A grave marker of a couple is illuminated with a candle as a full moon shines through clouds on All Souls’ Day. The day, observed on Nov. 2, commemorates all the faithful who have died. CNS photo/Lisa Johnston, St. Louis Review

Death is not the final word

  • October 30, 2014

“In the sight of the world, he is now dead.” 

Those are some of my favourite words in the entire liturgy, pronounced in the rite of commendation at the end of a funeral Mass. I try to pronounce them slowly and solemnly, with an appropriate sense of finality — “he is now dead”. 

I look forward to them because they are utterly honest. No “passing away”, “he is still with us” or “in a better place.” The reality is that the deceased is, according to the lights of this world, dead. 

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