from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A covered gateway at the entrance to churchyards, erected to afford shelter for the coffin and mourners while they wait for the coming of the officiating clergyman. Also called lich-gate.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
At the entrance of the churchyard there is often a lich-gate, _i. e._ a corpse-gate, where the body may rest while the funeral procession is formed.
In the _Glossary of Architecture_ we read "_Lich-gate_, or corpse-gate, _leichengang_, Germ., from the Ang. - Sax. _lich_, a corpse, and _geat_, a gate; a shed over the entrance of a churchyard, beneath which the bearers sometimes paused when bringing a corpse for interment.