Monday, April 11, 2011

Burial Plans - Part 3

Exactly what I don't want

Part 3 of my burial plans is miscellany.  So here I go.



I don't want to be in a fancy casket.  Just get a pine box that will hold me. It's not like a metal coffin is going to do any good to preserve me.  I'll be dead, remember?

Don't put flowers on my casket.  Instead, I want to actually be lowered into the dirt.  I don't care what the funeral home says, I want everybody to see the coffin in the ground with earth on top of it.

Whatever you do, don't put astroturf around my place of burial.  I love the woods and the fields and the outdoors.  I know what grass should look like and feel like and smell like.  And that's what should be at my burial.  It's okay if the priest and everybody else gets dirty.  Life is messy, and so is death.  

And don't cover up that mound of dirt with more astroturf and flowers.  Let's not kid ourselves - the dirt goes on top of the coffin.

Most importantly, let everything follow this extraordinary note in the Prayer Book:

The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy.  It finds all its meaning in the resurrection.  Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised.

The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation , will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian.  The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death.  Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend.  So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.

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