We had a funeral at Peace last Saturday and there were a couple of things we did that you might not know the meaning of. First is the pall. If there is a casket, the pall is a large piece of fabric with a cross on it that covers the entire thing. If there is an urn, the piece of fabric is much smaller. Once the casket or urn enters the worship space, the pall is placed by the family. This signifies two things. First is that the person who died is a baptized child of God. The second thing is that it levels the playing field. No matter if you have a wooden box or a solid gold casket, we are all equal in God’s sight.
The second thing we do is light the Paschal candle. It’s the large white one that normally stands next to the baptismal font. The candle represents the mystery that happened during Passover in the book of Exodus. God told Moses to have the Israelites paint the blood of a pure lamb over the doorposts of their homes. That night as the last plague in Egypt to persuade Pharoah to release his slaves occured, the angel of death would kill the first born of every household. The lamb’s blood is what saved the people from death. That directly transfers to us. It is the blood of a pure Lamb… Jesus… who saves us from death as well! We celebrate that every Easter by lighting the Paschal candle every Sunday in the Easter season. We also light it for baptisms and funerals. Once again to signify that this person is a baptized child of God.
So, there you have it… another episode of “Why do we do that?” is in the books!
See you Sunday!