I just got back from a trip to England (it was fabulous, thanks for asking!). It included many visits to big ancient churches, including Westminster Abbey.
Now it’s not like I’ve never heard of being entombed in a church or come across it a few times in America. I just never thought about it much.
But man those medieval churches, you could barely move without walking over somebody’s grave (in fact the “Would you let your kid play in a graveyard?” thread reminded me I wanted to ask this).
So what exactly happens? Those big above ground vaults, did they/do they really just stick a dead body in there and smack a lid on it? Was there ever a smell? A frisson of revulsion from being close to a decomposing body?
And for the floors, just pry up some stones, dig down, place body, replace floor stones?
Was there/is there ever an etiquette of not walking on the graves?
What’s the deal?