Category Archives: Grief

Homecoming: The Guest of Honor

Although, as homilists, we are admonished to make the Pascal mystery the focus of the homily. While that’s a good general hermaneutic for the Sunday homily, bridging the Liturgy of the Word with the Liturgy of the Eucharist, my bereavement … Continue reading

Posted in Commendation, Committal, Compassion, Family Interview, Grief, Holy Scripture, Homecoming, Hope, Interfaith Chaplain, Memory, Prodigal Son, Psalm 42, Psalms, Safely Home, Spirtuality, Sudden Death, Theology, Unfinished Business | Leave a comment

EdOp: A Life Should Be Celebrated

Very frequently we have to re-educate our colleagues in the funeral services profession that every family, every loved one who has died, deserves some form of spirituality in their final farewells. I’ve commented on that aspect of my chaplaincy ministry … Continue reading

Posted in Arrangements, Bereavement, Celebrate Life, Celebration of Life, Compassion, Conversion, Cremation Service, Culture, Death, Ear of the Heart, Empathy, Family Interview, Fulfilled in Your Hearing, Funeral Homily, Funeral Service, Grief, Holy Scripture, Homiletics, Hope, Interfaith, Interfaith Chaplain, Lectio divina, Listening, Memorial Service, Metanoia, Preaching the Mystery of Faith, Sensitivity, Sermon, Spirtuality, Tradition | Leave a comment

Culture and Tradition: What unites a family.

The Homilist Cannot Ignore Culture and Tradition When serving a large Italian family: four generations, 8 children, 17 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren, and a chapel filled to overflowing, we become acutely aware that something really big is afoot, and it’s called tradition. … Continue reading

Posted in Bereavement, Committal, Culture, Death, Family Interview, Funeral Service, Grief, Holy Scripture, Homiletics, Italian, Matriarch, Poem, Poetry, Psalm 23, Safely Home, Shepherd, St Francis of Assisi, Sunflower, The Lord is my Shepherd, Theology, Tradition | Leave a comment

A Murder Victim: Giving Meaning to the Senseless

An expected death, when it finally happens, is traumatic. Sudden death by accident is even more traumatic because it tears one out of the bounds of normal, it deletes any notion of security or control; it’s a rude awakening to … Continue reading

Posted in Bereavement, Blended Family, Cremation Service, Funeral Service, Grief, Holy Scripture, Homiletics, Islam, Memorial Service, Murder, Quran | Leave a comment

EdOp: On the homilist’s listening skills.

Many of our readers are pastoral or spiritual care providers, and only some actually have the opportunity to teach or to preach in a formal way, that is, by way of sermons or homilies. Share the Link to Our New … Continue reading

Posted in Bereavement, Death, Family Interview, Funeral Service, Grief, Holy Scripture, Homiletics, Initial Interview, Lectio continua, Lectio divina, Listen with your heart, Listening, Memorial Service | Leave a comment

Of Quilts and Love

A common thread that runs through my homilies is the importance of bringing the assembly’s spirituality and core beliefs, their values, their shared experiences into a palpable and livable relation with Holy Scripture. By doing this, I believe I go … Continue reading

Posted in 2 Corinthians, Bereavement, Death, Funeral Service, Grief, Holy Scripture, Homiletics, Longevity, Memorial Service, Psalm 90, Quilt, St Paul | Leave a comment

Suicide. Will God Forget Him?

Suicide. W. takes his own life. Where do we go with this. How do we approach such a traumatic death? How do we approach the family’s confusion, anger, despair? I am fortunate that I have made suicide a subject of … Continue reading

Posted in Bereavement, Cremation Service, Death, Funeral Service, Grief, Homiletics, Memorial Service, Stigma, Suicide, Traumatic Death | Leave a comment

“And Jesus Wept.” (Jn 11:35)

There are times when, at the family’s specific request, the service must be kept “simple.” With experience that simple word “simple” takes on a special meaning for the officiant, and may indicate that the family is very modest in their … Continue reading

Posted in Death, Funeral Service, Grief, Holy Scripture, Homiletics, Simplicity, Traumatic Death | Leave a comment

Alzheimer’s Death: Reframing for Meaning

Alzheimer’s Death: Reframing for Positive Meaning The ego is the great comparer. It’s what frequently separates us from the Other, from others, and frequently from our true selves. The ego is a hardliner for self-preservation and will do practically anything … Continue reading

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Bereavement, Death, Dementia, Funeral Service, Grief, Holy Scripture, Homiletics, Memory | Leave a comment