Death seems to be circling my life a lot. First it was the sudden passing of a friend and former coworker. More recently it has been friends dealing with the death of a child. And there are still a few friends whose battles with cancer and other such things are always on the brink of death.
In light of that, I found myself humming “Down To The River To Pray” a lot. I know it’s traditionally sung at baptisms and it isn’t really about death. But I think Alison Kraus’s version is haunting and would be a fitting soundtrack to a scene in a movie where a casket is being taken from a church.
When she sings it, I’m flooded with all of the feelings I get during a baptism. At baptism we remember what we take on faith – that Christ conquered death. And at a funeral we hold onto that hope. We’re not sure we can believe amidst our grief, but we hold onto it. We remember our baptismal vows and the faith they represent – that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again.