Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, November 09, 2015

"The minister is ordered, from time to time....." - Rector's Rambling for November 8, 2015

Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of All Saints, and then remembered all the faithful departed with series of Requiem Masses on All Souls’ Day on Monday.  Throughout the rest of the week the collect for All Saints’ Day is recited at the Daily Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer, and the Holy Communion.  It is a major Feast Day, so it has an octave (8 days) of commemoration.  To some it seems morose to speak about death and dying, but it is actually an opportunity to remember that no one escapes death, and that death is not the end of our being alive to, and with, God.  Because of the Resurrection from the dead of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our faith (by Grace) in him, earthly death is not the end!
Having said all that above, I would be remiss if I did not follow this admonition from the Book of Common Prayer:
The Minister is ordered, from time to time, to advise the People whilst they are in health, to make Wills arranging for the disposal of their temporal goods, and, when of ability, to leave Bequests for religious and charitable uses.”
p. 320
Having a Will (or trust) relieves the family of unnecessary worry or concern about what goes where when you die.  Additionally, there can be a tax benefit in giving to the church or other charities in your estate planning.
But also, I would admonish you to make plans now for what you would like to have done with your mortal remains, as well as choices of hymns and type of Burial service you desire.  In the time of grief the family can be at ease knowing of your wishes in writing (and be sure that several family members have them).  Some people even pre-pay for their arrangements.
No one escapes earthly death.  The Good News is that Jesus Christ looks forward to welcoming you on the other side of the veil!