Friday, February 10, 2006

Burial of the Dead: a "corporal work of mercy"

Credo drew my attention to this story in Whispers in the Loggia.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

2300 The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy [cf. Tob 1:16-18]; it honours the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit.

A Lutheran clergy-friend of mine once reported to our Pastors Conference his admiration for the care with which our Jewish brothers and sisters ministered to their dead. He outlined at length the history that the Christian Church has in the same ministry and proposed that local congregations also do what it takes to learn how to provide funerals for those who cannot afford the high costs of modern funeral companies—all the way from making the coffin to lowering it into the hole.

Its an idea still waiting for action from Australia’s Christian churches.

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