For the first five years after her death I could barely get through Holy Saturday. Now this day is a very sacred and holy time for me. I say the liturgy of the day in her honor. What her burial service taught me is how great the pastoral needs of people are when a loved one dies and how much a careless attitude hurts and lasts.
That Joseph of Arimathea and maybe Nicodemus and certainly Mary Magdalene and the other Mary took gentle care of that bruised and wounded body, is a reminder to me to take gentle care of people who are grieving after a death. St. John's gospel tells us that Mary the mother of Jesus was given into the care of the Beloved Disciple, so some took care of the body and some took care of the grieving. I have no fear of dead bodies. Long ago when I was a hospital health physicist I had to occasionally visit the morgue and so lost my fear or repulsion. That really helped during my internship as a hospital chaplain. It is amazing how our life experiences all fit together to help us do what we are called to do now in our lives. Last year there were ten funerals or burials at our small congregation. No weddings and only two baptisms and those were grandchildren who lived away so will not be regular members. I tell people I greatly prefer to do a funeral than a wedding. I do love baptisms though. It's a reminder that as we die with Christ we also rise with him.