Steve's Mass of the
Resurrection was on October 2, 2000 at St. John the Baptist
MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL
Do not let your hearts be troubled.
STEPHEN W. PAZUR
CALLED INTO LIFE: August
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord
ENTRANCE HYMN: Center of My Life
LITURGY OF THE WORD:
OFFERTORY HYMN: City of God
COMMUNION HYMN: Be Not Afraid
FINAL COMMENDATION AND FAREWELL: In Paradisum
RECESSIONAL HYMN: On Eagle's Wings
Do not stand by my
grave and weep
Our sincere and heartfelt thanks to our beloved family and friends for all their prayers and kind gestures of support. You are a treasure to us and greatly appreciated.
A Word of Consolation
If a tiny baby could think, it would be afraid of birth. To leave the only
world it has known would seem a kind of death. But immediately after birth, the
child would find itself in loving arms, showered with affection and cared for at
every moment. Surely the baby would say,
For the Christian, passing through death is really a birth into a new and better world. Those who are left behind should not grieve as if there were no hope. Life is changed, not taken away. Our dear loved ones live on, in a beautiful world beyond anything we could imagine. With Jesus and Mary they await the day when they will welcome us with joy.
"Do not grieve too much," they say to us. "We are living and are still with you."
Homecomings are usually joyous affairs and they happen in the fall of the year. The alumni from previous graduating classes congregate at their old alma mater for a parade, football game and dance. This was true to tradition at Plymouth High School this past weekend. The homecoming weekend was a victorious one for the Plymouth Panthers and all seemed to go on as planned. However, this year there would be a different twist that would weave itself into the festivities. The death of one of the Plymouth High School seniors would sadden the events.
Death is usually a tragedy, especially when it strikes "before its time." The wisdom author knew this. Yet the wisdom author would put tragedy in a faith perspective. He would tell us that the privilege to breathe and to live is a moment with the Lord. Genuine goodness and trusting faith make a person's life worthwhile. God loved Steve, so did his parents, his relatives and friends, and he loved them in return. Yet he who lived among us has been snatched away.
For a Christian, dying and rising are common occurrences. The Joannine author explained it well in the example of the seed planted in the ground that must die to produce the wheat. A dying and rising happen at Baptism and at all the Eucharists that are celebrated. For a Christian, the moment of death is a dying and a rising and we all expect that to happen. Sometimes that happens after many years of life, and for other times it happens too quickly. For Steve, it occurred at too young an age.
Steve's sudden death is a reminder of how precious is the gift of life; the gift of each day; and the gift we are to one another. It is so easy to take things and people for granted. We always believe that what is part of our every day will be so the next day. Yet death can be a cruel thief in the night. However, we must remember that the cruelty of death is always matched by the greater love of Jesus for us. This is our consolation and hope.
Today we remember that the suddenness of Steve's death is overcome by the swift mercy of our God. Let us pray for Steve and console one another with the strength of the faith in the One who told us to fear not, for his love is stronger than death. O God who gives us such great dreams and so short a life, grand peace and rest to our departed friend. May he find in you, Lord, all that his dreams ever imagined and more. May the emptiness in our lives be filled by faith, and may we learn from his death how fleeting is life and how powerful is Your love.
Lord, we take our loved one by the hand and lead him to You, Here is Steve, our son, our relative, our classmate, our friend. We entrust him to Your loving care. We want him to be free to be at home with You. We ask that You save a place for us there beside him, and may You be our loving presence in these lonely moments. Fill us with motivation and energy in the days ahead when we feel like giving up. Remind us often of our true Homecoming.
Again, thank you for the gift of Steve's life. Amen.