We read in Ezekiel 43: 6-10 how God spoke to the prophet, of the importance of keeping the temple holy:

Then I heard Him speaking to me from the temple, while a man stood beside me. And He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. No more shall the house of Israel defile My holy name, they nor their kings, by their harlotry or with the carcasses of their kings on their high places. 8 When they set their threshold by My threshold, and their doorpost by My doorpost, with a wall between them and Me, they defiled My holy name by the abominations which they committed; therefore I have consumed them in My anger. Now let them put their harlotry and the carcasses of their kings far away from Me, and I will dwell in their midst forever. Son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern.

However, one comes across many ancient churches having the graves of the religious as well as laity within their walls. Of course, churches of modern times may not permit such burials. My question therefore is: what were the justifications given by administrations which allowed the burial of the religious and the laity in the church ? Views of any denominations are welcome.

  • I was down near Stuebenville at Catholic Family Land where the coffins of the founders of the Apostolate of Family Consecration are in above-ground coffins right around the corner from the altar. I believe the Apostolate was given special permission from the Bishop for this. Not sure what the rationale was though it might be easier to find out than the historical information you're looking for.
    – Peter Turner
    Nov 24 at 14:01
  • I think the historical reason for this is that early Christians were persecuted and had to worship in secret, so they worshipped underground in the city catacombs, and worshipped near the bodies of their faithfully departed.
    – jaredad7
    Nov 24 at 16:40

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