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Remember your death: A memento mori playlist


Sr. Theresa Aletheia Noble - published on 09/24/17

If you cannot keep a skull on your desk, you might want to keep these tunes in your earbuds.

Two months ago, in the ancient Christian tradition of remembering one’s death in order to live well, I got a skull for my desk. (It’s ceramic!)

The Latin motto “memento mori” or “remember you are to die” has inspired my days for only a short amount of time but I can honestly say already that it has changed my life. I’ve written more fully about my experience here.

On social media, many people have responded positively to my journey with this spiritual practice and have shared pictures of the skulls they have bought for their own desks. But others have asked if there is anything else that they can do to remember their deaths. One person wrote, “I can’t have a skull on my desk at work, everyone already thinks I’m odd!”

There are other things that you can do to remember your death in order to live well. You can look at a crucifix every day, say a prayer for a good death, or carry around a memento mori coin.

Or you can listen to good music.

Inspired by the suggestion of a friend on Twitter, I have put together a Memento Mori Playlist that you can listen to anywhere. The song suggestions were crowd-sourced from lots of different people with different backgrounds so there is a variety of music and genres. If you only listen to classical music, this playlist is not for you. Also, although not all of these songs are from a Christian perspective, I tried to make sure they are not opposed to the Christian view of death.

I hope you enjoy this Memento Mori Playlist, which contains music from artists as disparate as Death Cab for Cutie, Blind Willie Johnson, Linkin Park and Johnny Cash. And when you listen to it, remember that one day you will die. May it be a good death that leads you to the arms of Jesus.

Also, if you listen to this playlist at work and a coworker walks up to you and asks, “What are you listening to?” be sure to say, “I’m listening to music that reminds me that I will die I know not when — how’s your day going?”

Listen HERE.

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