April 17, 2007

THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD: RITE ONE

Before the massacre at Virginia Tech I had planned to build this week's Goat Rope around a biblical theme.

The post that I had planned to use for today was going to be about enriching it was for me (I now realize) to grow up in the Episcopal Church, where hearing the Bible and biblical language in the liturgy was a part of every service I was dragged to.

In the wake of yesterday's tragedy, I can think of nothing better to do than start with the biblical words that open the service of the burial of the dead:

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord;
he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live;
and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

I know that my Redeemer liveth,
and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth;
and though this body be destroyed, yet shall I see God;
whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold,
and not as a stranger.

For none of us liveth to himself,
and no man dieth to himself.
For if we live, we live unto the Lord.
and if we die, we die unto the Lord.
Whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord;
even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labors.


And the words of the committal:

In the midst of life we are in death;
of whom may we seek for succor,
but of thee, O Lord,
who for our sins art justly displeased?

Yet, O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty,
O holy and most merciful Savior,
deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts;
shut not thy merciful ears to our prayer;
but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty,
O holy and merciful Savior,
thou most worthy Judge eternal.
Suffer us not, at our last hour,
through any pains of death, to fall from thee.



It is a beautiful and dignified service, one that I hope to go out with. Here's the full rite from the Book of Common Prayer.

AS MOTHER JONES SAID, "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." We proceed.

PSYCHOLOGY AND TORTURE is the subject of this fascinating piece by Stephen Soldz via Common Dreams.

WHAT WE KNOW AND HOW. This latest piece of research by the Pew Center for the People and the Press suggests that changes in information technology haven't had much effect on what the public knows about current events or how they find out.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. FamiliesUSA is urging people to call the Senate this week and urge passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act. Look for more on this here soon.

2 comments:

Elipsos said...

Rick-

A fascinating link to Psychology and Torture, one I have forwarded to my everyone I know and one I have printed out and sent to my local representatives.

In a time when it seems we, as individuals can make little difference, this article again lights the sparks in me not to bow down to 'Democracy' In Action' re: the Bush administration, lest I too become 'The Good American,' feigning ignorance of injustice.

El Cabrero said...

That was a good one, wasn't it? Score a point for psychoanalysis!

Re: the current climate. I think the tide is turning and that people always have more power than we think we do, if only we can find the right time and way to apply it.

Thanks!