Kėdainiai Jonušava Evangelical Reformed Church and Cemetery (1628–1864)
Keywords:death, Kėdainiai, Evangelical Reformed church, cemetary, Jonušava
Abstract. The problem of death in one of the largest reformation centres in Grand Duchy of Lithuania – Kėdainiai Evangelical Reformed church, focusing on Jonušava (New Kėdainiai)
church and cemetery, from the 3rd decade of the 17th century to the mid-19th century, is analysed in this article. The elite of this denomination has mainly been studied in historiography, and it has made various controversial statements, the validity of which is also worth verifying. The aim of this article is to discuss the burial sites of Kėdainiai Evangelical Reformed – the cemetery and the cemetery church in Jonušava, the construction of burial sites, changes in infrastructure, and the dynamics of burials. The study uses several methodological approaches, narrative and statistical, palaeographic, historical cartography and epigraphic methods. It is emphasised that the results of the Kėdainiai study conflict with the statement expressed in historiography that “evangelicals did not value the place of the funeral, and their cemeteries were usually moved outside the city”. The study has shown that, at least in Kėdainiai, the emergence of the Jonušava cemetery was a forced act after the loss of St. George’s Church. Later, another cemetery was established in the very centre of the city. In conclusion, the burial sites were, however, immortalised with various burial monuments, albeit more modest compared with Catholics or Lutherans. In addition, much
was determined by the social status of individuals and the economic opportunities of relatives. It is necessary to perform an analysis of the burial sites of other evangelical Reformed GDLs in order of more extensive generalisations.