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A View to Die For 32 Story High Rise Cemetery
Archdiocese of Washington ^ | December 16, 2011 | Msgr. Charles Pope

Posted on 12/17/2011 3:10:35 PM PST by NYer

necropolis

It is no surprise to learn that, as land values continue to rise, space for cemeteries gets scarce. I have seen more and more mausoleums be built at the local cemeteries, and they are getting taller as the years go on. But the picture to the right really takes the concept to new heights! The picture is The Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica III, a vertical cemetery in Santos, Brazil. It is the world’s tallest cemetery, with burial spaces on 32 floors. There’s also a restaurant, chapel, lagoon and peacock garden. It has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Santos.

I don’t know what to say really. There is nothing wrong with the concept insofar as Catholic teaching goes and perhaps it is a better or more efficient use of land than our current American approach. It just takes some getting used to.

I might have some concerns too in the event of an earthquake or the like. Also, will the building be maintained well once it is full? But that is a problem even with traditional cemeteries. Here in DC we have had several non-Catholic cemeteries that were full and then went into terrible disrepair (eg. Woodlawn, Congressional and Rock Creek) requiring the local community to come to the rescue. Once a cemetery fills and no longer has an income stream it tends to be neglected. Recent laws require cemeteries to establish an endowment to provide for perpetual care. Hopefully that is the case here.

While we are on the topic, a few random thoughts on Christian burial and cemeteries:

  1. Regular visits to cemeteries have declined in recent years. As the practice of praying for the repose of the dead has fallen (shame on us) there are also fewer visits to gravesides. It is true many are busy, but such visits provide us a way to honor those who have preceded us in death, and gives us a context in which to pray for them and remember our own mortality.
  2. When I go to cemeteries I experience a strange kind of peace. As I look about and see all the head stones it occurs to me that all these people had struggles like me. They had worries, joys, successes and failures, gains and losses. Perhaps like me they got all worked up about things from time to time. But all that is over now. If they were faithful they have gone on to God, perhaps by way of purgatory. Nothing here remains for long. We all return to the dust and our soul flies away. Cemeteries give me a kind of perspective that brings peace. An old spiritual says “Soon I will be done with the troubles of the world, goin’ home to live with God”
  3. The Church does not encourage but does permit cremation. However, a concern has also arisen as this practice increases. It seems to me that not all families are arranging for immediate burial of the ashes. Too often, long periods of time elapse after the funeral but before interment of the ashes. On a few occasions I have had to call the family and gently remind them of the requirement for proper burial or repose in a mausoleum. When there is a body, burial is soon for obvious reasons. But ashes don’t present the same urgency to many. So the funeral Mass comes and goes and the family says they have arranged burial at a later time. But the phone does not ring and I get busy and forget. Let’s be clear, the fireplace mantle is NOT an appropriate place to retain ashes. Proper burial or placement in a cemetery is required and essential. Neither is it ever appropriate to scatter ashes. No matter how meaningful this may seem, human remains are not to be scattered.
  4. Catholic Cemeteries are preferred for the burial of Catholics because the ground is consecrated. It is true that a priest can bless a grave in any non-Catholic cemetery. But the consecrated ground of a Catholic cemetery is special. Further, the Catholic practice of regular prayers for the dead are properly observed in Catholic cemeteries. Each year on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (Sept. 15) and also on Memorial Day masses are offered at Catholic cemeteries. Other devotions, such as stations of the cross and rosary processions are also offered and all the dead buried there benefit from the help of these regular prayers. Catholic Cemeteries are special places for Catholics.
  5. If you don’t think this post is an advent theme, it is. For either Christ will come to us or we will go to him. And we have to be ready for that meeting, by God’s grace. Remember to pray for the dead. Prepare also for your own death by regular recourse to confession, Holy Communion every Sunday, daily prayer, daily scripture, repent of your sins and pray to be delivered from a death sudden and unprepared. Requiescant in Pace (May they rest in peace).

Here is the (horrifying) burial of Mozart from the movie Amadeus. It shows Mozart being buried in a pauper’s mass grave and using a borrowed casket. Today, in the Church, we are careful to be sure the poor receive more decent burial and Catholic Cemeteries of Washington does provide graves for the truly indigent. A scene like this would not happen today. The music sung in the backgorund is from Mozart’s own Requiem: Lacrimosa dies illa, qua resurget ex favilla, judicandus homo reus. Huic ergo parce, Deus, pie Jesu Domine, dona eis requiem. Amen. (Ah that day of tears, when from the ashes rises guilty man for judgment. Then, spare him O God, kind Jesus, grant them rest).


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach; Prayer
KEYWORDS: burial; catholiccemeteries; catholics; cemeteries; cemetery; cremation; death; massesareoffered; memorialday; msgrcharlespope; ourladyofsorrows; pagan; rosaryprocessions; sacrifice; sixfeetunder; stationsofthecross

1 posted on 12/17/2011 3:10:40 PM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
Here is the (horrifying) burial of Mozart from the movie Amadeus.

Video at above link.

2 posted on 12/17/2011 3:12:20 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer

Burial is just making sure archaeologists of the future will have something to find when they dig. I’ll go with cremation.


3 posted on 12/17/2011 3:18:13 PM PST by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: NYer

I and my wife just got back from placing sprays on the graves of my In-laws.

5 years back the cemetary drove their backhoe across the bronzed Plaques of the dead and broke the marble under them. On our next trip up (It is a two hour ride) we saw my wifes parents Bronze plaque and marble base were bent and broken.This was Christmas . We went back at Easter and it wasn’t fixed —this time,We did not leave until the cemetary had fixed it while we waited.

We were there today and the others that were bent and broken 5 years ago, were still bent and broken as their families had never been back to see that they were fixed.

Thats a damned shame, but like having a parent in the nursing home, if you don’t visit often, they do not get the same care as those who do.

I might just add that an endowment for perpetual care does not last forever.
Certainly they were supposed to,but they too are being subjected to the same economic forces that your private saving account is subject too.
That savings that you put away intending to live a good life off the interest of ,is being eaten up by an interest rate of .50 or less instead of the 7% you counted on to keep you alive.The same is happening to these endowments.

The money that would have been there with a good interest rate is being eaten up by the lower rate, higher costs for the fuel for the lawnmowers, and labor for the contractor cutting and keeping the place neat.


4 posted on 12/17/2011 3:28:09 PM PST by Venturer
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To: NYer

Don’t want no fancy funeral....just one like old King Tut.


5 posted on 12/17/2011 3:31:34 PM PST by Huskrrrr
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To: NYer
I once had an impromptu picnic in a cemetery that changed my life. Amid the headstones, and in the shade of towering oaks, with a placid pool and sundial nearby, all in filtered sun, with the love of my life on a quiet afternoon...I don't think it would have been the same in a glass and aluminum highrise...
6 posted on 12/17/2011 3:58:13 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: NYer
I once had an impromptu picnic in a cemetery that changed my life. Amid the headstones, and in the shade of towering oaks, with a placid pool and sundial nearby, all in filtered sun, with the love of my life on a quiet afternoon...I don't think it would have been the same in a glass and aluminum highrise...
7 posted on 12/17/2011 3:58:28 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: NYer
This has already been in existence in NY...

The United Nations building is a thirty nine story sepulcher full of dead mans bones.

8 posted on 12/17/2011 4:21:49 PM PST by PoloSec ( Believe the Gospel: how that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again)
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To: NYer
Design for a mausoleum to be built on Primrose Hill in London, to hold 5 million bodies. This proposal was made by Thomas Willson in the 1820's.


9 posted on 12/17/2011 4:50:55 PM PST by wideminded
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To: Venturer

A religious cemetery had an ongoing problem with heavy equipment damaging stones and plaques and didn’t seem to care?
On the other hand, they had a stock of new stones and ready to engrave plaques and literally replaced both during a visit? (Occupy The Cemetery?)


10 posted on 12/17/2011 4:53:22 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: NYer
Cemeteries should be outlawed as a complete total waste of good land!
11 posted on 12/17/2011 5:10:09 PM PST by dalereed (uity wise!)
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To: NYer

I can’t visit the graves of my loved ones now because the neighborhood has turned into a ghetto. I suspect that has happened in most big cities.


12 posted on 12/17/2011 5:17:05 PM PST by Wage Slave (Army Mom!)
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To: hinckley buzzard
I once had an impromptu picnic in a cemetery that changed my life. Amid the headstones, and in the shade of towering oaks, with a placid pool and sundial nearby, all in filtered sun, with the love of my life on a quiet afternoon...I don't think it would have been the same in a glass and aluminum highrise...

I'm with you. The love of my life is in a BEAUTIFUL spot. I can't see the glass and aluminum highrise.
I'll be cremated and buried right next to him. I DID chose not to have my name pre-engraved. Lord, have mercy, I couldn't go there every Sunday and see my name--especially with the BLANK date next to my name. Some folks do it. :o(

However, it's a new world. And, in the future, I can see the use of holograms for the desired green pastures.

13 posted on 12/17/2011 7:59:50 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: Wage Slave
I can’t visit the graves of my loved ones now because the neighborhood has turned into a ghetto. I suspect that has happened in most big cities.

WHAT A SHAME!
I'm so sorry for you.

14 posted on 12/17/2011 8:01:08 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: Huskrrrr; NYer

NYer

***Don’t want no fancy funeral....just one like old King Tut.***

Tan me hide when I’m dead, Fred.
Tan me hide when I’m dead.

So we tanned his hide when he died Clyde,
And That’s it hanging on the shed (In memorium!).

Tie me Kangaroo down sport, tie me kangaroo down..


15 posted on 12/17/2011 9:18:08 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: dalereed

***Cemeteries should be outlawed as a complete total waste of good land! ***

Build a Soylent Green factory there! Put people, both dead and alive, back to work!


16 posted on 12/17/2011 9:20:25 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

I’ve told my wife to put me in the dumpster headed for the landfill dump!


17 posted on 12/17/2011 9:24:08 PM PST by dalereed (uity wise!)
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To: dalereed

***I’ve told my wife to put me in the dumpster headed for the landfill dump!***

My sister-in-law gave some consideration to dumping the ashes of her husband down the toilet into the septic tank.

She didn’t.


18 posted on 12/17/2011 9:58:06 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

Ha! I loved that song.


19 posted on 12/17/2011 10:01:43 PM PST by Huskrrrr
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

Sounds like a good plan if the dumpster rout fails!


20 posted on 12/17/2011 10:01:47 PM PST by dalereed (uity wise!)
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To: wideminded
Why does that look familiar? Oh, I remember...


21 posted on 12/17/2011 10:26:34 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: wideminded

The North Koreans stole this design, but instead turned it into a hotel.


22 posted on 12/17/2011 10:34:36 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: NYer

A cemetery is a tourist attraction?


23 posted on 12/22/2011 2:52:33 PM PST by POWERSBOOTHEFAN (Straight and proud.)
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