Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Holy dying means holy living

One part of All Souls Day is to take account of our own mortality. When I think about dying a holy death, I see more clearly the need to live a holy life. There are so many beautiful prayers from the burial office in the Prayer Book. Here is one of my favorites--for both the eloquence of its prose and its expressions of truth.

O God, whose days are without end, and whose mercies cannot be numbered: Make us, we beseech thee, deeply sensible of the shortness and uncertainty of life; and let thy Holy Spirit lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days; that, when we shall have served thee in our generation, we may be gathered unto our fathers, having the testimony of a good conscience; in the communion of the Catholic Church; in the confidence of a certain faith; in the comfort of a reasonable, religious, and holy hope; in favor with thee our God; and in perfect charity with the world. All which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer, pg. 489)

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