Friday, March 18, 2011

Mini Funerals

I went to seminary at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, a few miles north of Pittsburgh.

One day I, reading the Beaver County Times,  there was an story on a local woman who had attended her own funeral!

She'd gone to see the local funeral director, arranged the service, and invited all her friends to come to her funeral.  She thought it would be a shame to have everybody come once she'd died since she wouldn't get to see them. 

It was a funny story. But as I read, it dawned on me that we hold funeral services for the living all the time in many churches. We baptize people claiming that they have died with Christ. In fact each baptism is a funeral service. In Holy Communion, we claim to celebrate Jesus death until he returns. We are once again seeking to share in his death, and share in his resurrection.

At baptism we offer the old self to God, the self that is spiritually dead, and whose body will someday die. And we ask to be put to death with Jesus, so that we may also accompany him at the Resurrection.  Each baptism is in fact a funeral of that old self.

So, it may be that you've already attended a funeral for yourself and just didn't know it.

Enjoy your mini-funerals each time you get to attend.  Peace.

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