Friday, March 14, 2008

Dearly Departed

Here's a piece on a subject I think about quite often but have never seen anyone writing about, till now:

Should We Miss Church Graveyards?

No church I ever attended had a family graveyard, but I do miss them, actually. Maybe there's some law governing internment of the dead these days that precludes churches from maintaining new cemetery grounds, but I think church cemeteries would be good for a variety of reasons.
See the article linked above for a few.

(HT: Trevin Wax)


Daniel said...

That's funny you bring this up. My wife asked me that question the other day. Whatever happened to church graveyards. I just thought it was our transient society. For instance, my family will probably all be buried in different areas, most in different states when it's all said and done.

Jared said...

Daniel, I think you're right. Most people don't die still attending the church they or their family grew up in. Some do, but not enough as in the times church graveyards made more sense.

I guess I just like the idea of church bodies as families that grow up together, celebrating births and memorializing deaths together, and the graveyard thing speaks to a sense of church heritage we've practically lost.
But in a time when most families don't even live in the same city, long-time church membership is hard to come by.

Ray Ortlund said...

How thought-provoking, Jared. Thanks.

When we lived in Scotland in the 80s, many of the churches had graveyards. The inscriptions were sometimes astounding testimonies to faith in Christ.

In that wise old book Ecclesiastes we read, "It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting" (7:2). My paraphrase, "It is better to take a stroll through a graveyard than to attend a taping of David Letterman."