November is the month of Remembering: All Saints’, All Souls’, the Day of the Dead, Remembrance Day. We rejoice in the glory of the Saints in heaven, we give thanks and pray for our own loved ones departed, we mark the sacrifice of those who have lost their lives in conflict.
In this remembering, we become mindful too of our own mortality. Memento mori: remember that you will die. Our medieval forebears in the faith placed great emphasis on this, not least in view of the fragility of life in their day. Contemporary society tends to push the subject to one side, to avoid the conversation.
What then of us? As Christians, we trust that death is not the end, period, but a stage, a gateway, in our journey ever deeper into the mystery of the love of God. We approach death then with apprehension, certainly, but also with reverence and hope, confident that in that journey we shall be surrounded and supported by the love of God, and by the prayers of the Church on earth and in heaven.
This remembering reminds us that there are practical arrangements we should all make, to assist our families and loved ones when the time comes:
- Make the necessary Powers of Attorney/Living Will
- Make a Will
- Note down that you wish to receive the Last Rites, the anointing and prayers of commendation
- Note down your wishes for your funeral (the clergy/parish office can help here)
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us new birth into a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!’
(1 Peter 1:3)