Funeral Customs of a Young Church. Prolegomena to Necrogeography of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church (and Orthodox Church) in the Interwar Period

Nešpor Zdeněk R.

Abstract

This study complements and concludes the necrogeographic analysis
of the Czech lands, and presents an overview of the confessional burial
grounds of the Czechoslovak (Hussite) Church and the Orthodox Church.
We can glean from the available sources that local and regional “Czechoslovak”
cemeteries were established, although the Church as a whole (unsuccessfully)
attempted to “nationalise” existing cemeteries. Later, the Church
came to accept the interconfesional character of these cemeteries, and at the
same time, it vehemently established its own columbariums and urn burial
grounds. Despite of the fact that the Czechoslovak (Hussite) Church permitted
the cremation of some members of other churches, as well as of atheists,
and for some time, its clergymen took part of the cremation ceremonies, the
Church itself did not discuss the matter, nor did it form any official Church
standpoint on this issue. Due to internal Church reasons, cremation as such
was only inadvertently proclaimed on the pages of its central ideological
magazine, Český zápas, and that beginning from the mid-1920s, although
cremation was de facto already the standard within the Church at this time.
The burial practices of the members of the Czechoslovak (Hussite) Church in
the interwar period thus anticipated the future inclinations of the majority
of Czech society.

Keywords

Death; funerals; cremation; necrogeography; Czechoslovak Hussite Church; Orthodox Church

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Vydání: 17, 2015, 3