The Brothers of St Cuthbert is a lay religious order of the Orthodox Catholic Church. Most starport chapels will have a member or representative of the Brothers in residence.
Their goal: To honor the image of God in every person by burying those who have died travelling in space.The Church understands each person to bear the image of God, both in spirit and in body. Thus the body even after death is shown reverence. The Church does not sanction cremation as it devalues the human person. All bodies given to the Brothers are buried with respect, and with full Christian burial if the person can be determined to have been a Christian.
|May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.|
He was a priest under the patriarch of Jerusalem (also on Verrazano) and on a certain occasion was sent with a delegation to the Alliance of Dormarc. The liner on which he travelled suffered a misjump and came out of jump space directly in the path of the system gas giant. All the passengers and crew abandoned ship, but one passenger was left without a vacc suit or even a rescue ball. Fr Cuthbert unhesitatingly removed his own vacc suit and helped the passenger into it, praying over her the whole time. The liner and Fr Cuthbert perished in the depths of the gas giant, but the woman escaped to safety. She told her story to the Navy rescue crews, and then to the rest of the Church delegation. The woman's family donated a large fund to the church for a shrine to Fr. Cuthbert, and some of his brother clergy organized the first chapter of what would become the Church-wide order. St Cuthbert was glorified as a saint in 596 SA, and is venerated as an intercessor for those in danger in outer space.
Where Travellers will encounter them:
The Brothers accept the body of anyone who travelled Low Berth and died in the unfreezing process. This is common knowledge for merchant captains and passenger ships. The Brothers also sponsor and lead expeditions to investigate starship wrecks. If a ship crashes in-system, or if a historical crash site is discovered, the Brothers of St Cuthbert will seek to be involved in recovery and salvage missions. Their only goal, however, is the recovery of passengers or crew who perished. The Brothers will assist salvage operators, and often work with them, trading labor for transportation to the crash site, and cargo space to transport the deceased back to the main world for burial. Family members of crash victims also sponsor recovery missions.
If the PCs own or operate a starship, spaceship or small craft, they could be approached by the Brothers of St Cuthbert as patrons. Crashed starships can be salvaged for parts or the parts sold for cash, which the Brothers would offer in lieu of direct payment for the PC's assistance in recovering the deceased.
The Brothers or relatives of the deceased might also approach ship operators to purchase cargo space so that a body can be transported to another world for burial. This might be all perfectly routine, but a creative Referee can come up with some way to make transporting a body a more interesting experience.
What complications could arise from transporting a coffin? Share your thoughts in the comments section.