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ashes to ashes, dust to dust

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Tyndale, Jul 30, 2009.

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  1. Tyndale

    Tyndale Veteran

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    I was at another funeral yesterday, the 2nd in a week and the Anglican minister said the phrase, "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" as he poured ashes into the grave.

    Is this biblical?
     
  2. Stryder06

    Stryder06 Check the signature

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    I don't think so. That pharase simply means that we will return to what we came from.
     
  3. rosenherman

    rosenherman Sparkly rainbow butterfly kitten

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    You can’t find ‘ashes to ashes, dust to dust’ in the Bible because it isn’t there! The phrase comes from the funeral service in the Book of Common Prayer, and it is based on Genesis 3:19.

    Each church of the Anglican Communion has its own version of the Book of Common Prayer. In the current American version, it appears on page 485 (Burial Rite 1) and on page 501 (Burial Rite 2) in a prayer that is said by the priest as earth is ceremonially cast on the coffin:
    In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to Almighty God our brother/sister <name>; and we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth; ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The Lord bless him and keep him, the Lord make his face to shine upon him and be gracious unto him and give him peace. Amen.
     
  4. PaladinValer

    PaladinValer Traditional Orthodox Anglican

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    The symbolism is entirely Biblical.

    The Nicene understanding of the Trinity isn't directly stated in the Bible either...is that Biblical?

    I really pity Lutherans and Moravians...Evangelical Protestants have turned sola scriptura into a mess. It no longer is the same as it was in the beginning...I personally blame Calvin and the Radical Reformationists.
     
  5. Stryder06

    Stryder06 Check the signature

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    If it's in the bible it's in the bible. Just because the Nicene understanding wasn't directly stated doesn't make it any less true.
     
  6. PaladinValer

    PaladinValer Traditional Orthodox Anglican

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    Which brings us back to the point:

    It doesn't have to be directly stated for it to be Biblical, does it?
     
  7. Stryder06

    Stryder06 Check the signature

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    Agreed. It doesn't have to say "And thus the Trinity..." and so forth. But to be bilblical it has to be in the bible. We see the Father Son and Spirit all in the bible. The term trinity makes it simple to speak about them.
     
  8. PaladinValer

    PaladinValer Traditional Orthodox Anglican

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    I could just as easily see Arianism (and Arius quoted Scripture extensively to prove his points).

    The point is, is this: just because it isn't in Scripture doesn't mean it is contrary to the Bible.

    The imposition of ashes, either on the forehead or upon the grave, doesn't necessarily have to be in Scripture. The Bible however does discuss ashes and the use of ashes in Apostolic churches is out of those readings; the symbolism recalls those passages; Scripture is written all over it.

    That's why I cannot stand what Evangelical Protestants have done with the Lutheran/Moravian understanding of sola scriptura. Even though in the end I disagree with both, the Lutheran/Moravian one is far more appealing and, depending on its approach, can even be within Apostolic limits of orthodoxy.
     
  9. Tyndale

    Tyndale Veteran

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    If ashes in the bible refers to death, destruction and sin, does the ash placed on the foreheads symbolise death, destruction and sin?
     
  10. Stryder06

    Stryder06 Check the signature

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    Agreed.

    Never said I had a problem with the ashes, was just saying it isn't in the bible as in physically not in there. Couldn't say there's anything wrong with it cause I'm not familiar with the practice.

    Well I'm not to familiar with this so I can't speak on it.

    Suffice it so say, I agree that something not being in the bible doesn't make it wrong, as long as it doesn't go contratry to what is written in the Word of God.
     
  11. boswd

    boswd New Member

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    QFT

    Radical Fundamentalist/Reformationists have done a number on the Christian Faith and it aint a number you can sing or dance to.
     
  12. Kristos

    Kristos Servant

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    the unfortunate by product of this phrase is that many people misunderstand it and think that it has to do with cremation. Lord have mercy.
     
  13. Maverick3000

    Maverick3000 Radical Dreamer

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    It stems from the Anglican Book of Prayer. Many ceremonial phrases and readings in English (marriage vowels for example) stem from the book. Its regarded as one of the most important works in the English language along with Shakespear and the King James Bible
     
  14. Tonks

    Tonks No longer here Supporter

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    Can someone tell me how this phrase from the funeral rite is not Biblical?

    Explain me the "un-Biblical" theology behind this, please. Hint: start with Genesis 3:19

    Likewise, ashes are a Biblical symbol of penitence. See, for example, Job 42:5-6.

    The idea of ashes (though not the exact western phrase which is familiar) predated the BCP by a long mile...the Orthodox have similar phrases in their (our) funeral services...

    Depending on the week we rotate the Tones (melodic arrangements...everything we do is in chant).

    Here is the whole service for those that are interested.

    Tone 4 Where is earthly predilection? Where is the pomp of the ephemeral creatures of a day? Where are the gold and the silver? Where is the multitude of household servants and their clamour? All dust, all ashes, all shadows. But come, let us cry aloud unto the deathless King: O Lord, of thine eternal good things vouchsafe thou unto him (her) who hath been translated from among us, giving unto him (her) rest in thy blessedness which waxeth not old.

    Tone 5 I called to mind the Prophet, how he cried: I am earth and ashes; and I looked again into the graves, and beheld the bones laid bare; and I said: Who then is the king or the warrior, the rich man or the needy, the upright or the sinner? Yet give rest with thy Saints unto thy servant, O Lord.
     
  15. PaladinValer

    PaladinValer Traditional Orthodox Anglican

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    Not only Biblical; it is symbolically rich, emotionally touching, orthodox, orthoprax, and, perhaps most importantly of all, honors both the sadly deceased in a reverent and meaningful way by the glorification it brings to God by emphasizing fidel trust in His love, grace, and awesome goodness.
     
  16. Tyndale

    Tyndale Veteran

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    didn't understand ash meant so much to God.
     
  17. Rhamiel

    Rhamiel Member of the Round Table

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    I think it is more for our benefit then His, He already understands sin and death and how little time a man has on this earth, we are the ones who need reminded
     
  18. student ad x

    student ad x Senior Contributor

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    MOD HAT ON

    [​IMG]

    Several posts have been removed in a thread cleanup. A poster without a Christian icon has been posting in this area. All posts that replied to the deleted posts have been removed to retain thread integrity. My apologies to the participants.

    MOD HAT OFF
     
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