The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It celebrates the continued life of the deceased in Christ Jesus, who himself was resurrected. Because death held no power over Jesus, he was free to live life fully and fearlessly in the love of God and proclaim God’s radical, inclusive love for all of creation. Jesus was raised from the dead, so that we, too, could be raised in this life and the next.
The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, and expresses 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 from those we love by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend, Lazarus. So while we rejoice that one we love has become one with our Lord, we mourn the loss of our beloved’s physical presence in our lives, and express our sorrow in sympathy with others who mourn.
There are no specific faith prerequisites for funeral arrangements. In such an acute time of need, our doors and hearts are open to all. Should there be a death in your family, or if death is soon expected, please contact the Rev. Neil Tadken immediately at RevNTadken@SaintLukesMonrovia.org
Find out more about funeral services at St. Luke’s here.