Catholic World News

Pope reflects on burying the dead, prayer for the living and the dead

November 30, 2016

Concluding his series of Wednesday catechetical addresses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his November 30 general audience to burying the dead and praying for the living and the dead.

“The last of the corporal works of mercy, burying the dead, is not untimely, when we think of the many people who risk their lives in order to give decent burial to the victims of war and armed conflict in various parts of our world,” the Pope said to those gathered in Paul VI Audience Hall, according to the official English-language synthesis of his remarks.

“Like Joseph of Arimathea, who offered his own tomb for the burial of Jesus, we Christians devoutly bury our dead in hope of the resurrection,” he continued.

Pope Francis then spoke about “the last of the spiritual works of mercy, praying for the living and the dead,” which he described as “especially meaningful in this month of November, when we commemorate all the faithful departed.”

The Pope added:

Prayer for the living and the dead is an eloquent expression of the communion of saints. Let us open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, who knows our deepest desires and hopes, and embrace in our prayer all those in any kind of need. May the corporal and spiritual works of mercy on which we have meditated throughout the Holy Year continue to inspire and guide our Christian lives on the path of God’s mercy.


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  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Dec. 01, 2016 9:16 AM ET USA

    I thought immediately of the new Texas law requiring babies aborted (in abortion centers) to be properly buried - not flushed down the toilet or tossed out with the garbage going to the landfill.