A graveyard is a place where people are buried. It is usually a churchyard, and it may be owned by a church or an independent site. It also contains headstones and tombs.
In the past, people were buried close to the church where they were members. This area was called the churchyard. Eventually, this area became too full, and new burial grounds appeared, called cemeteries.
It is a place where people are buried
In the past, people were often buried close to their place of worship. The wealthy and noble were buried in crypts within the church itself, while less-wealthy congregants were buried in the churchyard. As the population increased, these churchyards began to fill up, so new burial sites, called cemeteries, were established.
The word graveyard is also used to refer to the area of land where people are buried, as well as to the gravestones and monuments that surround them. Sailors often call the shift from midnight to 4:00 AM the graveyard watch because it’s a long, dark, silent night.
Many people are hesitant to use the term cemetery, but it is the more appropriate word for a large burial ground. In fact, the word cemetery is an older one than graveyard. Its origins are rooted in the Greek word koimeterion, meaning “dormitory, resting place.” Cemeteries are usually located away from the city, which allows more space for burials.
It is a cemetery
Despite the fact that people often use the words graveyard and cemetery interchangeably, they are different. While both are sites where people are buried, a graveyard is generally attached to a church and a cemetery may not be. A cemetery is also usually much larger than a graveyard, as it is not restricted to a single section of land.
During the Middle Ages, wealthy or influential Christians were generally interred inside the church, often in a crypt, while less well-off congregants were buried outside in the churchyard. As the population grew and church-affiliated graveyards became full, completely new places for burying people appeared, independent of graveyards. These new locations were called cemeteries.
The etymology of these two terms is interesting. The word ‘graveyard’ comes from the French cimetiere, which in turn derives from the Greek koimeterion. This shows that the two words have a very similar origin. Nevertheless, it is important to distinguish between the two.
It is owned by a church
The word graveyard and cemetery have similar meanings, but the difference lies in their association with a church. A graveyard is run by a church and located on its grounds or campus, while a cemetery is not associated with any particular church. The distinction is important because it’s common to see homes decorated with fake tombstones and ghosts for Halloween. This is a form of respect for the dead.
During the Middle Ages, only the most wealthy or influential Christians were interred inside churches, in a crypt beneath the floor. Less wealthy congregants were buried in a section of the churchyard, which came to be called the graveyard.
As populations grew, church graveyards began to fill up. This prompted the creation of new burial sites, independent of churches, which became known as cemeteries. The word ‘cemetery’ comes from the Greek koimeterion, or “sleeping place.” Early Christians believed that the body was just a sleeping place for the soul until the resurrection.