Thursday, July 22, 2010

Funeral Pall

 "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ"
Galatians 3:27

In the weeks following Amelia's diagnosis
we were given several special gifts.
This baptismal onesie was one of them.

On Amelia's baptism day
we will not have a chance to dress her
in this sweet white garment,
but she will be clothed in a different way.
She will be Clothed in Christ.

Mount Olive has a special funeral tradition. That tradition is the covering of the casket with a cloth called a pall. As you can imagine, the funeral pall typically used at Mount Olive is far to large for our itty bitty Amelia. So, rather than the pall, we have chosen to use this baptismal clothing to cover her casket.
I think it will work perfectly.

I found some historical background on the tradition of a funeral pall I thought I would share for those of you that may be unfamiliar...

A pall is simply a large cloth that covers the casket. Centuries ago, when the pall was first used, it was generally black, the color of death and mourning. In Scotland the black pall was called a "mort-cloth"; it was used to cover the bodies of the poor who could not afford caskets. In the Netherlands, even the horses that drew the hearse were draped with a black pall.
Today, palls are usually white. As part of the liturgical renewal that has followed Vatican II, the primary emphasis in Catholic funerals has moved from mourning the death to expressing hope in the resurrection. Other communions as well have adopted liturgies that resonate with the promise that all who are baptized into Christ have "clothed themselves" with Christ, and that all who are buried with Christ in baptism will be raised with him in newness of life. Palls are often adorned with Christian symbols that focus on Christ and on the resurrection.

The pall helps the congregation focus on the worship of God and the hope of the resurrection.

The white color of the pall reminds those assembled of their faith in the resurrection and further symbolizes putting on the robe of Christ's righteousness in baptism. It is especially appropriate to recall baptism— the beginning of a Christian life—as the body of someone who has faithfully served Christ during life enters the church for the last time.

Amelia will more than likely enter the church only once in her time with us.
On that day she will be covered by this onesie
used as a baptismal pall.
It will remind us all of our baptism day
and the hope of new life in the resurrection of our Lord.
Amelia will be clothed in this onsie
on the day of her funeral
just as she will be clothed in Christ


AmyV said...

The onesie is a great idea for the pall. Its adorable, and so very tiny. Finding it hard to type words of comfort that will help, when I know posting this must be very difficult. Hugs.

Jennifer said...

I know how difficult it is to plan a funeral for your child who is alive and kicking inside of your belly. Oh Lord, I pray the peace that passes all understanding would surround this sweet family. Not the peace of the world but your peace. Let not their hearts be afraid or troubled. Scoop them in your arms and love them like only you can.

pennynjon said...

Praying for you everyday!

Stephanie Patzer said...

Throwing Hugs and Air Kisses your family's way. Thinking of you as you await Miss Amelia's arrival! I love your blog, I always am touched and educated by your wonderful eloquence. You need to take this blog to a book, so many women would gain such insight about the joys of pregnancy and the gift that it is!

Unknown said...

I think its a great idea and I like the hope of resurrection. Will be thinking of you this week.

many hugs

Unknown said...

I didn't really know about the pall so thanks for explaining about it.