Consecrated ground?


#1

I notice that most new churches no longer have a churchyards where bodies are buried. I wwas wondering what changed this custom?


#2

Here in Pittsburgh, relative few Catholic parishes have churchyards adjacent to the church. This is a long standing practice in these parts, e.g. St. Augustine Church is here in Lawrenceville, the church cemetery is out across the bridge in Shaler Township and has been for 100 years. Other parishes have done the same.

I think the problem with putting the graveyard adjacent to the church is that it leave little room for church expansion- new church buildings, schools, lyceums, gymnasiums. And since the area around the church is already occupied with houses or businesses, placing people's final resting space right in the middle of town at the church can be problematic in the future in case of expansion.


#3

The bigger issue may be city ordinances. 150 years ago there were few zoning codes on what you could do with your land. Most cities/townships limit where cemeteries can be placed.


#4

In some cities, the Catholic Churchs will have a common graveyard that serves all of them. :)


#5

I would presume that it is a combination of factors already mentioned:

I would think zoning ordinances play a big part. At least where I live you can't even (legally) bury the pet dog or cat in the backyard (unless they are cremated). Internment of human remains is much more strictly regulated.

In urban areas space is always at a premium, both in availability and in monetary cost. It is usually far more likely that a diocese will have one or more large plots of land set a.side for use as cemeteries to be shared between parishes.


#6

[quote="TheDoctor, post:3, topic:316219"]
The bigger issue may be city ordinances. 150 years ago there were few zoning codes on what you could do with your land. Most cities/townships limit where cemeteries can be placed.

[/quote]

And land in urban and suburban areas isn't cheap.

-Tim-


#7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.