Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 16 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cornelius and Cyprian

“Many Travelers, One Journey”: Archdiocese of Newark’s Video on Catholic Funerals

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 01/28/16

This is an interesting effort from the Archdiocese of Newark, posted recently on YouTube: a six-minute video that gives some explanation and catechesis regarding the Order of Christian Funerals.

Take a look:

Unfortunately, as laudable as this effort may be, I think this was a missed opportunity. The production values are good (though, frankly, scripted and stagey) and the subject is sensitively handled, but I don’t think it adds much to what most lay Catholics probably already know about the funeral ritual. And it’s unclear what the purpose or intended audience for this video might be. Someone planning a funeral? RCIA? Funeral directors? It raises more questions than it answers.

Left unaddressed, for example: why this is a moment to pray for the dead, not celebrate them; why it’s inappropriate to canonize the departed during the funeral; why we don’t have eulogies during the funeral; why we shouldn’t think of the deceased as “another angel in heaven”; why priests sometimes wear black for funerals; what the Church teaches about “cremains”; and who may or may not receive a Catholic funeral.  These are things many people in the pews don’t understand, and some clarity here would have been welcome and helpful.   (The concept is a bit muddled, too; after viewing a casket, we suddenly see for the first time an urn, which is a distraction crying out for explanation—or continuity in need of consistency.)

As it stands, this is a thoughtful meditation on how we bury our dead, and why. But a little more thought, and information, would have added a lot more value and had greater impact.

Photo: Wikipedia

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
CELEBRITIES
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
2
communion
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
3
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
4
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
5
Mychal Judge
John Burger
The priests of 9/11
6
CROSS
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More