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Stonemason Lobby – Cemeteries are places for “strength and new beginnings”



The stonemasons’ guild seems to be striving to revive an important branch. An illustrious group of “experts”, young specialists and “theologians” will philosophise about the important future of cemeteries. A place for “strength and new beginnings”.

The experts among themselves

A touch of death cult, wrapped in a scientific guise for the attempted reoccupation of an economic sector? Young experts from “Generations Y and Z” have opened up a new field for the exercise of self-realization that looks like humanities and have declared this a trend for the future. They met at a “Future Congress” and the visionary theme concerned places for gathering strength and as a starting point for a new beginning.

Far-sighted experts on site

Specialist and universal experts meet

However, twelve young people called experts did not discuss gyms, yoga clubs or jogging in the fresh air, but rather cemeteries. The so-called futurologist Matthias Horx (born 1955) was also present as a quasi senior expert for the group of “young experts”. He was also the initiator of this topic. In keeping with the environment of the venue, at Stone+tec Nuremberg, an international trade fair for natural stone and stone technology (Source).

Horx, whose academic career includes a discontinued study of sociology, excelled in 2001 with a “study” on the subject of “The Future of the Internet”. In the foreseeable future, Horx says, the Internet will not develop into a mass medium like radio and television. The future expert considered widespread use of the Internet to be doubtful.

In 2010 he predicted the end of Facebook because in five or six years no one would be talking about it anymore. He also shared his expertise with the outlook for online retail. According to his vision, if even half of all goods were ordered online, cities would become congested(Source).

Cemetery a place of the future

For Horx, the cemetery is a place of the future. A place where the farewell meets the new. A pause for a new beginning. For this reason, cemeteries are “places of power”, also “for society, for cities and communities”. The future expert suggests that future cemeteries should be designed in such a way that they respond more closely to psychology and grief.

The Cemetery – The Stonemason’s Place of Sales

You don’t have to be a “rogue” to guess the motive for hiring such a future expert with such a “deep sense” of philosophy. The cemetery sales market has been literally disappearing for the stonemason industry for some time now. Alternative forms of burial, such as “anonymous urn graves” and memorial plaques made of other materials, are causing the number of orders for classic gravestones to shrink. The attempt to explain cemeteries as a place of the future is therefore understandable.

View from young experts

Cemeteries play a special role for the younger generation of the illustrious group. These were potentially healing spaces for encounters and social interaction. The participating European Stonemason Champion 2012, Melanie Seidl, describes the grave as a place that helps overcome the pain of loss by allowing relatives to be very close to the deceased. The family, acquaintances and colleagues are given the opportunity to express their memories of the deceased. It’s the role model that counts and adults can show their children how to deal with death. Experiences of grief are formative in childhood, says Seidl.

The undertaker Emily Maichle from Geislingen sees things a little more differently. The cemetery can be an area of ​​tension. On the one hand the private place of burial, on the other hand the public space. The cemetery should be a natural part of everyday life in the future, without forgetting that this place is primarily intended for mourning and saying goodbye. To this end, the digitalization of the world must be taken into account. “In the future, in cemeteries we should create a sensitive link between the analogue world of yesterday and the digital world of tomorrow that is useful for grieving people,” said Maichle. However, what this sensitive connection should look like in a “digital world of tomorrow” compared to an “analog world of yesterday” and how this could be expressed is left to the imagination of each listener.

The theological view

Theology in the service of the lobby

Since cemeteries are not only a potentially “surefire” sales market for the stonemasons’ guild, but directly dead people also play a role, Anna-Nicole Heinrich, President of the Synod of the Evangelical Churches in Germany (EKD), apparently felt called upon to to attend this meeting and contribute their theological expertise.

She explained to the young group of experts that cemeteries are not just a resting place for the dead, but are also important for the living. They are places of saying goodbye. In cemeteries, memories can be shared, stories can be told and one’s own life can be celebrated.

Completely overrated place

It is exciting to see the central role that a place for the deceased is assigned. As if the cemetery were an exclusive place for memories, which is obviously not possible in the living room at home when sharing and looking at a photo collection. A simple excess of inflated, intellectual-sounding philosophies in the service of ordinary lobbying for a certain economic sector.

Bereaved people generally remember a living acquaintance or relative. Alone or with the family, you can recall shared experiences. The human remains rest in the cemetery. He or she no longer “is”. “You were made of dust and to dust you shall return,” is God’s saying to Adam, which is also very well known in secular circles.

This applies not only to the biblical statement about a non-existent immortal soul, but even to people who mistakenly believe in an immortal soul that separates from the body (Info). In both cases, the literally unliving remains are in the grave. This purely emotionally “beneficial” closeness is therefore completely irrational. The breeding ground for the unspeakable practices of relic veneration and worship of the remains of “saints” within the Catholic Church. Rather, it is true that visiting the cemetery to feel close to the deceased already touches the area of ​​the practiced death cult.

The Bible provides information

At this point it is interesting to know what the Gospel describes about dealing with the deceased and seeking closeness to them.

In Luke 24:5 the two men (angels) asked the women at Jesus’ tomb who they were looking for. But Jesus Christ had already risen:
Why seek ye the living among the dead?

Jesus Christ Himself said in Luke 20:38:
For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.

The Bible – The Word of God for People

God is a God of the living and not of the dead. This is already well expressed in the Old Testament, as touching a deceased person led to defilement. Numbers 19:13:
Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him.

Any cult, even a purely spiritual aspect, in relation to the dead is taboo, Deuteronomy 14:1:
Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.Mourning, yes – seeking closeness to the dead, no

Nowhere in the Gospel is it written that one should not mourn the deceased. Even Jesus Christ wept compassionately because of the great grief of the sister of the deceased Lazarus. But one searches in vain for a reference in the Bible that it is desirable to visit the dead at their graves or that it is generally desirable to be near them. Death itself is a “foreign body” in God’s creation, a negation of creation. No matter how large, extensive and animated the universe created by God may be, death exists in only one place, the earth. Death came with sin and continues to exist as long as sin is not eradicated. God is a God of the living, He Himself is life as well as love. Therefore, death is the exact opposite of what describes God’s character.

Memories of loved ones and people who have already passed away are possible in any place. However, it is not important to seek proximity to mortal remains, but rather proximity to God. And there is only one path for this:

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus Christ, John 14:6

Bible verses from King James Version

Stonemason Lobby – Cemeteries are places for “strength and new beginnings”
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