Easter is a double feast. Firstly, we celebrate Our Lord's resurrection from the dead; but, secondly we celebrate our own hopes for rising from the dead.
As our own resurrection, let me tell a story about a strong assertion of our belief in life after death.
In 1966 I returned to the States after spending twelve years in a Korean town where we had no electricity. On my return I was bothered by all,the changes in America, and I was particularly bothered by elements of our church that had gone too modern.
I was home a few days when I heard about the next day's funeral Mass of a boy we knew what who was killed in Viet Nam. The funeral Mass was to be sung in the huge St. Louis cathedral, and my folks suggested I take part.
Expecting there to be two or three priests there, I was surprised at meeting more the twenty priest
in the priests sacristy. . We vested for Mass, then we went in procession outside around the West
side of the Cathedral/
In my thoughts, as we walked, I ran over the chants for real Catholic funerals. To myself I chanted the "Requiem eternal dona eis requiem."
It was so much more proper than any of the new church hymns.
As I followed the other priests into the cathedral, all my preferences flew away. A red haired boy in black stood on the clear marble of the sanctuary.
To his own guitar accompaniment he was singing, "I am the resurrection and the life,
He whom believes in me will never die."
"Sully." one of my old classmates whispered to me, "That's Ray Repp. He and Jerry wrote this hymn together before Jerry was sent off to Viet Nam. Now he is singing it for him."