Prayer of Commendation

"The Christian meaning of death is revealed in the light of the Paschal Mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Christ in whom resides our only hope. The Christian who dies in Christ Jesus is 'away from the body and at home with the Lord'. "The rite of committal, the conclusion of the funeral rites, is the final act of the community of faith in caring for the body of its deceased member. It may be celebrated at the grave, tomb, or crematorium and may be used for burial at sea. Whenever possible, the rite of committal is to be celebrated at the site of committal, that is, beside the open grave or place of internment, rather than at a cemetery chapel.

Two forms of the rite of committal are provided here: “Rite of Committal” and “Rite of Committal with Final commendation.” The first form is used when the final commendation is celebrated as part of the conclusion of the funeral liturgy. The second form is used when the final commendation does not take place during the funeral liturgy or when no funeral liturgy precedes the committal rite.

In committing the body to its resting place, the community expresses the hope that, with all those who have gone before marked with the sign of faith, the deceased awaits the glory of the resurrection. The rite of committal is an expression of the communion that exists between the Church on earth and the Church in heaven: the deceased passes with the farewell prayers of the community of believers into the welcoming company of those who need faith no longer but see God face to face.

History

A commendation ceremony (commendatio) is a formal ceremony that evolved during the Early Medieval period to create a bond between a lord and his fighting man, called his vassal (Latin vassus). The first recorded ceremony of commendatio was in 7th century France, but the relationship of vassalage was older, and predated even the medieval formulations of a noble class. The lord's "man" ("vassal" comes from a Celtic word for "boy") might be born unfree, but the commendatio freed him. (See Vassal).

When two men entered into a feudal relationship, they underwent a ceremony known as commendation ceremony. The purpose of the commendation was to make a chosen person a vassal of a lord. The commendation ceremony is composed of two elements, one to perform the act of homage and the other an oath of fealty. In some countries, such as the Kingdom of Sicily, the commendation ceremony came to be referred to as investiture

 

 

The Prayer

Go forth, Christian soul, from this world
in the name of God the almighty Father,
who created you,
in the name of Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
who suffered for you,
in the name of the Holy Spirit,
who was poured out upon you,
go forth, faithful Christian.

May you live in peace this day,
may your home be with God in Zion,
with Mary, the Virgin Mother of God,
with Joseph, and all the Angels and Saints.

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