Cathedrals are majestic places, no doubt. The high ceilings, the many intricate statues, and the extravagant trimmings would strike awe into any heart. But despite these attributes, one thing about cathedrals continues to enchant me, and that is the tombs.
A place for the dead is not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of a cathedral, but in every one we have visited so far, the “Church of Our Lady” not excepted, I have found inscriptions that tell of the ones whose bones are housed within the walls and floors of these splendid buildings. Words such as Hic jacet and Hic sepultus est stare at me from the worn stone which was carved so many centuries ago.
How splendid these people’s funerals must have been, and how lamented their loss! And yet, today hundreds of people walk heedlessly over and past these tombs and their cryptic Latin epitaphs, whilst gazing upon the greater glory of the architecture around them.
Though I can read only a little of what these tombs tell, I at least try to honor the dead with a thought, which perhaps is more than many who see them.
(Church of Our Lady, Bruges, Belgium)