Friday, April 18, 2008

Krister Stendahl: the Commendation, and a note on gifts

An old and dear friend scanned the program from Krister's funeral, which was this morning, and sent it to me. The memorial service will be in a month and this was the more intimate (though packed) Lutheran service with family.

Here is the Commendation from today's liturgy:

My sisters and brothers, we have been gathered here around
*****this dead body,
what is left to us of this man, to pay our last respects to him
and to seek to do some justice to his life and death.
Keeping our eyes fixed on the cross of Jesus Christ
we say in groping faith that this is not the end,
that our God is a God of the living.

Rather than his body
we will finally be left with the name of this man, Krister,
which we speak with reverence and affection.
Lord God, remember this name which he was given by
***** other people
and by which he is known even though he is dead,
the name that you have written on the palm of your hand. Amen.

As a sign of our hope and to bear witness to our faith in
*****the resurrection,
I bless this body
in the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.

Let us now go in peace.
We let him go out of our keeping
and return him to the elements of air and earth, in the care of
*****the living God.
May our prayers accompany him,
and may we remember that, as the apostle wrote,
no one lives for herself, no one dies for herself.
We live and we die for God our Lord, and we are the Lord's.

I have kept updating the post from Tuesday with various obituaries and tributes. The latest comes from the World Council of Churches. There are also links at the bottom of that post for the two organizations to which friends may make memorial gifts, the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter and the International Rescue Committee. The family has requested this in lieu of flowers and in honor of Krister's memory.

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