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Graves: Interment
Background: A Better Understanding

In the second account of creation in the Book of Genesis (2:4-25), God breathed life into the clay of the earth to not only form, but also enliven human beings in the divine image. (The Hebrew word for "human" means "breathing clay.")

The prayer of the Church refers to earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust when burying the faithful. It is a natural and normal process to return to the earth from which we are made. This return to the earth is the essence of in-ground burial customs. The practice is deeply embedded in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Burial in the earth has close connections with the natural process of planting, growing, reaping and lastly death. There is a certain trust in placing a seed in the earth; we abandon and bury a seed believing in the warmth of the sun, the nutrients of the soil and the moisture of timely rains. Jesus said, Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a single grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit (John 12:24).

In This Area —
Graves: Background Grave Considerations
Grave Configurations About That New Grave

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