Why Do Graves Face East?
There are various beliefs regarding the reason why graves face east. They can be traced back to as far as the first religions and cultures ‘š sun based, where the sun is seen as the caretaker of life. And we all know that the sun rises in the east. It symbolizes the welcoming of the coming ‘new day, symbolized by the sun.
The most documented sun based religion can be found in Egyptian culture. They have certain rituals of placing the dead where the entire body is on the left side or at least their head faces the east.
Traditional Christian method of burial has two positions. The first one is the west-east where the body of the dead is positioned faced’šup with the head to the west and feet to the east. The second one is the north-south where the body will be laid on its side, head placed to the north facing the east. However, not all graveyards follow the traditional position. Christian believers however have their own belief as to why the graves must face east.
Many Christians believe that the graves must face east because it where the direction where Jesus will return from. Although it is not exactly said in the Bible, they have taken the following scriptures which contain the following verses:
Matthew 24:27 ‘For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.,
Ezekiel 43:1 ‘Then the man brought me to the eastward facing the gate, and I saw the Glory of God coming,.
In short, for the Christians, facing the east symbolizes the Second coming of Jesus Christ and the awaited resurrection of the dead.
In conclusion, there are various beliefs as to why most graves are facing the east but as time changes, some beliefs are forgotten while there are still some who continuous to believe. Modern epitaphs have nice inscriptions about how good the person was, how he is in heaven together with God and His angels and how much he was loved while older epitaphs usually inscribed with the words ‘Rest in Peace, expresses the hopes of the dead for the coming resurrection.