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  1. us198612
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    #1

    Post "faithful departed" phrase meaning

    Hello,

    Could someone please tell me what does "faithful departed" mean.I know departed means one who left us, but why is faithful used before departed and how is this phrase used?

    Thank you.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: "faithful departed" phrase meaning

    It means they were Christian in faith and are now dead.

    It does help to have full context for phrases of this kind.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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      • English
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      • UK
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    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #3

    Re: "faithful departed" phrase meaning

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    It means they were Christian in faith and are now dead.

    ...
    Ironically, 'the faithful' in that sense were people who Saladin would have called 'the infidel' - meaning faithless.

    As for the dead being called 'the departed', I suspect that the Book of Common Prayer may have had something to do with it:
    Departed this life in thy faith and fear...
    And

    WE commende into thy handes of mercy (moste mercifull father) the soule of this our brother departed...
    [The second quotation is from the 1549 edition - hence the unfamiliar spellings].

    The Book of Common Prayer is one of the major works of English literature. Since its introduction in the mid-1500's it has exerted enormous influence on the religious and literary lives of all who speak the English language.
    Read more here: The Book of Common Prayer

    b

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