Sushidog (sushidog) wrote in little_details,

Funerary customs for above-ground burials

Victorian era, England (but modern-day European or American anecdata are welcome!).

I've googled on combination of funeral, ceremony, vault, burial and Victorian, but I'm getting lots of adverts for funeral homes, and nothing that tells me what I want to know!

I have a funeral, in Victorian England, where the deceased is to be laid to rest in the family vault, which is an above-ground stone structure.

With a normal burial, the coffin is laid beside the open grave for part of the ceremony, then lowered into the ground, and the presiding priest and/or family members may throw in a handful of dirt; they then leave and the grave-diggers fill in the grave. However, I have no idea what the equivalent is for a vault "burial"; do they lay the coffin outside the vault, and then ceremonially deposit it inside? Do they just put it in the vault before the ceremony? Is there an equivalent to the throwing in of dirt; some gesture made by those close to the deceased? And inside the vault, do the coffins just sit on daiases (I have no idea how to spell that word!) or big shelves, or are they placed into a sarcophagus-type thing, or bricked up, or similar? I've found one or two pictures of the insides of vaults, but none which are still "in use", so it's not clear what they would have been like before they were cleared out and opened to the public!

Many thanks for any help!
Tags: ~funerals

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