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Preface III for the Dead
This preface is used in Masses for the dead, such as funerals, anniversaries of death, and All Soul’s Day.
Christ, the salvation and the life
Why does the sacrament of Baptism always involve water on your head, whether my immersion or aspersion? Because in going under the water it symbolizes you going down into death, dying and being buried in Christ: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:3-5).
Our Lord will not just resurrect us; he is our new life. He is the life because it is only in union with him in his death, through Baptism, that we also go on to share in eternal life.
“For he is the salvation of the world, the life of the human race, the resurrection of the dead.”
In John’s account of the Last Supper Our Lord teaches us that he is the true vine, and we are the branches: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. … If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers” (John 15:4-6). When you see a wall covered with dead ivy you know the decay radiates from one point of the vine where it was severed. Our union with Our Lord is the difference between eternal life and death.
Through the sacraments and our efforts to be holy, we remain in vital communion with Our Lord. That flow of life is not only a new life but the life that will sustain and restore us even after physical death. It is divine life, and it is only from the divine that we can receive it: from God. We lost it in the Fall of Adam and Eve, and whenever we commit a grave sin, but Our Lord restores us to this new divine life, whether through the waters of Baptism or the contrition, mercy, and absolution of Confession.
Our Lord does not just give us a pattern of life to imitate; he is our life. Let’s unite ourselves to him spiritually, morally, and sacramentally in all we do.