‘May he rest in peace and rise in glory’ is a prayer we often say for those who have died. We pray it now for HRH the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh whose death was announced yesterday (9th April).
This prayer summarises the Christian hope – that death is neither to be feared nor viewed as final. Christ’s resurrection, which we celebrate in particular at this time of year, has won a great victory, opening the way to eternal life for those who accept God’s gracious invitation to share it.
What does that involve? For each individual it may be slightly different. For Saint Thomas, whose story we remember this weekend with Christians all over the world, it was a dramatic encounter with the risen Christ. For others, it may be a very private matter. We are not each other’s judges in these things.
When we pray ‘May he rest in peace and rise in glory’ we express our own trust in God’s mercy and kindness and the truth of God’s promises made to the world in Jesus Christ. We trust God with the eternal destiny of those whom we have lost, whom we grieve.
May they all rest in peace, and rise in glory, and may God bless you all,