Quote of the Day!

“Unless a man undertakes more than he possibly can do, he will never do all that he can.”
Henry Drummond

Quote of the Day!

“Dear Friends I am going

Where washing ain’t done

Or cooking or sewing:

Don’t mourn for me now

Or weep for me never:

For I go to do nothing

Forever and ever!”

Which way are you facing?

I have often been asked why the graves at our cemetery were not facing east, and although I was aware of this tradition, I was unable to give those asking a direct answer. Looking around the cemetery and at the section maps, has always led me to believe that the eastern burial orientation was simply never part of the master plan.

For those of you wondering what it is I am referring to, the Christian religions have a tradition of burying their dead facing the east. It is worth noting that eastward facing burial has been traced back to some of the earliest solar based religions as well.

The tradition has been that the body is buried in such a way that the feet are oriented to the east and the head being oriented to the west. Alternatively, if it was not possible to bury someone in this orientation, the body may have been buried in a north south orientation with the head turned in such a way to face east. This tradition is still very evident today, either by conscious choice of knowledgeable cemetery managers and cemetery planners or it is because burials taking place today are buried in lots that were laid out many years ago. The practice of burying the dead facing the east does appear to be waning in more modern operations, replaced instead with layouts that are open, inviting and more cooperative with pedestrian access or a landscape plan rather than a specific direction.

As mentioned earlier, it is believed that some of the earliest solar based religions buried their dead facing east in order to face the “rising sun” and “the new day”. The Christian tradition of eastward facing burials also refers to Christ being the “Light of the World” and the sun being the physical light, but it is more firmly rooted in biblical text and the belief that Christ will come from the east at the time of the resurrection, thus the dead would rise up to face him. There are several scriptural references to this. Matthew 24:27  For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man, and Ezekiel 43:1-2  Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory.

On this same note, many churches would also orient their altars facing east for the very same reasons. So next time you’re in a church, pull out your compass and check it out. (Since you are probably in a church early in the morning or late in the afternoon, maybe just check the position of the sun and leave the compass at home, you probably don’t want to be “that” person.)

Another interesting tradition is the position you are buried as it relates to your spouse What we refer to as “proper” burial would reflect the burial of the husband on the left and the wife on the right, as you would be looking at their graves while standing at their feet. This positioning would be the same as how you stand in marriage when facing the altar in a church. This practice is still very common today, at least in the cemeteries in my area. You could say this positioning is the “default” position sans any standing instructions.

So next time you find yourself visiting a cemetery, take note of what portion of the burials in that cemetery appear to be facing the east, and how many headstones have the husbands name on the left as you are looking at it.

Quote of the Day!

Ian Rowlins
1983 – 2004
You’re standing on my face!

Quote of the Day!

The song is ended, but the melody lingers on.

What Are My Burial Options?

Niche, Grave, Columbarium, Mausoleum, Burial versus Cremation, Oh My!

When considering burial options, people have numerous choices to make. First and foremost would be, do I prefer traditional burial of the body (traditional burial) or cremation? Now, if cremation is your choice, the option to have a family member keep your cremated remains exists. I personally do not consider this to be a long term solution. I have encountered many families who have come to me with the ashes of a dear relative and have said something like, I would like to bury [insert name], I have had their ashes for some time and I am tired of dusting them, or maybe it was, she deserves better than being stored in the closet. I think you see my point. Even though I earnestly believe that a recorded burial in some fashion is the greatest respect that can be paid to any deceased human being. it is a personal decision that you have to make. Your decision here is what determines whether you are weighing the option of burial versus cremation or traditional burial versus cremation burial. As I plan to discuss cremation options more in depth in a future post, “that’s all I have to say about that”.

Choosing between traditional burial and cremation burial is the first step, after that many of your options are very similar. You could choose ground burial in which a grave is dug and your casket or urn is buried in the ground. This may or may not require the use of a burial vault or outer burial container, depending on the local laws and regulations. Often times with traditional burial there is the option to be buried at double depth. Another traditional burial option is above ground or mausoleum entombment in a crypt.

With cremation, your options are very similar. Cremation burial in the ground may be on your own lot or grave, or it may be possible to have your ashes buried in the same grave as another family member.  When choosing an above ground option for cremation, your ashes can be entombed in a niche located in a mausoleum or columbarium.

While the burial options mentioned above are the most common, there are variations of each. There are glass front niches, as the name implies the niches are constructed of glass on at least one side. This enables visitors to actually see the cremation urn as well as any photos or mementos of the deceased. There are cremation memorials which can be made of granite and resemble that of any other memorial or even a bench. These memorials will have a hollow cavity inside of them in which the cremated remains may be placed. Alternatively, there are bronze memorials that have a special urn that is actually placed under the person’s name plate, and into a space created by the foundation of the bronze memorial.

And finally there is green burial or natural burial. While relatively new as modern burial practices go, green burial is really just returning to a simpler method of burial, one that was the norm years ago.

Burial today is certainly not a “choice free necessity” as it once was, and you should know your options.

Quote of the Day!

Pardon us for not getting up!

What’s the Difference Between a Graveyard and a Cemetery

A short history of cemeteries and burial.

The practice of burying the dead dates back to prehistoric times, it is obvious in Egypt with the Pyramids built for burials around 2500-3000 BC and even the Saxons buried their dead, who date back to at least the 2nd century.

In the Middle Ages, burial began to take place in “Graveyards” which were predominantly plots of land surrounding churches, as most of Europe was controlled by the church. But by the late 18th and 19th centuries, Graveyards were being replaced by Cemeteries.

With a rise in disease outbreak and an increasing population and limited space, governmental and religious authorities began to create new regulations. These regulations began to require larger tracts of land away from densely populated areas to be utilized for burial. As these areas were set aside specifically for the purpose of burial, they became more commonly known as”cemeteries”. The term cemetery originates from the Greek language meaning “sleeping place”. During this time many graveyards were abandoned, stone and bodies were removed and new uses were found for the land.

Today, the term cemetery is often used to refer to both cemeteries and small church graveyards.

Quote of the Day!

Reader, if cash thou art in want of any,
Dig 6 feet deep and thou wilt find a Penny
(Headstone of John Penny, Wimborne, England)

Growing complaints over headstone delays at local business

Coleman with Jones

WSB-TV

Channel 2’s Erin Coleman called the owner of Best Buy Caskets and Urns with Stanley Jones, a customer who said the business took his money and left him with nothing.

ATLANTA —

More families are coming forward saying a casket and gravestone business took their money and left them with nothing.

“Just promises. That’s all he’s selling — promises,” Stanley Jones said.

Read Entire Story Here

 

This story continues to get worse.
Ya know, I came up with the idea of starting this site in order to educate people on what I felt, through experience, is one of the least understood subjects. Stories like like just reinforce my purpose, I hope that I may be of service.