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By Steven Huprich, Junior Warden and Pastoral Care Committee Member
“Death escapes no one.”
These were the words of Imam Steve Mustapha El Turk to my Death and Dying class a few years ago. A week earlier, Father Bill offered a presentation on the Judeo-Christian perspective of death and dying. He described the grave of Archbishop Henry Chichele (along with pictures), wherein the Bishop inscribed on the grave, “I was a pauper born, then to primate here raised, now I am cut down and served up for worms….Whoever who may be who will pass by, I ask for your remembrance.”
The ghoulish comments of the Bishop shed light, however, on a very important issue—how does onewant to be remembered? How will people think about you and your life when the time comes to say good-bye? What words, Scripture, liturgy, and song will tell some of the story of your life?
All of us have had to say good-bye to someone we loved. If we had to plan a funeral, it might have been one of the hardest things we have had to do, particularly if we have not accepted within ourselves the idea that death, indeed, escapes no one. In my Death and Dying class, students write final papers, and the overwhelming response to the course is that they leave with greater resolution to live a life that matters. And, to be ready when death comes.
We are fortunate to have three special people speak with us on Sunday, February 17 about funeral planning. Mother Imogen will begin by offering some reflections on the meaning and value of funerals.Christopher Wells will then talk about the music and liturgy involved in the Christian funeral, and why individuals should carefully consider these matters when planning
a funeral. And finally,
John Desmond (from Desmond and Sons Funeral Homes) will provide an overview of funeral planning. I am most pleased to have all of them present, and especially am grateful for Mr. Desmond taking time to present at CCC. He, too, spoke to my class and showed how important these final acts of caring for loved ones involves a true spiritual calling toward honoring the dignity of those who have died and the
emotional and spiritual needs of those who grieve.
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
And whoever lives and believs in Me shall never die…”