Philosophy of Sacramental Initiation by Holy Order of MANS
The funeral ceremony, as we have said earlier, is not actually a sacrament, but rather is a ceremony that we use to comfort the relatives and friends of the deceased. To consign the remains of the elements of the body into the bosom of earth back to their original source, and also to help the being on his way if he still happens to be remaining near the body and near the vibration of earth.
The funeral ceremony is actually an interim rite, a temporary ceremony that we use now, because the world is in transition between the old age and the new age. In the new age we will not have this kind of thing. So, in reality this ceremony is in effect for only a very short time. It is something that we use during this transitional period. This is why we give the priest simply a general guideline on how to proceed, which is in the ritual book and not a formal and exact rite to be used.
The general guidelines on a funeral ceremony given in the ritual book need not be repeated here because they are complete enough for an understanding of any priest, even one who has never performed a funeral ceremony. Simply follow the guidelines as given and you will find that your ceremony will move smoothly and you will give guidance and instruction to those who have come to pay the respects to the dead. You will also be able to help the person who has gone through transition himself if he is still within the vicinity.
Here again you will need a certain degree of spiritual sight because when you approach the bier at the end of the ceremony, after all the other people have left the chapel, and you take a look at the body you will see whether or not the person is still hanging around. If he is, you pass your hand across the body, and you cut all ties with earth sending him on his way. You contact those of the Brothers and the Host to receive this soul as he rises upward to meet them.
If the body is to be buried there should be no ceremony at the grave site with the exception of a simple dedication of the elements back into the bosom of nature and of the earth with the understanding that the soul of the being is no longer present. We are merely thanking the Creator for the use of the elements of the physical vehicle.
The body should be held for three days before interment or cremation because during this three-day period the soul will undergo a complete retrospection of his entire life. It would be especially wise to keep mourning down to a minimum during this time because the soul should give his full attention to the retrospection and not be distracted by the sorrow and the distress of the mourners.
It is best to emphasize as much as you can to those remaining that this ceremony is to be a ceremony of joy, to be a kind of celebration and not a ceremony of grief or bereavement. However, you should keep in mind the relative state of understanding or consciousness of the mourners and not over-emphasize something that they do not understand.
Sometime before the actual occasion go to the funeral director and tell them you do things a little differently. Ask that the coffin be left open till most of those present at the rites have left.
Try to enter directly through a hallway or something to the podium, not mingling with the crowd.
At closing, give a prayer of blessing at the bier. Remember the person is alive, not dead. Give a prayer of blessing and send him on his way. Talk to him.
The silver cord was broken at "death" but it is natural for the soul to stick next to the body it has lived in until it gets used to the other world. Prepare him for his journey.
After the crowd has left, with only those who were close to the deceased remaining with you, speak a private blessing with those who were close. After the blessing ask that the coffin be closed then, while they are there, and make sure you pass your hand over the coffin to release the soul from the body.
The soul has already gone through retrospection and the pattern of his life just past and its karma have been imprinted on his soul. You are taking on nothing by asking that the Brothers guide this soul.
The average person is not prepared to go over there. He has to learn. This is why a priest is so important, if he understands the consciousness and the reality of this. You can't possibly reach something with the Self until you know it's there, and you won't know it's there until you accept it.
If they insist on burial and you have to go to the grave, you consecrate the "matter" not the person, who has already been sent on.
You are working with Reality and Power. You are functioning with it, and what you do is real. What you see "out there" is nothing. It is only a tool. The Reality is on the other side of this. This "world" is just a passing fantasy.
This life is such a small part of the reality of the whole as to be almost insignificant. Your work here is spent in preparation for that. If you stop looking in the mirror and thinking that the reflection you see is you, you have gained real consciousness.
There is only one security and that security lies in your consciousness with the Power of God. All this dense matter offers no security whatever.
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