The casket with the body of Bishop Javier Echevarría was closed at 3.45 pm. His body was dressed in purple priestly vestments, along with his bishop’s ring and pectoral cross. Over the past two days, thousands of faithful have prayed before his mortal remains in the nave of the Prelatic Church, in front of the resting place of Saint Josemaria, founder of Opus Dei.
The coffin was closed in the presence of members of the General Council and the Central Advisory, the councils that assist the Prelate in governing the Prelature. The cover of the casket bears a silver crucifix and a plaque with the Prelate’s name and the dates 1932-2016.
A 5 pm the burial Mass was celebrated. In his homily, Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz said that “his faith led Bishop Javier Echevarría to realize deeply that he was a son of God and this helped him to overcome difficulties and suffering, including physical. He lived the virtue of charity very well and urged us to always live fraternity. “May you love one another!” he always told us. And like us, he hoped in the promise of Heaven. When a person has faith, hope and charity, the greatest suffering becomes bearable, because Jesus carries it.”
“We need to thank him,” Msgr. Ocáriz added, “for his life of service to the Church, first alongside Saint Josemaria and Blessed Alvaro, and then during the 22 years that he was at the head of Opus Dei. He followed our Lord’s example, who came not to be served but to serve.”
Following the Mass, eight priests carried the coffin in procession to the crypt of the Prelatic Church, where it was interred. The burial site of Bishop Echevarría is located between the tomb of Blessed Alvaro del Portillo and the altar of the crypt. Msgr. Ocáriz prayed a response and the coffin was lowered in the tomb and covered with a tombstone.
After the burial, the Prelatic Church was opened again to the public. Faithful who wish can enter to pray from 8.30 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 8.30 pm. On Thursday December 15, at 7 pm, a Mass for the repose of the soul of Bishop Javier Echevarría will be celebrated in Saint Eugene’s Basilica in Rome. The Mass can be followed live on the Internet at www.opusdei.org/live.