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Burying the Dead

Updated: Jan 4, 2022

With all Saints Day and All Souls Day around this time of year I am excited to write about my favority ministry, singing for funerals! I know that it sounds a bit morbid to admit that I enjoy attending funerals. But, I find funeral services to be a beautiful way to pray for each soul as they pass into eternal life.

It is quite ironic because growing up I used to dread going to funerals! Living in a small town it was normal to go to the funeral of someone in our church community that passed away. Even if I, personally, did not know them. If a close family member or friend lost someone, we would attend the funeral or visitation and offer our support.

This is a practice that my sisters and I have adopted into our adult lives. We are often pooling in funds to send flowers or a memorial stone to our extended family or close friends when they lose someone. Just this weekend, a few of my sisters made sure to attend the visitation of our uncle's mom just a few hours before celebrating my bridal shower.

We are all called to bury the dead. I recognize this call looks different for everyone. I have the privilege of being involved in music ministry. Like I mentioned, singing for funerals is my favorite way to live out this call. My state in life offers the flexibility to sing/ attend funerals. This is not tangible for everyone.

We can agree that burying the dead is much more than just attending funerals. It is offering a helping hand to the grieving family by: sending a card in the mail, preparing a meal, calling on the phone just to check in, offering mass intentions for the family/soul of the deceased, and most importantly it is praying for the souls of the deceased. Purgatory is a real state that many souls attend. During this time of waiting, these souls need our prayers. If we continue to pray for their souls we can guarantee they will intercede for us when they get to heaven.

I have seen so many clever ways to teach children how to pray for the souls of those who go before us. My favorite was when a mother allowed her children to pick out one piece of candy (from their trick-or-treating bowl)for each day in the month of November. They also had to write down a name of someone they knew that passed away for each day in November. After the kids said a prayer for the soul each day they were allowed to eat their piece of candy!

I hope that as we head into this month, you find ways to pray for the souls that have gone before us. Especially the souls that do not have someone praying for them. I hope that you are able to offer the support that a family may need during challenging times and that people are there to walk with you during times of mourning. Jesus is found within every single person. Let us apply the Corporal Works of Mercy into our lives so that the world is treated with the dignity and respect we all deserve.

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