Funeral and Burial in Front Royal

(A break from my normal wedding and portrait posts.)

I was honored to take pictures at the funeral of a distinguished member of our community here in Front Royal.  The Mass for Christian Burial for Chris Cuddeback was celebrated on September 21, 2013 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and was followed by a solemn internment and burial at the family's farm.

I encourage you to read John Cuddeback's reflection on the nature of burial over at Front Porch Republic, "Touching Death: Mourning Physically through Burial".  John's moving eulogy for his father can be found at his Bacon From Acorns blog here.


preparing to lower the casket into the ground

This gorgeous casket made of wormy chestnut and hand-forged handles made a fitting resting place for this man.

Many members of the community gathered around the grave site to witness. 

Following the sacred rites, members of the family began filling the grave.  Then many, many others took up the task, each adding a small mound of earth to this hole, which needed filling.  Even young children took part.  My own boys (ages 4 and 7) each tossed a spadeful; as did I, camera in hand.

Here is a spade of rocky Virginia earth, before it was lovingly placed over the casket.

The community stayed to witness and assist in filling the grave of one of its elders.  

This man found a beautiful resting spot in the Shenandoah Valley.

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