By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has continued his campaign on the ban of expensive burial celebrations in the state, saying it has become a burden on the living.
Ezeokafor had earlier abolished all expensive burial celebration in the diocese for Catholics, while calling for respect for the dead, as against the activities of pall bearers who throw caskets bearing corpses about.
The bishop while speaking with journalists at the weekend, said since his decision to abolish expensive burial rites in the diocese, several people have been sending messages to thank him for the decision, as most times people weep for the death of their loves ones, not only because of the loss, but also because of the huge financial burden that would follow.
“Since we took this decision, all I have been getting is commendation. No form of opposition at all, “he said.
Ezeokafor questioned the rationale behind going to borrow to conduct burial ceremonies, saying that the only aspect of the burial that the dead benefited from was the prayers said by the faithful on their behalf during the Eucharistic celebration.
“Instead of spending millions on an event that loses its relevance immediately after it had occurred, sincere Christians should rather embark on carrying out more humanitarian activities in memory of their deceased loved one”, he said.
The Catholic prelate decried what he identified as the pagan practice of ostentatious burial ceremonies that left the bereaved more burdened after burying their dead.
“Though Christians believe that our bodies, being the temple of the Holy Spirit, should be treated with respect, the feasts that accompany burials in this part of the world are uncalled for. The culture of giving out souvenirs and wearing asoebi dresses was borrowed, culture and contradict the Biblical description of how a burial should be done,” he concluded.