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Why consecrated ground for burying Catholics?

?
At the core, consecrating anything is to set that thing aside for a holy purpose. It's a good thing to mark ground as special for burying. If nothing else, it discourages people from setting up market stalls in the same area....
Potentially (and in a perfect world...) a Catholic graveyard is full of saints! Which is quite a holy place indeed.
(07-16-2011, 03:26 AM)CollegeCatholic Wrote: [ -> ]Why consecrated ground for burying Catholics?

?

The state of a human body after death is not reflective of the soul.

However, the hope of the Resurrection is very much real and all care of the human body after death reflects this.
The "principle of exclusive sepulture".

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03071a.htm

On the other hand, we may notice that the Church's claim to exercise control over the burial of her members dates back to an age anterior even to the freedom given to Christianity under Constantine. From the beginning the principle seems to have been insisted upon that the faithful should be buried apart from the pagans. Thus St. Cyprian of Carthage makes it a matter of reproach against a Spanish bishop Martial that he had not sufficiently attended to this, and that he had tolerated "filios exterarum gentium more apud profana sepulchra depositos et alienigenis consepultos" (Cyprian, Ep. lxvii, 6). In the same way St. Hilary, a century later, considers that Our Saviour warned His disciples against a similar profanation "Admonuit non admisceri memoriis sanctorum mortuos infideles" (Hilary, in S. Matt., vii).
(07-16-2011, 11:54 AM)Rosarium Wrote: [ -> ]The state of a human body after death is not reflective of the soul.

What about incorrupt bodies of saints?
So, is there any reason why, other than "we like having holy and blessed things, and since we believe in the Resurrection we do the ground as well?"
(07-16-2011, 08:47 PM)CollegeCatholic Wrote: [ -> ]So, is there any reason why, other than "we like having holy and blessed things, and since we believe in the Resurrection we do the ground as well?"

The link posted by DesperatelySeeking is a good general read on the topic, me thinks.  It's a bit more than "we like having holy and blessed things, and since we believe in the Resurrection we do the ground as well".  Scripture tells us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and especially so as a Catholic's body has received the waters of Baptism, the chrism of Confirmation, the "body and blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord in Holy Comunion, as well as hopefully the anoiting of Extreme Unction.  We treat holy things with a decorum of respect and dignity (which does not need to mean with ostentatiousness and great expense).

For some examples:  Things such as rosaries, medals, missals, bibles that are no longer serviceable are to be burned or buried, not just tossed in the trash.  When I was a pre VII altar server the ash left in the censer (because it had been blessed) was buried in a special place.  Similarily in the pre VII Confirmation rite, the chrism applied to the forhead by the Bishop was wiped off with a cotton ball.  These (along with the lemon wedges used by the Bishop to cleans his finger of the Chrism) were burned or buried after the rite.

Ideally (and traditionally) a Catholic is buried in a Catholic cemetery, and those have been consecrated.  Not every location has a Catholic cemetery and some of those local cemeteries (municial, non-profit, or even commercial) have a Catholic section that has been consecrated.  But even still, if one is laid to rest in whatever kind of cemetery, the ritual has a prayer for consecrating the particular space.  I recall hearing this explanation from the pastor in a former parish.  The "Catholic section" of the municipal cemetery was full (or nearly so) and parishioners were needing to select space in other areas of the cemetery.  The priest explained that the particular grave (or niche, for cremated remains) was consecrated as part of the commital ritual.
(07-16-2011, 07:22 AM)Melita Wrote: [ -> ]Potentially (and in a perfect world...) a Catholic graveyard is full of saints! Which is quite a holy place indeed.

Quite right. Catholic cemeteries are (hopefully) filled with the relics of uncanonized saints!
(07-16-2011, 08:33 PM)Melita Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-16-2011, 11:54 AM)Rosarium Wrote: [ -> ]The state of a human body after death is not reflective of the soul.

What about incorrupt bodies of saints?

That is not an infallible method of determining salvation.
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