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GRAVELY SPEAKING

Since the onset of summer my wife and I have been able to take in some leisure activities. Today we went to, of all places, a museum of funeral history. It was far more interesting than one would expect. There is an element of the macabre, to be sure. For example, there is an extensive exhibit on the history of embalming, dating from Egyptian mummification to present methods, complete with manuals and instruments. There is also an impressive fleet of cars used for funerals, including one equipped with sleds. A collection of fantasy casks from Ghana, and an exhibit for the Hispanic observation of the “Dia de Difuntos,” added a touch of whimsy.
But the real draw was the permanent display for “The Making of a Saint.” The display is ostensibly dedicated to the memory of Sts. Pope John Paul II and John XXIII, but there is a lot of attention to the process of papal elections as well as their internment.
Set aside two hours to take it all in. It’s to die for. You’ll get buried in details.
Patrick Hubbell - June 21,2016

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