celebrating a life.
As family and friends gather for a Celebration of Life, we are afforded a rich opportunity to recall the promises of God through Christ as a community of hope. Because of His suffering, death, and resurrection to new life, each time we gather to worship upon the death of a loved one, we do so in the context of God's promise. Every Celebration of Life includes praising God in Christ who is our hope and our salvation, even as we remember the deceased and give thanks to God for the time shared with that person.
Lutheran Christians believe Jesus Christ’s bodily death and resurrection made everlasting life possible. We view death as another step in our life as children of God. Yet, Christians also experience death as a time of loss when sorrow, grief, and bereavement are both natural and appropriate. These two truths inform the Christian Celebration of Life and guide the church in its ministry with those who have lost a loved one to death, affirming both joy and tears that come in the promise and hope of the Good News of Jesus.
A Celebration of Life should be comforting to those who mourn, as well as bear witness to our faith in Jesus Christ and the promise of resurrection. The concern of gathered friends does minister to our grief but - above all else - it is a service of worship to God. There, in God's presence, we witness to our faith with the communion of saints, the resurrection of the body, and the life ever-lasting. In doing so, the assurance of God's love and salvation in Christ becomes a ministry, especially to the bereaved. Since a Celebration of Life is a service of worship, all that takes place within it should be consistent with this principle.
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