One of the Works of Mercy

…is burying the dead. I had lunch recently with a smart, holy, funny and good man I am honored to call my friend: Marcus Daly. He makes very fine and very reasonably priced caskets that are intended, as he puts it, to thin the veil between this life and our heavenly destiny. Check out his site: It’s where we are all headed and the way we die is our final act of witness to Christ.

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  • Marilyn

    My husband and I bought very inexpensive but nicely made plain pine caskets from a carpenter who makes them as a sideline. (I don’t mention his name be cause he’s not looking for more business.) The idea was to help bring Christian simplicity to burial practices. We found out that funeral directors are not legally allowed to require that customers use their caskets. You can bring your own.

  • Sal

    These are perfectly lovely, what a fine ministry. May God prosper their work.
    Mass-produced caskets with their tufted satin interiors have always creeped me out. I have already made my own shroud and plan to buy a casket kit, if I can’t persuade a wood-working family member to make one.

  • Steve P

    I remember being most moved at a visitation last year for an elderly Capuchin friar and gifted musician. His brother likewise was a Capuchin, and a gifted woodworker. He made the casket for his brother (and I think one for himself, as well), and it was such a beautiful testimony to their vows.

    It was a simple pine box, without any elaborate stain or finishing, but instead it was adorned with woodburning of scenes from the life of Francis on it. The casket was lined, not with silk or satin, but with the drab gray and white striped fabric of their institutional mattresses. Finally, inside the lid was the final stanza of St. Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures, in praise of Sister Death. Beautiful.

  • Thanks for the kind words, Mark. The honor is mine. And thank you, Sal and everyone who commented. I sometimes wonder if people aren’t being driven to choose cremation as much by gaudiness as by price.

  • Ted Seeber

    This is going in my will. I thought that creamation was all I could afford, but this- this is better.

    • Sal

      No, Ted, not your will. That’s not read until you’re already in the ground.
      Do a separate document of instructions for your family and update it as needed.. Most parishes have forms which you can fill out as well re: your requiem Mass, subject to Fr.’s approval, of course.

  • Thanks Ted, God grant you many years!

    • Ted Seeber

      A thought- I notice that you earmark a portion of your profits for ultrasounds for the unborn. Have you contacted your local Knights of Columbus council about this? Matching funds are available from Supreme for this purpose.

  • Ted,
    I work with an organization called 4us – – and yes, the Knights are very much involved, thanks for the suggestion!