Minister K. Sahure, D.D., Msc.D., S.E.K.
Temple of Kemetic Wicca
However, there is no monopoly by any one religion and there should not be, definition wise, regarding the meaning of Last rites or Last Rites of Passage (just a matter of semantics for some people) because the action of Last Rites of Passage does pre-exist and pre-date Christianity--as usual--where many of today’s traditional, mainstream religious practices were adopted, adapted, changed, and/or “derived” from many of the original, ancient religious and cultural practices of Egypt, Sumeria, Mesopotamia, China, Africa, Greece, and more. During ancient times, this imminent rite of passage was enacted upon the dying only.
According to Catholicism, this “sacrament” was invoked so as to decrease the chances of the (terminally) ill person from committing “additional” act of sin or conducting sinful behavior; based on the canons of this faith, no one of this faith wishes to be left behind or decrease their soul’s “chances” for a seat in heaven with their god. After the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church (1962-1965) this is no longer the practice. Thus, this terminology, Last Rites, can be quite misleading to all within our global community who do not follow, practice, or believe in monotheistic religious systems of spiritualism.
Last Rites of Passage have been performed for eons by many cultures around the world as well as rites of passage for other significant changes and events in the mortal life. These rites include death and funerary; emerging from childhood to adolescence, adulthood, and to elder hood; weddings; leaving home at a particular age; animal (pets, wildlife, botanicals, and farm denizens) rites of passage (of course, harming none!); birth; and almost any major life transition or transformation from a physiological, spiritual, and holistic perspective from all walks of life and spiritualities.
Surely there is strong debate over this from all sides of the academic, theological spectrum and communities. All anyone has to do is to conduct their own historical research to ascertain the facts and the truth, no degree or religious ordainment required.
© 2005 Temple of Kemetic Wicca