Last Sunday afternoon, a group of some 20 of us from the Church of the Good Shepherd enjoyed a guided tour around part of the Dean Cemetery. There are a large amount of well known Edinburgh forebears buried here and the whole history off our city can read via the inscriptions and dedications to them. The Victorians had desire to see themselves immortalised in ways that we do not, perhaps, share today. Yes these tombs and stones tell us much but they only commemorate the wealthy, not the ordinary people of our city through the ages. In God's eyes we are all equal, God knows every hair on our heads and does not discriminate between us by class, race, or wealth. There is equality in the Kingdom of God.
That said, however, does not distract from the history contained within our graveyards. We can learn much from what is said and perhaps what is not said as well and a wander through the Dean Cemetery or any graveyard can be fascinating. As I was guided through on Sunday, I could not help but compare the elaborate tombs with the simple plaques that commemorate loved ones in our own Church Garden. The simplicity of their memorials is just as poignant and heartfelt.
May all the faithful departed rest in peace and rise in glory. Alleluia!