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How Christians should handle death. - St Basil the Great

"You weep with songs which have been created to bring melancholy to the soul, and you place your all into saddened chants in order to completely sadden your soul.  Just as it is characteristic of actors to mimic an occasion by using costumes to produce the scenes in a play, so do you think it should be with yourself for one who mourns.  You believe that there should be the same appearance, that is a black outfit with unwashed hair with darkness in your house, filthy, dirty and chanting saddened songs, which do not close the wounds of  sadness but rather open them.  Let the persons who have no hope do these actions. You on the other hand have been taught that all who have died "In Christ", a physical body has died but  has been replaced with one that cannot be seen, the old physical body is replaced by a body which can have no illness, the old body which has just life is replaced with a spiritual body that lives forever.

Why then do you cry for he who has died?  This person  has left this life and left an old wear for a new wear.  Also, do not cry for yourself because you are sturdy with a helper who is useful in life, because the bible says. "It is good for someone to be hopeful in Christ rather than to be hopeful in people" Do not cry for those even who have had unfortunate and fearful events occur for them.  Because soon in the second coming the horns of heaven will make them wake and bring them before  the throne of Christ."

Source: Taken from Saint Basil the Great's speech on appreciation.


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