(Editor’s note: Deacon Frank Agnoli presents the 14th and final article in his series on the healing sacraments. He is director of liturgy and of deacon formation for the Davenport Diocese.)
As mentioned in last week’s column, the Catholic way of celebrating funerals consists of three core rites: the vigil, the funeral and the committal. This sequence of rites — one liturgy in three stations — is indeed one of the most remarkable achievements of the liturgical reform. Why? Because in its very structure — three stations separated by processions — it mirrors the journey of life and the journey of grief. It is structured like a lament, and thus helps mourners not only express their grief but also begin the journey of integration.
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