All parishes in Malta normally had a crypt (populary known as Kennerja – Charnel House) built beneath the parish church in which most of the parishioners would be buried, except those who had a family tomb in an open air cemetery. There are 3 charnel houses in the Cathedral, two of which are privately owned. Following changes in government regulations related to hygiene and health burials in charnel houses was suspended.
The Mdina Metropolitan Cathedral’s main charnel house can be accessed through concealed stairs located in the Chapel of St Luke.
The crypt is opened to the general public in November, the month dedicated to souls in purgatory, to allow them to visit and pay respect to their relatives buried beneath the Cathedral. The Mdina Cathedral’s main charnel house is made up of four sections . The first and largest area is reserved for the burial of parishioners, whilst another area is reserved for the clergy.