Grief Project Lecture
Rites with the dead have been fundamental to being human for as long as history. Christian beliefs and practices surrounding the dead reflect ancient human needs and what is ritually possible in given times and places. Pointing to the influence of anthropologist Arnold van Gennep in his work on ‘rites of passage’, Catherine explores the understanding of the funeral rite in this connection, and considers the ways in which funeral rites are shaped to meet the needs of the people present: the funeral as a pastoral rite. Attention is given to the mourner’s experience and especially how grief and loss are placed within a larger story of Christian hope. This lecture will highlight how symbol and action interact in the rite to work pastorally, and consider how rituals of care for the departed are important in this. Catherine will also share some experiences as a priest in journeying with people in their grief.
About the speaker
Revd Dr Catherine Reid is a priest in the Church of England and is currently Chaplain to the University of York. Catherine is an academic tutor at the York School of Ministry and teaches modules in Liturgy and Worship, Christian Doctrine, New Testament Studies, and Anglicanism. Prior to her chaplaincy ministry at the university, she was Vicar of the Ampleforth Benefice and had a training role in the diocese for new deacons and priests. Her earlier doctoral work in St Petersburg, Russia, focused on the writings and thought of Russian thinker, Nicolai Berdyaev.
Catherine’s research interests and areas of on-going study and writing generally centre around liturgical theology. She was one of the contributors to the recent work, Lively Oracles of God: Perspectives on the Bible and the Liturgy (Liturgical Press 2022) with her chapter on Anglican marriage rites.