November 12, 2012

"Ancient and hallowed ritual"

Death is hard, but the ancient, hallowed ritual of the Catholic Church can provide lasting consolation

Death is hard enough as it is; but humans require more than secular rites of “closure” – and only an ancient, hallowed ritual can provide lasting consolation.

Father Dwight Longnecker on the solemnity of funerals

A funeral is not a ‘celebration of Stanley’s life’. A funeral is not ‘a time of joy because Mildred is in heaven now.’ How tacky and trite is that? No. A funeral should be sad. Someone had died for goodness sake. Furthermore, people need to grieve. They need to work through the terror of death. They need to face reality. A solemn, sad, sober and serious funeral helps them to do that. A silly, shallow, superficial and stupid memorial service or ‘celebration of Pat’s life’ only encourages them to look the other way and take a feel good cop out from reality.

No. Give me the funeral march. Give me solemn young men in black with serious faces to mourn my passing. Give me widows and women in black veils and gloves wiping away tears. Give me the smoke of incense to purify my bones. Give me the water of life to remind me of my baptism. Give me a requiem Mass and may all who are there–whether a multitude or the faithful few–grieve me with the dignity in death that I once hoped for in life.


The purpose of a Catholic funeral

"Catholic Funerals are not about the person’s past achievements. Since Holy Mass is part of it, first of all, the Funeral is about worship of God.

Secondly, it is a profession of our Catholic Faith…

Thirdly, Holy Mass is offered for the repose of the deceased immortal soul and asking God’s mercy on him.

Fourthly, we pray for the consolation of those who mourn…. "
Posted by Jill Fallon at November 12, 2012 10:45 PM | Permalink