I have removed this question from another thread:
Question to experts/ forumists who live in France.
It may seem a llittle morbid, but I have been wondering about it after visiting Père Lachaise and Cimetière de Montmartre:
When you have these really heavy, polished marble or granite sepulchral monuments (sepultures) - often familygraves with enormous slabs of stone on the top - that seem almost impossible to move - what do you do with the dead ? Are the sepultures only for "memorial" purposes, so that the dead are placed somewhere else (e.g. as ashes in an urn at a columbarium ?) - or do you actually have to remove all that granite/marble every time another member of the family dies ?
At the Cimetière de Montmartre I saw a grave with a recent burial (there were many fresh flowers still with farewell-cards on them) - but it didn't look as if the stone on top had been removed - in fact most of these gravestones look as if they cannot be opened again at all.
(In DK we dig a hole in the burial plot, put the coffin (or the urn with the ashes) down, throw earth on top, and then later put a small gravestone on the burial plot, some nice gravel and plant flowers and small bushes, but we do not have these giant granite/marble monuments. So when another member of the family dies, we just dig a fresh hole in the same plot and put that coffin/ urn down there too.)