We live together. We die together. When Andrea Pipp died, a piece of the community went with her. Her casket was made by the community with hands and hearts full of life. After the wake in the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages and the funeral mass at our parish church, Andrea’s casket was carried to the Field of Apparitions for one last Rosary together with her family and the community. She was then laid to rest in the Community cemetery.
A close friend of the Community of Caritas when she came to the funeral of one of our beloved community members in the cemetery on the Caritas grounds said:
She stood up and gave that testimony the evening of the burial at the gravesite where a Friend of Medjugorje had gathered everyone to close the day in prayer and a sharing of stories and graces people had experienced throughout the period of time the community member was walking towards Eternal Life.
Our Lady has come to correct our erred mentalities, including the erred spiritual perspectives many have today on death and the afterlife. On August 2, 2015, Our Lady of Medjugorje told us not to fear death:
One by one the community disperses, leaving the family to spend quiet time in prayer and reflection. As a last kind act of love they can do for the bodily remains of their loved ones, a Friend of Medjugorje instituted that the family members each take their turn with a shovel to cover and fill in completely the grave with dirt. This creates memories that are etched into the heart. Community children are not shielded from death, but are taught not to be afraid of it. In this way, they begin to understand that only the body dies, not the spirit, and thereby the body will be given back glorified.
All Hallows’ Eve, or the Eve of the Holy Souls, is celebrated each year in the Caritas Community when most of the rest of the world is celebrating a pagan holiday. A fire is lit in the cemetery at the edge of the Field of Apparitions as the moon rises. The community gathers around the fire, uniting in prayer with those who have gone before. Before the Rosary starts, the souls of all deceased community members, as well as each ones’ past generations and those who have been closely connected to the mission, are named individually. Each person then picks a dried leaf, representing their sins, burdens, and failings and everything they wish to let go of. As the Rosary is prayed, everyone in their own time, burns their leaf to ask Our Lady for the grace for a renewed life.