"Quite a slice of my life as a priest has gone into funeral ministry, from the old days when the ritual was virtually all in Latin, except for the prayers and gospel reading at the graveside, to the now more fully developed rites in the vernacular.
"One has witnessed enormous change for the better. The specimen homilies in this book are in response to repeated requests. One hopes that would-be homilists will take advantage of the larger scenario provided here, the lengthy commentary on the funeral rites, the possibilities for evangelization both in preaching and in the conduct of the ritual itself, sensitivity in the choice of readings for the funerals of particular individuals, and the topic of the month of November, with its fresh and exciting approach to eschatology.
"We bring more than the externals of the rite to funeral celebrations. We bring ourselves, together with our assimilation of the Word of God and of the underlying theology of the rite. We bring sensitivity, a sense of prayer and compassion. Even though we are celebrating death, paradoxically, we can bring faith alive." - from the preface by Elfin Griffin, 0. Carm.
Table of Contents
Preface vii Part 1 Pastoral Practice Making the Most of the Order of Christian Funerals 2 Celebrating Funerals in the United States 20 Funerals and Evangelization 36 November: Uniting Memory and Imagination in Hope 40 Part 2 Sample Homilies Death of an Older Person 48 Death of a Young Person 64 Death of a Child 91 Death of a Parent 93 Death of a Single Person 105 Tragic Death 107 Death after a Long Illness 120 Death of an Autistic Youth 125 Death of an Unbeliever 128 The Contributors 131
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