>Andrew Hammel has an amusing post up about German cemeteries and their lists of regulations. Granted, the list he posts (in English) is one cemetery’s rules, but I think it’s similar in many others’.
Austria’s cemeteries probably have same number of rules but slightly different ones. One sees a lot of curly ironwork crosses and photos, although there are stone slabs as well. And the whole “rent this space for x years” deal ensures that the plots are maintained — once nobody’s around to remember you or take care of your grave, it’s gone. This makes a lot of sense to me. (I don’t even want a stone on my grave, when I’m gone. I’m hoping that green burials —Naturbestattung —will be more widespread by then.)
I was just in an Austrian cemetery yesterday, as a matter of fact, after singing at a funeral. A Protestant service and burial held in a village R. C. church, which I thought was pretty liberal of the church — the deceased had been its choir director. We sang Rheinberger and Mendelssohn. Back in America I was allowed once to sing the Schubert Ave Maria in a Methodist Church, although the music director was reluctant and made sure I knew this was an exception to their rules — the Ave Maria being everything they’d fought against, or something. Ya gotta have rules.