While this may seem a little strange to think about and a little depressing too, it really isn’t. Because of the resurrection of Jesus that we celebrated a couple of weeks ago, we can be confident that death is not the end of the story. During this Easter season, we see signs of new life everywhere. Whether it is the flowering buds of a tree or the new grass growth, there is hope among us. But our hope as Christians goes far beyond the new life we encounter in nature. Our hope is in Jesus. Jesus conquered sin and death so we could live forever. We celebrate that at Easter. But we also celebrate that at a Christian’s funeral. We hear in Psalm 16 this weekend: “Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, my body, too, abides in confidence; because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld, nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.” This is the God we celebrate now and forever!
Sadly, when I talk to funeral directors, it seems like our brothers and sisters in Christ have lost the real desire to pray for and to celebrate the new life God has in store for them. There seems to be a minimalist viewpoint that says “I don’t need to do anything for me.” I’m good. But when it comes to Christian funerals, the Church offers ample opportunity to pray for that person (which we need) and to pray for the loved ones left behind. That is why choosing the songs and readings for your funeral are important things to do as they help to form your last message to the world–what you believe in, who you believe in.
On May 4 @ 7:15pm in the Memorare Center, I will help to lead anyone who wants to plan their funeral. We will choose readings and songs and answer any questions you may have when it comes to celebrating the Rite of Christian Burial. Bring your Bible. I will talk about why the Church envisions celebrating a Wake, a funeral Mass and a Committal. This will be a beautiful time to plan your funeral so your remaining family will get to better know what was important to you in life.
God bless you in His Easter joy!