Thursday, January 13, 2011

Onto Eternal Life

For the past 10 years or so many of our sisters have chosen cremation instead of the traditional casket burial. If you've never been to a burial service with cremains, I think you would find it---obviously quite different---but much more personal and participative.

Even though I have been to quite a few now, I still find them extremely moving and, as I said above, a fitting and very personal finale to the death and burial rituals celebrating the life of one of our sisters.

Yesterday, we had another one and the experience was the same, albeit in 4-5" of freshly fallen snow. One of our sisters reminded me of a beautiful book in our library with photos and meditations by the Trappist Thomas Merton, many of which were taken in their cemetery in the winter, too. Our scenario was very similar.

These photos really don't do any justice to the experience, but you may get a little idea of the intimacy of the occasion, as 15-20 of us huddled together, and offered prayers and song to accompany our sister into eternal life. All of us were also able to both bless the urn and add a shovel-full of soil to her resting place. It is a very special and memorable experience.

See our community's website here for a statement from the LCWR/CMSM on the Tucson, AZ tragedy.