Saturday, April 22, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 278 - Part I.

YOUCAT Question n. 278 - Part I. What is the purpose of a Christian funeral?

(Youcat answer) A Christian funeral is a service performed by the Christian community for the benefit of its dead. It expresses the sorrow of the survivors, yet it always has a Paschal character. Ultimately, we die in Christ so as to celebrate with him the feast of the Resurrection.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 1686) The Order of Christian Funerals (Ordo exsequiarum) of the Roman liturgy gives three types of funeral celebrations, corresponding to the three places in which they are conducted (the home, the church, and the cemetery), and according to the importance attached to them by the family, local customs, the culture, and popular piety. This order of celebration is common to all the liturgical traditions and comprises four principal elements: 

 Reflecting and meditating 

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 1687) The greeting of the community. A greeting of faith begins the celebration. Relatives and friends of the deceased are welcomed with a word of "consolation" (in the New Testament sense of the Holy Spirit's power in hope) (Cf. 1 Thess 4:18). The community assembling in prayer also awaits the "words of eternal life." The death of a member of the community (or the anniversary of a death, or the seventh or fortieth day after death) is an event that should lead beyond the perspectives of "this world" and should draw the faithful into the true perspective of faith in the risen Christ. (CCC 1688) The liturgy of the Word during funerals demands very careful preparation because the assembly present for the funeral may include some faithful who rarely attend the liturgy, and friends of the deceased who are not Christians. The homily in particular must "avoid the literary genre of funeral eulogy" (OCF 41) and illumine the mystery of Christian death in the light of the risen Christ.

(This question: What is the purpose of a Christian funeral? is continued)

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