Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Walther, 1906. Chapter 37, “The Christian Funeral and Burial”

Chapter 37, “The Christian Funeral and Burial” (pp. 226-230)

In this chapter Walther focuses on the pastor’s concerns at a funeral. He sees it as primary that the Christian “receive an orderly, honorable, and Christian burial” (p. 226). This will likely include a procession, hymns, prayers, reading of Scripture, and preaching. Because of the setting it is important to conduct a funeral in accord with community traditions.

In general (p. 227) Walther objects to cremation and embalming, as most Christians have considered the body naturally returns to the earth. A burial should be done publicly, in daylight.

Walther makes it clear (pp. 229-230) that a Christian funeral is for Christians. The pastor is not obligated to provide a Christian funeral for those who were unbelieving.

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