Posted by: chuckbumgardner | March 10, 2008

Church Graveyards

  
  
Here’s an excerpt to pique your interest:
The church graveyard also reminds us that we are a peculiar people. When we are gathered together to our fathers, we don’t simply lie under the funeral home tent in Shady Grove #5 with all the others in the region of the last place to which we moved. We are laid to rest by our brothers and sisters, those who wait with us for Something to happen.
  
Also interesting is this article about the burial practices of the Moravian Brethren in what they called “God’s Acre.”  Here is a picture of a Brethren cemetery in Old Salem, North Carolina, which gives you some idea of the equality in burial of which the article speaks.  And you just might enjoy this poem by Longfellow which plays on some of the imagery of the appellation “God’s Acre.”
  
Although the first-referenced article doesn’t say anything about funerals, I might here put in a plug for believers in Christ to plan to have one’s funeral at one’s church and, for Christian pastors, encouraging one’s parishioners to do so. I realize that funeral homes are “better equipped” for funerals in that they are designed specifically for them, but some of the same thinking behind a church cemetery dovetails with the notion of a church funeral. I’ve preached funerals in both settings, and much prefer the church setting for what it says about what a church is all about.
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Responses

  1. An additional benefit of a church graveyard is that it puts the reminder of death right by the institution that holds out hope in the Gospel. I remember moving to Boulder, and wondering “where are the graveyards?”

    I wonder if it’s still legal.


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