Cernica Monastery has the best-organized cemetery in the Archdiocese of Bucharest. The cemetery won the First Prize at the Diocesan Contest “The Well-Organized Cemetery”, initiated and blessed by Patriarch Daniel of Romania.
The cemeteries of Bucharest’s parishes of St George – Grivița and Saint Elijah – Ghencea ranked second. Roșu Parish in Ilfov County and the 1st Militari Parish in Bucharest received the third prize.
The five cemeteries above received the Honorary Diploma of the Holy Emperors Constantine and Helen. In addition, special awards consisting of the Honorary Diplomas “Saint Andrew the Apostle” were bestowed to St. Nicholas – Străulești Diocesan Cemetery in the Capital and Lipănești Parish Cemetery in Prahova County, because they stood out for their exemplary cleanliness and care, beauty and arrangement.
The contest was part of the Commemorative theme of the year of those asleep in the Lord; the liturgical and cultural value of cemeteries.
The contest aimed at highlighting and rewarding clergy and monastic staff involved in the responsible administration of parish or monastery cemeteries and at encouraging the beautification, care, and systematization of cemeteries.
The designation of the winners was made based on a score. It was made by evaluators based on the file submitted by the parishes and monasteries (containing the cemetery’s history, personalities there, photos) and based on its confrontation with reality through on-site inspections.
The existence of property deeds, the fencing, and systematization of the cemetery, as well as the way they are being taken care of was taken into account.
“In general, the cemeteries in Bucharest are well organized,” said Father Dumitru Stefanescu, church administrative counselor at the Archdiocese of Bucharest.
“The Commission recommended that the cleaning be maintained and that the construction materials should no longer be stored at random, but in specially arranged spaces. A common problem encountered in most cemeteries is related to the condition of the access roads, which are often improperly repaired; it was recommended that at least the primary and secondary alleys be completely resurfaced or re-paved. “
The Commission also found that parishes and monasteries have made efforts to care for and systematize cemeteries in the current Commemorative Year.
Analyzing the submitted documentation and the proposals of each deanery, after verifying the actual situation on the ground, 32 prizes were awarded for parishes and three awards for monasteries. Thus, in total, 35 prizes were awarded within the Archdiocese of Bucharest.
At the proposal of Patriarch Daniel and based on information from the deans, the archdiocese awarded the Commemorative Diploma of the Year 2021 with a medal to three institutions and 59 people who contributed to the establishment, systematization, and beautification of parish cemeteries, the construction of chapels, and to the building or restoration of monuments dedicated to the national heroes or personalities of national history and culture.
In total, 105 church awards were given at the first edition of the diocesan contest “The well-organized cemetery.”
In order to increase the degree of responsible administration of the parish/monastery cemeteries in the Archdiocese of Bucharest, the second edition of this competition will take place in three years, in 2024.
In the Archdiocese of Bucharest, there are 533 diocesan, parish, and monastic cemeteries, of which 84 are in urban areas, 433 are in rural areas, 15 monastery cemeteries, and a diocesan cemetery. Their total area is 4,346,095 square meters.