There is an old saying which goes like this : "A dead man is the landlord of six feet ! " It most probably owes its origin to the custom of burying the dead under six feet of land. I am curious to know if the Catholic Church has a written rule or protocol governing the depth of the grave in a cemetery that a grown-up dead faithful can be buried in.

  • Better to just specifically ask about the Catholic Church here I think.
    – curiousdannii
    Jun 3, 2020 at 6:05
  • There are rules for this for each cementary - also for cementaries governed by the Church. But I don't think there is a universal rule, but many local ones.
    – K-HB
    Jun 3, 2020 at 6:36
  • Most graves in the US are not 6 feet deep! See this article: Why Are Graves Dug 6 Feet Deep?
    – Ken Graham
    Jun 3, 2020 at 22:41

1 Answer 1


As far as universal rules are concerned, Canon 1243 is relevant:

  1. Appropriate norms are to be enacted by particular law for the management of cemeteries, especially in what concerns the protection and fostering of their sacred character.

The depth of a grave is part of the cemetery's management, and is governed by “particular law” — which might be a civil law or a ruling in a particular territory (Conference or even diocese).

My translation is prepared by the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1983


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