Monday, February 13, 2012

The Order For the Burial of the Dead

I don't want to spoil last night's episode of Downton Abbey Season 2 on PBS, but there is a scene in a cemetery. The vicar is saying the words of committal, and as the scene is set in 1919 he is using the Church of England's Order For the Burial of the Dead from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. I found myself saying these classic words along with the actor, in the 350th anniversary year of the prayer book:
Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to receive unto himself the soul of our dear sister here departed: we therefore commit her body to the ground: 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 mortal body that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.

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