The commemoration of the deceased and present society: there is still an idea of ​​Christian burial in his ecclesial aspect?

Authors guests of Patmos Island

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THE COMMEMORATION OF THE DEAD AND THE COMPANY CURRENT: THERE IS STILL AN IDEA OF HER APPEARANCE IN NECROPOLIS CHRISTIAN CHURCH?

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In contemporary society, death is increasingly demonized, exorcised by building real "dormitory" districts through the creation of "columbarium" all equal to each other, the huge apartment blocks with lifts, the mechanism of which seems to disturb the sleep of the dead, where they capture the most devastating aspects of an inhuman and sad loneliness, Reflux of a corporate mechanism now more devoted to the series, which the substance or the voice of the heart.

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Author Licia Oddo *
Author
Licia Oddo *

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Again Coming after glory
judge the living and the dead,
th CDK reign ESTA fee [1]

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Resurrection-the-tempera-cm-50-x-35-copy
Resurrection of Christ (1966) in the painting of Quirino De Ieso [tempera, cm.50X35)

Jesus tells us: "Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming when all who are in the graves shall hear his voice and come forth: those who have done good to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation " [cf. GV 5, 28-29]. And yet Jesus said in a previous track: "The dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who have listened live» [cf. GV 5, 25]. To follow with the Apocalypse in which it is written: "Those who" heed ", or obey, the instructions they receive after they are resurrected will have their names written in “scroll of life”» [AP 20, 12-13].

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crater-of-Eufronio-ypnos-and-Thanatos-the-sleep-and-death
Crater Eufronio, depicting ypnos e thanatos, sleep and death [Etruscan-Roman museum of Cerveteri]

The sleep of death It makes a man impotent entity, silent before the inexorable occurrence scientific and rationalistic, but fortunately comforting to human memory and expanded into both poetry, the epigraph, is the artistic representation rescues the perpetuation of individual identity of each of us. As well as the Evangelist John tells us, with the words of Christ, the deceased, It must be recognized as such, with their culture, their experience, with a mission, by "the funeral celebration or in memory" or the memory ensured epitaph; to then be finally, the death, defeated by the Risen Christ through the recognition of eternal life, through the resurrection of the body that makes us share in the resurrection of Christ.

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sergio-alessandro-Ughi-game-a-chess-with-the-dead-collection-cash-savings-to-ferrara
Sergio Alessandro Ughi, 1981: Chess game with Death [Collection of Ferrara Savings Bank]

The Evangelist John's warning is clear: the experience of man can not be forgotten for the multitude of writings, artifacts, works more vast and various intellectual and craft that we are accustomed to appreciate or not through books, newspapers, real cities and their, reveal that in addition to the mind, the presence of a soul and now the same media, inventions and technological equipment will make it almost perfect the same earthly existence. But we're so overly focused on living this life that we sometimes forget even be fatal. So one wonders how much more is the attention, the interest, care to their deceased are recognized as men of extraordinary ability or not, inclination, even after having lived this mortal life.

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Yet a distant time the man took care to confer "proper burial" to the dead, especially in Greek society witnessed by the Homeric poems in which the agonizing tension of a failure burial vitiated the soul's fate, he could reach his final home in the afterlife only when the body had received the honors and the rites of burial. Therefore their care for the custody of the corpse were equal to those of the soul and functional well-being of the latter to ensure the memory even through the centuries.

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Etruscan tomb-of-Pietrera-vetulonia
Etruscan tomb Pietrera a Vetulonia, in Maremma Grosseto

Since the origins of man's appearance on earth, styles and burial arrangements have contributed to the continuity of the "memory" funeral crossing the boundaries of time, and the cemetery (from greek κοιμητήριον resting place) as a place of eternal rest, involved and interested in different aspects of human life, from anthropology, the history of art to politics, to society, fashionable even, to find comfort and motivation to this eschatological sense in all of us. the burial, indeed, since ancient times has been expressed in many different ways through various forms and ways: from cremation to burial, taking shape structurally by sarcophagi, artificial cave tombs, tumulus, a cyst, to enchytrismos, symbolically linked to the various pagan religious beliefs and reaching in the Christian era by interment sprinkling of oils on the body that was covered by the shroud (linen sheet).

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basilica-san-isidoro-graves
Basilica Sant’Isidoro, Leon (Castile), the grave

The only watershed that has always distinguished the modus sepolturae even among Christians concerns the construction of tombs, which have been more or less decorated depending on the economic possibilities of the families, or rather sometimes stained the glorious events or distinctive in life characterized the deceased, within the framework of different historical periods. It is not yet negligible, mention the Byzantine period between the fourth and sixth centuries, when he proceeded to bury prominent figures, high priests, or lords of the city within the churches, asking the intercession of the martyrs buried there, through so-called burials the saints, such a distinctive feature of the society of which even became a fad. Only during the Napoleonic era, with the famous Edict of Saint Cloud 1804, then also extended to Italy, They forbade buildings cemetery inside the town, imposing their placement Extra moenia with tombstones all equal placed along the same wall.

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necropoli-pantalica
glimpse of the necropolis of Pantalica (Syracuse)

Veritable necropolis, cast of the living city will extend outside the towns, characterized by gardens, almost immense lush greenery of parks and tombstones planted therein by way of "stems" are, but not floral, but funeral. The cemetery is considered as an open air museum, witness to history, of a people, symbol of religious and social representation. Legacy of the latter is the contemporary cemetery no longer understood as a time, simply resting place but now more than ever the grave fulfills the functionality of a home for the deceased, abbellendone death, and proceeding to a schedule of necrophiliac landscape of family chapels that take the form of real houses, where not only there is space dedicatory to the memory of the late, but there shall be a celebration emphasized the economic and social role of the man who has disappeared.

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columbaria
columbarium of modern cemeteries

In contemporary society, death is increasingly demonized, exorcised by building real "dormitory" districts through the creation of "columbarium" all equal to each other, the huge apartment blocks with lifts, the mechanism of which seems to disturb the sleep of the dead, where they capture the most devastating aspects of an inhuman and sad loneliness, Reflux of a corporate mechanism now more devoted to the series, which the substance or the voice of the heart.

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"In the shadow of 'cypress and inside the urns comforted crying is perhaps the sleep of death less hard?», Ugo Foscolo poem recited in the "Tomb", and still Kafka, in his daily, complained: death is considered "cruel side of evil is an apparent end that produces a real pain». But today, what remains of these two precious "movements of the soul"? If it has even come to freeze the mortal remains through a complex process of cryo-melting to give life through the generative cycle mechanism to a vegetable, or even an unusual funeral home is able to produce "Memory diamonds" [CF. WHO] where human ashes are transformed into precious stones, to set and carry around for the human ambitions.

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dome-correggio-parma-resurrection-of-dead
Dome frescoed by Correggio in Parma Cathedral, depicting the resurrection of the dead

Here art there is very little, but still less than the spirit, because it is no longer contact the artist who realizes the marble or wooden tomb concentrating all his energies in the ornate design of punching or low reliefs from the deep meaning iconological, symbolic and spiritual, then store it in the mausoleum or the most elegant funerary chapel of the necropolis. Death is certainly always the same, but the man tries to exorcise it in a very different way, not giving it more the meaning of the memory of the man who was, as well as for centuries it has been used to remember, but his who will, ie a piece of mineral or a vegetable, depriving now even the next of the eschatological meaning of death itself, linked to a hope that is a certainty of faith: "I believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come", as we say in our Profession of Faith.

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* historian

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NOTE.

[1] He will come again in glory,
to judge the living and the dead,
His kingdom will have no end.

It will come again, in glory,
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

[ the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (381) ]

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One thought on "The commemoration of the deceased and present society: there is still an idea of ​​Christian burial in his ecclesial aspect?

  1. Memento mori.
    Ecclesiastes says: , “Vanity, et omnia vanitas”

    The latest works of mercy that the Church recommends that the believers are:
    among those corporal ” bury the dead”
    including spiritual ones “pray for the living and the dead”

    In this regard it should be noted the recent education “Ad resurgendum cum Christo”
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20160815_ad-resurgendum-cum-christo_it.html

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