part of grieving is saying goodbye. For this reason, prior to beginning the cremation our staff will recite a committal prayer, poem or have moment of silence according to the family’s wishes. You can choose to be part of this simple ceremony if desired.

Rivera’s Santa Fe Memorial Gardens offers a variety of traditional and artistic niches in gardens and water at a wide range of prices. We also offer ground burial and scattering options in beautiful gardens with art, sculptures and water features.

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One of the most common questions is what to do with the cremated remains?

We offer cemetery plots and niches specifically for cremation as well as beautiful gardens for scattering of the ashes. Regardless of the final disposition, you can rest assured knowing that through the entire process your loved one will never leave our care.

Is Cremation final disposition?

Cremation is not  “final disposition”. Final disposition takes place when the cremated remains are interred, buried or scattered.

Why is it necessary to complete a cremation authorization?

It is also important to read the cremation authorization completely, which describes the steps involved during the cremation of the human body, and other legal issues. By signing these legally required documents you are agreeing to and accepting the terms entirely. Because cremation is irreversible, it is vital that you understand the cremation process, and that you address any specific concerns. We want you to make informed decisions, and our guidance is can be very helpful. The Cremation Authorization” forms will need to be completed by the legal next of kin or legal representative as determined by New Mexico State Law. Please keep in mind that the crematory staff will carefully review the written instructions for accuracy (no verbal instructions will be followed). The cremation will proceed only when all paperwork is in order. It’s important to communicate with your funeral service professional regarding any special circumstances or details to avoid delays or problems. It is our responsibility to answer your questions, assist you in complying with the terms of the cremation authorization forms, and arrange for the securing of all required documents.

What is required before the cremation can be done?

The cremation will only be performed when all necessary paperwork is secured and a time has been scheduled for the cremation.

Who does the death certificate need to be signed by?

The death certificate must be signed by the primary physician or in some case the Medical Examiner in order to obtain the cremation permit from the Office of the Medical Investigator. Weekends and holidays may cause delays in obtaining required paperwork.. Per state statute, refrigeration is required after 24 hours after death if the body has not been cremated, buried or embalmed. Other legal documents such as the Cremation Authorization will need to be signed by the legal next of kin. All wishes or instructions for cremation need to be in writing, as verbal instructions are not legal. Should you wish to arrange for any memorial services please allow for extra time, as paperwork issues can delay the cremation. One of the benefits of cremation is that a service can be held at a later date. Typically, the funeral home will require 2-3 working days (minimum) and any services should be planned around the scheduled cremation.

Does the Catholic Church allow cremation?

The Catholic church allows cremation and has guidelines pertaining to acceptable cremation practices. The body should always be shown respect, and the Church recommends that the body be present during the recitation of the Holy Rosary and the Celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial. They prefer that cremation take place after the rosary and mass and that the body be present in its physical form. While the church prefers to have the body physically present during these rituals, they do allow the cremated remains, in place of the actual body, to be present in an urn at both the rosary and mass services The cremated remains should not be divided in any manner and scattering of the cremated remains is not permitted. The cremated remains should be be buried or placed in a niche blessed by the Priest or Deacon. We recommend that you contact your priest for guidance regarding the final rites that will be held in your parish.


We have a vast array of various urns from marble and stone, precious metals, glass, wood and biodegradable material. At Rivera Funeral Home we also offer unique urns created by local artists.
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