The “Order of Christian Funerals” states, “At the death of a Christian, whose life of faith was begun in the waters of baptism and strengthened at the Eucharistic table, the Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end nor does it break the bonds forged in life. The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting word of God and the sacrament of the Eucharist. Christians celebrate the funeral rites to offer worship, praise, and thanksgiving to God, the author of life and the hope of the just. The Mass, the memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection, is the principal celebration of the Christian funeral.”
Earlier this month, a funeral Mass was celebrated for Deacon David Briselden. He served as a Permanent Deacon for many years in the Diocese of Little Rock before coming to the Archdiocese of Atlanta and being assigned to Saint Brigid. Serious illness had prevented him from being very active in the liturgies and ministries of Saint Brigid in the last few years. He loved his faith community here and wanted to stay involved to the extent he could. As he struggled with his illness, David still served as the clergy liaison for the Fostering Love Ministry since the ministry began in 2016. He also helped coordinate a Bible Study as part of his involvement with Christ Renews His Parish (now Welcome). He was a great source of wisdom and guidance for his brother Deacons and will be greatly missed.
The following poem, “I’m Free” by Janice M. Fair-Salters was selected by his family to be included in his funeral program:
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free,
I’m following the path God laid out for me.
I took his hand when I heard him call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
to laugh, to love, to work, or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found that peace at close of day.
If my parting has left a void,
then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
ah yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I’ve savored much,
good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time to me seem brief,
don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and share with me,
God wanted me now; He set me free.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon Him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.