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spittingimage
24th Oct 2016, 14:14
I do not often enter churches these days. I have moved on, I like to think :} . However, what still bugs me about CofE churches in particular is their collection of graves surrounding the church. Worse, some human remains are squirrelled away inside the churches. What is this all about ? To me this is quite macabre and always was from an early age.

Why not universal cremation ? When you are gone, you are gone. Your body is not much use to you then, I submit. Why this urge to put human bodies in the ground slowly decaying away, sometimes for centuries (or more) ?

Oh I know that churchyards and other cemeteries are often wildlife refuges and of genealogical or archaeological interest but, put simply, we are running out of living space !

Anyone agree with me or am I in a minority once again ?

MaverickPrime
24th Oct 2016, 14:28
It is partly to do with theology and doctrine. To give you a crude answer, traditional Christian belief is/was that the body should be buried as it will be resurrected by God after the second coming of Christ. I cannot speak for other religions, although I think in many other religions the body is burnt.

You did ask!

le Pingouin
24th Oct 2016, 14:31
Running out of living space? Really? I don't think so. Unless you use the rather narrow definition of existing urban boundaries.

Personally my preference is to be buried in a simple shroud vertically under a tree. Returning my nutriments to the earth.

G0ULI
24th Oct 2016, 14:40
Cremation is certainly not environmentally friendly!

Burial, disposal in a river system, or leaving the body exposed in an elevated position for predators, are all a far more efficient way of recycling the nutrients and other components in a body and have a relatively low or neutral impact on natural systems.

As for bodies being contained in church tombs, this is just a development of ancestor worship which is practised in many theologies. Since the earliest sentient humans, bodies have tended to be disposed of in ceremonial fashion, being carefully laid in pits in special caves, or buried under elaborate mounds. No point in overturning fifty thousand years of history just because of modern enlightenment.

charliegolf
24th Oct 2016, 14:47
The Catholic church prohibited cremation until 1963, and it was, as MP suggests, a lot to do with the bit of the Nicene Creed, "I believe in the resurrection of the body...". For a VERY long time, there were no crematoriums in Ireland; and for a long time after that, only one in Dublin.

CG

Loose rivets
24th Oct 2016, 14:51
I didn't know that.


Anyway, I rather like churchyards. Peaceful places mostly. One of my grandmothers is buried in a London cemetery in perpetuity. I've had a mind for a long time to go and see if they've kept to their word.

Just another thing to get angry about if they've developed the site.

St Nicholas' church in Colchester was beautiful. When they demolished it to put a bastard-ugly Coop on the site, they made a gesture by paving some of the area with old headstones.

More harm has come to wonderful old buildings in Colchester by way of the council than by Hitler.

Hussar 54
24th Oct 2016, 15:18
Talking of cemeteries, we had a crazy situation in our own town some years ago caused by those treehuggers whose 'Green' views are a bit detached from necessity....

BBC News | EUROPE | French mayor bans death (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/936266.stm)

NorthernChappie
24th Oct 2016, 15:44
Did a bit of diving with a "character" in Antigua whose one regret that when he was dead, his remains couldn't simply be taken out to sea and chucked overboard as a thank you to the fish that had given him so much pleasure. And in the same area of the world this year while on holiday, I paid a repeat visit to the local cemetery in Castries (St Lucia) beside the runway as it happens. Some fascinating graves and stories, and a Commonwealth War Graves section too. Saw the final resting place of one old dear born in1898 and who passed away in either 2001 or 2002. Can't be many people that can claim to have lived in three centuries.

tony draper
24th Oct 2016, 16:18
Alas poor Yorick
Doesn't have the same sort of ring do it?:rolleyes:
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a194/Deaddogbay/Deaddogbay003/stock-photo-man-adding-sand-in-a-heap-with-his-hand-61149397_zpsnngjjrss.jpg (http://s11.photobucket.com/user/Deaddogbay/media/Deaddogbay003/stock-photo-man-adding-sand-in-a-heap-with-his-hand-61149397_zpsnngjjrss.jpg.html)

Rather be Gardening
24th Oct 2016, 16:25
Personally my preference is to be buried in a simple shroud vertically under a tree. Returning my nutriments to the earth.

Same here, but horizontally.

vulcanised
24th Oct 2016, 16:34
My preference would be for the Sky Burial as practised in Tibet.

Prepared remains are presented on a mountain top for Vultures to consume, no religious mumbo jumbo either AFAIK.
.

ricardian
24th Oct 2016, 16:35
The Catholic church prohibited cremation until 1963, and it was, as MP suggests, a lot to do with the bit of the Nicene Creed, "I believe in the resurrection of the body...". For a VERY long time, there were no crematoriums in Ireland; and for a long time after that, only one in Dublin.

CG
Up here the nearest crematorium is in Inverness (about 160 miles and two ferry crossings) so burial is the only option for the majority of folk hereabouts.

Tankertrashnav
24th Oct 2016, 16:38
I do not often enter churches these days. I have moved on, I like to think .

I think that's a shame. I am an atheist and have no belief in any supernatural being, but I love churches, particularly English country churches which are an important repository of our heritage, much more so than, say, stately homes or castles. I like to go in them and think of the hundreds of my forebears who may have passed time in them over the last 500 years or so. I find nothing at all creepy or macabre about the graves outside or the tombs inside - once again they are an endless source of information about those who have gone before us. Don't let your lack of faith deprive you of what can be a very spiritual experience.

BehindBlueEyes
24th Oct 2016, 16:44
I recall, as a kid, being morbidly fascinated by those Victorian chest tombs. Mire often, they were cracked or partially collapsed and bacuse I thought that the bodies were placed in the box part, rather than underneath, I was always slightly frightened that if I peered inside I would see skulls and bones!

vapilot2004
24th Oct 2016, 17:19
My family has great fascination with cemeteries, no matter where they lie. From the time since I was small, I can recall trips to ancient burial places, wandering about, looking at names. I suppose a great vault, or 8 by 5 plot of ground with a stone at the feet or head is one way to leave one's mark on the earth.

ExXB
24th Oct 2016, 17:20
Here in CH, you are allowed to occupy your plot for 50 years after which what is left is dug up and cremated. Your successors have an option to buy you a non-renewable additional 50 years but this is seldom requested.

I've made a deal with the Mrs. We've agree to pop our clogs on a Monday evening, allowing our mortal remains to be deposited in the Dumpster down the road for pick up the following morning.

Empty shell.

Mr Optimistic
24th Oct 2016, 18:08
Thought the idea was you were buried east-west until rotted, then dug up and bones lobbed in a charnel house. Very sustainable.

fa2fi
24th Oct 2016, 18:15
I lost my father 16 years ago. He's buried around a ten minute walk from where I lived. I've visited twice. Once for my brother to see and once at my aunt's funeral (whose grave I haven't visit in the five years since she was buried). I just don't get anything from it.

My mother in law passed away 8 weeks ago. Her ashes are here with me now in the living room. Mr fa2fi is getting her made in to a paper weight (!).

I just don't get anything from it. I remember people through memory, talking about them and eventually looking at pictures of them. That's how I remember people. Not as a pile of dust or some dreary cemetery.

But each to their own.

ShyTorque
24th Oct 2016, 18:20
Why bury or cremate? We left Granny sitting in her rocking chair. It was the only way to keep the pension payouts coming in....

Ancient Mariner
24th Oct 2016, 18:22
Check out the Chinese cemetery in Manila.
Hilarious, guaranteed to entertain.
Per

The Flying Pram
24th Oct 2016, 18:26
I am an atheist and have no belief in any supernatural being, but I love churches, particularly English country churches which are an important repository of our heritageI second that. Most have a memorial plaque to local people lost in various wars. Seeing many of the same surname brings home what it must have been like for those left behind. Headstones also tell stories - sometimes of entire families being lost to illness, but also the surprising age that some folks lived to even 3-400 years ago. And I have always been made welcome by church wardens, helpers and clergy, even when I apologise for not being a regular church goer. What really bugs me are the people who come in, have a quick look around and disappear without even bothering to sign the visitors book, or drop a pound or two in the collection box.

TFP

G-CPTN
24th Oct 2016, 19:00
Irish Travellers seem to expend much money on elaborate 'headstones' (often way beyond a mere headstone).

As has been stated, headstones can tell stories of family tragedies or longevity.

A walk around the (now closed) Parish Church cemetery provides much thought-provoking evidence. Names of families (and some with occupations) from times long gone.

jimtherev
24th Oct 2016, 21:10
My will says cremation for me. But just recently I've been wondering about this eco-friendly stuff, especially as our railway serves a woodland burial site. A wicker or cardboard coffin, no headstone, pop 'em in and know that they are helping the environment of the woodland. (Incidentally, they do say that the inventor of the crossword was buried there. It's easy to find his grave: he's two down and three across.)
I'm afraid this another case of superstition being confused with religion: making the superstition 'holy'. In fact, I'm not too sure about religion, either - we seem to screw it up everytime we invent one.
Faith, now, well, that's a different matter...

Loose rivets
24th Oct 2016, 21:27
I have to be within 40 miles of Addenbrookes to get free transport to the dissection department. Since I'm some 80 miles away, I've suggested to the Rivetess she plops me on a park bench with their letter of acceptance in my pocket, having made quite sure I'm within range.

Failing that, I have to be taken there in a refrigerated vehicle which would be expensive. Again, those of us brought up in the war can't accept this kind of waste, so I suggested giving an Iceland delivery driver a few quid when he was heading home empty.

Waste? If I ran the nation we'd not know what to do with our savings.

obgraham
25th Oct 2016, 00:18
Rivets:
Please encourage your younger family members to donate in your place.

I can tell you lot by experience, that medical students who get the scrawny old geezer to dissect, are really pissed. And very envious of their neighbor who gets the nice curvy younger one.

spInY nORmAn
25th Oct 2016, 05:39
In the book "At Home: A Short History of Private Life" the author, Bill Bryson, invokes a local archaeologist who once explained to him that the region's (Eastern England) stone churches aren't sinking. No, they are slightly below ground because the sheer numbers of bodies buried around them over the centuries have caused the earth to rise.