As a youngster, I would stand in respect as the hearse went by, whether I knew the corpse or not. It was masterfully built, black that had been polished to the richest gloss, and harness on the horse equal to it. The driver in our Parish was Fitsy Simmons, who cared for the church property, and he was dressed appropriately.
Within that hearse was a body that lay in a cedar coffin, and it was usually bedecked with flowers. I certainly did not expect that one day I would be conducting funeral after funeral; I just knew that some family had experienced death, and that a decent burial was being carried out in an appropriate manner. Even in my childish and carefree life, the individual deserved a properly conducted funeral, and I was not about to do other than show my respect.
Death itself is not always dignified these days. Day after day we learn of people entering eternity future in the most cruel and inhumane ways. Respect for each other has long passed, and even a procession is treated by a significant number as a nuisance. We are treated like another object on the manifest being ticked off.
Here is something I read again of recent…
Do you ever think, as a hearse goes by,
That someday even you may die?
You’ll ride along in that big black hack
With never a thought of turning back!
You scrimp and slave, a fortune to save,
But you lose it all when you go to the grave,
For if life were a thing that money could buy
All the rich would live and the poor would die.
So why do you struggle and sweat and strain
When all of your efforts will be in vain?
Your date with death you can’t postpone
No matter how much of this world you own.
So why not let the Savior be
Your Lord and live for eternity!
As we face death, and it could be momentarily, be prepared!
Jesus died for you and me—He left an invitation, a personal plea,
“Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I Will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)