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Bishop’s Note: The Casting of Earth
Dear brothers and sisters,

I pray that this Bishop’s Note finds you safe and well this third week of Eastertide! This week we continue our discussion of the Burial Rite in the 2019 Book of Common Prayer. As we did last week, today we will continue to look at the Committal, this time focusing on the casting of earth on the coffin.

This is one of the parts of the service that is so simple, the casting of earth, but can be so meaningful. One funeral in particular I did at the start of my ministry involved this, and I still hear from the family how meaningful that part was to them.

This act and prayer present a fascinating juxtaposition of our identities as human beings. It begins with the casting and those words, “we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” We are part of creation. Adam was literally created from the earth, and it’s in death that we return to it. It should give us pause and make us reflect on our need for humility. We’re creatures of earth and nothing compared to God. We can never hope to earn a place near him.

But that’s immediately followed up by the beautiful blessing given by God to Moses for his brother Aaron who is the father of the priestly line known as the Levites from Numbers 6, “The Lord bless him and keep him, the Lord make his face to shine upon him and be gracious unto him, the Lord lift up his countenance upon him and give him peace.” We are created from the earth and we should be humble, but we’re created and called to something far greater than ourselves or what we could do on our own, intimacy with God. The same thing is echoed in the other prayer, “through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our perishable body, that it may be like his own glorious body.” Even in the midst of sorrow we as Christians have something glorious to hope for.

I hope you all have a blessed Fourth Sunday of Easter!
Then, while earth is cast upon the coffin, the Officiant says these words
In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to Almighty God our brother N., and we commit his body to the ground [or the deep or its resting place]; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The Lord bless him and keep him, the Lord make his face to shine upon him and be gracious unto him, the Lord lift up his countenance upon him and give him peace. Amen.

Or this
Forasmuch as it has pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother [or this beloved child], here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground [or the deep or its resting place]; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our perishable body, that it may be like his own glorious body, according to the mighty working of his Spirit, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself. Amen.
San Joaquin Anglican
Calendar
April 25
Good Shepherd Sunday
Bishop Eric @ St. Mark

April 26
The Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist

April 28
​East/West Deanery Clericus

May 1
The Feast of Ss. Philip and James

May 2
Bishop @ Holy Cross and Our Lady of Guadalupe

May 8
Commission on Ministry Meeting

May 9
Bishop @ Christ Church Reno

May 10-12
Rogation Days

May 11
Rural Deans Meeting

May 13
Ascension Day

May 15
Standing Committee Meeting

May 16
Bishop @ Holy Cross and Our Lady of Guadalupe

May 17-19
ACNA West Annual Meeting

May 18
Central Deanery Clericus and Northern Deanery Clericus

May 19
Southern Deanery Clericus

May 20
Bishop @ Nashotah House Commencement

May 21
The Ordination of Jack Franicevich to the Diaconate

May 23
The Day of Pentecost
Bishop @ Saint James and Our Lady of Guadalupe

May 26, 28, 29
Ember Days

May 26
Diocesan Clergy Zoom Meeting
East West Deanery Clericus Meeting

May 30
Trinity Sunday
Bishop @ St. Mark

May 31
The Feast of the Visitation
Memorial Day
Diocesan Office Closed






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Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin · 1300 East Shaw Avenue #123 · Fresno, CA 93710 · USA

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