What Is a Cemetery?


A cemetery is a place where people are buried. This differs from a graveyard, which is land that’s part of a church’s property.

It’s best to search cemeteries with another person. This offers safety and can help you find information on a gravestone that might be difficult to read. Always take notepaper or family group worksheets with you to record cemetery transcriptions accurately.


Visiting a cemetery can be an emotionally intense experience. But it’s also a place that offers peace. Whether it’s because of cultural and religious traditions, location or simply a desire to be closer to nature, people have been known to find comfort in the serenity of a graveyard.

The word cemetery comes from the Greek work koimeterion, meaning “a sleeping place”. And it’s true: we never know when our time will come. But that doesn’t mean we should stop visiting those who have passed on.

A cemetery is a dedicated area of land, with precise plot locations and clearly defined boundaries, that holds the remains of deceased individuals. A person who manages a cemetery is called a sexton. They are responsible for day-to-day operations, including opening and closing graves, maintaining burial records, selling cemetery services and managing the sale of cemetery lots. They are also tasked with respectfully caring for deceased individuals and the preservation of shared history.


A cemetery is a place to remember, reflect and honor the lives of those who have gone before us. Often, it is also a special and unique place to connect with family members and friends who have been lost.

When visiting a cemetery, be sure to follow all of the rules and respect the dead. It is important not to touch gravestones or monuments, and it is considered disrespectful to talk loudly or make noise in the cemetery. It is also important not to disturb the flowers and other decorations at a grave site.

Some cemeteries have buildings, such as a church or chapel, that are included in their grounds. Others have more modern facilities, such as a cemetery office or gate house. When you click on a cemetery or memorial site, FamilySearch will display helpful information about the place and show a list of people from your family tree who have been recorded as buried or honored there.


A cemetery serves a unique role in connecting friends and family who may have grown apart over the years. In addition to funeral services and visitations, it is customary to have gatherings at the gravesite (or at other locations if preferred). Gatherings provide a chance for friends to strengthen relationships, offer support, and remember their loved one in a comfortable and supportive environment.

In many Catholic nations, it is common to leave a burning memorial candle at a grave or monument. At war graves, it is customary to place a small timber remembrance cross and a red poppy.

Gatherings at the Cemetery also serve as a place where people can share stories about their deceased loved ones, which can be inspiring and moving or light and amusing. This is a natural part of the mourning process, and helps to ease the transition from ceremony back into daily life.


A cemetery is a place to rest the dead. The word comes from the Greek work koimeterion meaning “sleeping place.”

When someone dies, it’s normal to feel grief. This is a process that involves stages of mourning, and it can affect many different parts of your life.

One of the first feelings is anger. It can be directed at the person who died or others who may have caused their death. It also can mask as bitterness and resentment. It’s important to know that it’s normal and healthy to experience anger as part of the grieving process.

Another stage of grief is sadness. It can be overwhelming at times, and it can make you feel like you’re not able to live normally. It’s also normal to experience guilt. You may wonder if you could have done something to prevent your loved one’s death. You may also question your beliefs. Often, these thoughts fade over time, but they can surface again on anniversaries or other reminders.

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