Q: I went to my first catholic funeral today, and it was surely the most beautiful and heartfelt funeral service I have ever been to.
Who else has had one of these experiences?
A: Glad you were able to appreciate it.
Death is a reality for all, but it’s nice to know that, thanks to Christ and his Church, we don’t have to face it alone.
Catholics “know” God from infancy, and they personally and regularly receive Jesus … body, blood, soul, and divinity … beginning at about the age of 8 … so it’s only logical to figure that Jesus would want to personally attend the funeral.
The general idea is to ask God to mercifully forgive all our sins, and ask Jesus to personally escort the faithfully departed’s soul to heaven, if it’s not already there.
The Catholic funeral liturgy expresses that idea through the actions of the priest, who “stands in” for Christ during the Mass … as the prayers of the faithful fill the sanctuary and the incense rises up to heaven.
God, through his Catholic Church, also provides a host of prayers, anointings, blessings, indulgences, and sacraments that are specially designed to provide comfort and peace to those who are facing the imminent end of their earthly existence.
This essential and complete “end of life” pastoral care is probably the most practical aspect of the Catholic faith.
It is also very likely, a source of great frustration for Satan, the devil. Don’t leave the planet without it!
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