|In Search Of Gravestones Old And Curious|
W.T. (William Thomas) Vincent
"But while we find the few to be commended, what a common experience it is, on the other hand, to come upon a neglected churchyard; the crippled stones bending at all angles, many of them cracked, chipped, and otherwise disfigured, and the majority half hidden in rank weeds and grass. In some places, owing to climatic conditions, moss or lichen has effaced every sign of inscription or ornament from the old stones; and there are localities which appear to be really unfortunate in their inability to resist the destructive influence of the weather upon their tombs, which, perhaps because they are of unsuitable material, go to decay in, comparatively speaking, a few years. As a rule, however, these relics of our ancestors need not and ought not to prematurely perish and disappear from the face of the earth. Where the graveyard is still used as a place of interment, or remains as it was when closed against interments, the sexton or a labourer should have it in perpetual care. The grass and weeds should be kept in constant check, and the tombs of all kinds preserved at the proper perpendicular. If not too much to ask, the application of a little soap and water at long intervals might be recommended in particular instances; but all such details depend upon circumstances, and may be left to the individual judgment. Provided there is the disposition, there will always be found the way and the means to make the holy ground a decent and a pleasant place".