So much of our Christian faith is grounded in embracing death. In baptism we are plunged into fonts that often bear similarities to tombs. Saint days are typically marked not on a saint’s birthday but on the anniversary of his or her death, when they were born into eternal life.
Cemeteries and crypts are still part of many parish grounds and churches, and within the walls and beneath the floors of many cathedrals are entombed beloved shepherds. In baptism, we die with Christ to rise with him to new life even as we await the fullness of eternal life to come.The days around All Saints and All Souls give us an opportunity to highlight the many ways death is something not to be feared but embraced from the beginning of our Christian life. Click To Tweet
The days around All Saints and All Souls give us an opportunity to highlight the many ways death is something not to be feared but embraced from the beginning of our Christian life. Some of the subtle but significant ways we do that is in how we reverence the body of the deceased in our funeral rites.
Welcoming the body, we sprinkle it with holy water and clothe it with a pall to signify the person’s honored placed among the order of the baptized. We place on it a Bible and a cross and greet it with the lit Paschal candle, all signs of Christ first formally received at baptism. All throughout our daily lives, truly the baptized are already living life after death.