If there is one thing we natives of rural northeast Missouri know how to
do, we know how to "do funeral." One of the greatest comforts in this
life--but only if we choose to ride with it--is the small town funeral.
I remember during the 14 years I lived in Columbia, going to funerals
and visitations was a somber, sterile activity.
of the funny sidelights of owning a chiminea (and Facebooking about
making fires in it on a frequent basis) is that I have kind of become
the "Parish incinerator for holy objects." Things like slightly
"off-smelling" chrism, leftover blessed palm fronds, or worn out
corporals or altar linens seem to find their way into my chiminea to be
burned. I think part of it is folks in my parish know I love to burn
stuff, and they also know my fire-sitting spot is, at least to me, a
One of the problems with moving forward is that there are times that require looking back--and not with nostalgia.
I was recently visiting with a friend who is a Vietnam veteran, describing "then" and "now."
described it like this: "When I came home, I sort of put all that
stuff in a package. You know, when I was in country, we always said
"When I get back to the world, I'm gonna...etc. etc." It was sort of
like Vietnam was "another world."
In September 2010, four gay children died from bullying. Children are
being bullied, tormented and abused for many different reasons, and
there is a distinct upswing on bullying in our schools. Please take
this to prayer with me.
Support the Christian Century
The Century's work relies primarily on subscriptions and donations. Thank you for supporting nonprofit journalism.