Everyone is faced with death sooner or later. However, it is not easy to talk about it…
We wanted to dismiss the death of our lives, and the funeral wakes with it. However, it is part of existence. The death of the people we love brings us back – sometimes brutally – to our human condition. But for us Catholics, our life does not end there. “Come to me, all you who labor under heavy burdens, and I will give you rest,” the Gospel of Matthew tells us. The vigil allows us to experience this beautiful vigilance: welcoming the One who never ceases to call us to move from darkness to light. Our faith allows us to speak of the deceased in the future tense. What Grace!
Do you need any special know-how to prepare a vigil?
I encourage all families to share this very simple moment, a time of testimony, prayer, silence and listening to the word of God. If necessary, you can get help from the parish funeral teams. Another possibility: propose this vigil at the church. Most often, the coffin – closed – arrives the day before the funeral celebration, around 5 p.m. A repository with flowers and candles is placed in a chapel; and the deceased remains in the church until the next day.
Should we anticipate his funeral wake?
As funeral habits have disintegrated, it is essential to pronounce one’s wishes on this subject. If you want a vigil, talk to your loved ones. This is the opportunity to indicate a particular text or song that you like, but above all to help them live this experience of death. I repeat it often: let us not be afraid of eternal life! The latter began during our baptism. We anticipate our wedding anniversaries well: why not eternal weddings? This is how we prepare our hearts for the resurrection.