Bill Burns Funeral

Our friend and lay missioner Bill Burns died here in Cambodia and his funeral was held 24 March 2022. Because of new environmental regulations, most cremations are prohibited within the city boundaries and even the ones on the edge of the city can only be held at night when the ashes in the air are supposed to be less of a problem. Bill’s funeral was held at the Church of the Child Jesus in the morning but the cremation was delayed until 6:30 PM in the evening at a Buddhist wat.

In the morning, after the funeral mass, Bill’s body was taken to Wat Dombok Khpuos to await the cremation in the evening.
Bill had taught English to some of the monks, and monks from that pagoda were familiar with many Maryknollers over the past two decades and so there was a Buddhist ceremony at the wat with about ten monks chanting their ritual prayers. The coffin is on a catafalque at the top of the stairs.
After the prayers the coffin was lowered into the pyre structure into a crematorium where it was burned out of sight. A symbolic coffin replaced it at the top of the funeral pyre. The smoke from the cremation can be seen coming from the white chimney pipe at the top of the structure.