Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My First Brazilian Funeral

Yesterday, Dona Ana went to be with the Lord. She was 89 years old. She had been bedridden for a long time. It was a very sad day for our church, because she will be greatly missed. She was a great prayer warrior and a blessing to many. It was a happy day because she no longer suffers and is in the presence of the Lord that she loved so dearly. Though I don't know much about her testimony, I can share a few things. Dona Ana spent the majority of her life as a devout Catholic. She was saved at the age of 77. Without anyone telling her to, she promptly took all of her Catholic icons/idols outside, broke them, and burned them! (Sounds like a story right out of the Old Testament!) She was faithful to church as long as her body allowed. Every month she would learn and recite 10 verses from Proverbs. She prayed for those she knew daily. My only regret is that I didn't get to know her better (language barrier).

Funerals in Brazil are very different from those in America. They do not embalm the bodies. This means that they have to bury them quickly, usually within 24 hours. For example, Dona Ana died around 11:30am. The body was delivered to the church between 2 and 3pm. The service was at 4:30pm and she was taken to the cemetery at 5:30pm. Whew! Talk about being quick! I think it's the only thing in Brazil that happens fast! The casket was a simple wooden box. The cemetery was a little different also. There were holes dug and lined with cinder block. Each hole can hold up to three caskets (stacked). Cement slabs are placed on top of the hole and covered with 3-6 inches of dirt. There is no meal after the funeral. Food is not prepared by others and delivered to the family. A Catholic funeral has a lot more wailing and praying for the soul of the person that died, I've been told.


Pilar Stark said...

I am sure this was one of those ceremonies you were not looking forward seeing this soon, but as you said, she is know with the Lord.Wow, what a testimony she had! It is a blessing though and it reminds is that no one is old enough to get saved.We usually think that it is hard to see someone that old that is attached to catholism getting saved.But, nothing is impossible for God. We do serve a great good. I love reading the updates of the ministry, thanks for doing so :)

Nina in Portugal said...

Soon, we'll be experiencing our first Portuguese funeral.

The lady is saved, but her family isn't.

She has cancer and it's only a matter of time before she goes home to be with her Lord....

I'm not looking forward to that

Pilar Stark said...

Can you send me the white sauce recipe please? Also Nina put a note in my blog for you too asking you to also send it to her.