Saturday, 4 November 2017

Planning ahead

November, the month of the Holy Souls, confronts us, sometimes uncomfortably, with our own mortality. Like most priests, I have occasionally been saddened when non-practising relatives of faithful Catholics have arranged funeral rites for their loved ones which do not reflect the faith of the one who has died. This is rarely, if ever done, from any bad will. Rather it is a result of not knowing what is appropriate, or being uncertain what their loved one would have wanted.

We can help those who are left by leaving clear written instructions which reflect our Christian faith and hope. Cardinal Vincent Nichols has provided this simple but comprehensive pro forma to help us do this. I commend this important, if challenging, exercise to you at this appropriate time of year.