“This action of prayer is one of the most important actions of compassion and love we can offer those grieving the death of one who has died.”
Our Lenten Journey through the Corporal Works of Mercy concludes.
‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:40)
“In all of human experience nothing is more commonplace and universal than death. In its often wrenching grief it sends us seeking a corner in which to hide, and yet, paradoxically, at the same time it drives us to seek a community in which to find solace and meaning. In the reality of today’s society, that community can be the small tight knit circle of family and friends, or it can include a large gathering of neighbours, acquaintances and colleagues. The funeral rites can be simple and relatively private celebrations or they can be more elaborate and public, and, in these days of instant communication, they can be witnessed all over the world. But whatever form they take they all have one thing in common, namely the need to ritualize our grief and our search for meaning.
In the wonderful musical play Les Miserables there is a powerful line which says,“There is a grief that can’t be spoken.” There are things we cannot put into words when we are grieving. It is then that we need the richness and power of liturgical and ritual language, that ensemble of gestures, music, candles, incense, silence, and above all an assembly of the community of faith. It is this ritual language that can bring us in touch with the deep mystery of life, death and beyond. The ritual uses words but it takes us beyond words.
There is a grief that can’t be spoken, but there is also a faith that can’t be spoken. It can however can be expressed and experienced when we gather to pray. This action of prayer is one of the most important actions of compassion and love we can offer those grieving the death of one who has died.”
(Fr. Bill Burke, Diocese of Antigonish in Corporal Works of Mercy, Atlantic Liturgical Commission, 2021)
“Kindness, like Spring, will warm the Earth and our hearts before you know it.”
Our youth on burying the dead:
Each Sunday of Lent, plus Palm Sunday we will share a reflection and video to learn of and practise the seven Corporal Works of Mercy:
The information is based on a new resource prepared by the Atlantic Liturgical Commission, and includes submission from diocesan staff and clergy throughout the Atlantic Provinces.
We invite you to download the resource and celebrate the prayer services at home. The music, readings, reflections and prayers are provided for you and you may wish simply to use, for example, the YouTube link for the hymn, but if you are able to sing yourselves then that is encouraged. We invite you to use these rituals in ways that work best for you and your situations. That we gather to pray and act is the most important thing.
Thank you for sharing in our Lenten journey through the Corporal Works of Mercy.