Trappist Caskets is a work of the self-sufficient monks of New Melleray Abbey, located near Dubuque, Iowa. We are monks of the Roman Catholic Church who belong to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, known as Trappists.
The life of a Trappist monk is wholly ordered to contemplation, as we are guided by the mandate to:
“Let nothing be preferred to the work of God.”
As Cistercians, we follow the ancient monastic Rule of St. Benedict. Consistent with that rule, our vocation is expressed in a hidden life of silent prayer, community liturgy, and manual labor. Simple living is one of the hallmarks of our life. We support ourselves by the work of our hands.
New Melleray Abbey launched Trappist Caskets in 1999, when we began selling caskets and urns directly to families at wholesale costs. Our work at Trappist Caskets provides us with both meaningful work and vital financial support. We view our casket business as a ministry – a corporal work of mercy. We hope to impart a sense of sanctity into all that we make.
For Trappists, there is beauty in death because it is treated as a natural part of life. The reason Trappists are able to see death in this light is because we believe something much greater is taking place. It is the final step along a path they have been following all along—the path to God.
"I do not know, except by Christian faith, what lies beyond this life. In death I lose everything without knowing for sure that there is anything to follow. Faith however, assures me that there is a God who is like a loving father or mother. The ultimate reality is not death and extinction. But God."
-- (Charles Cummings, Monastic Practice, p. 192.)
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