Sunday, August 30, 2009

Can People Pray For A Captial Gains Tax Cut At My Catholic Funeral? (updated)


The Kennedy Funeral I think in Catholic terms has shown on a grand stage the problem of the typical American Catholic funeral. And no having a wonderful AVE MARIA does not cover it up.

Canon Lawyer Peters in a biting review shows some of it Further this eulogy stuff is getting out of hand and we need to enforce the rules. That goes for everyone from important folks to the ordinary. Abuses are at both.

382. At the Funeral Mass there should, as a rule, be a short homily, but never a eulogy of any kind.
I understand that exceptions can be made I have no problem with a President showing up and giving some words. (In fact as Peters point out Obama the non Catholic at least offered a prayer for his soul)

Why Catholic funerals traditionally (and still prohibit eulogies) see here

He points out in part:

The Catholic Church was very wise to allow no place for such a dangerous form of speech for most of the last two thousand years. Save the stories for the Wake, which, unlike the contemporary bland "gathering" in a Funeral Parlour here in the US the night before the funeral, used to be in the family home and would involve "veritas" not from vino, but perhaps from Johnnie Walker (Black Label). We now have the contemporary eulogy, or eulogies, delivered by the new priesthood, who celebrate their liturgies via the medium of television. Truth, even in charity, or "caritas in veritate," is not a feature of the new eulogy.

Also see The inappropriateness of a eulogy at a Catholic Funeral Mass Finally this helpful guide that spells it out very clearly from A Catholic Parish.

It is indeed striking how American Catholics have stopped the wake and adopted the "Bland" American version of a funeral home. Stand in line see the body and get out of there. This is where eulogies should be conduct. The Divine rites of the Church are for worshiping God and in this case praying for the dead. Not for what we too often see today. This has reached an absurd height in the intercessions we saw yesterday. I have always said give Catholics a inch and they take a yard.

70. As a rule, the series of intentions is to be For the needs of the Church; For public authorities and the salvation of the whole world; For those burdened by any kind of difficulty; For the local community. Nevertheless, in a particular celebration, such as Confirmation, Marriage, or a Funeral, the series of intentions may reflect more closely the particular occasion
. and
In the arranging and choosing of the variable parts of the Mass for the Dead, especially the Funeral Mass (e.g., orations, readings, Prayer of the Faithful), pastoral considerations bearing upon the deceased, the family, and those attending should rightly be taken into account.

In this case the Kennedy Clan took a whole Football field and I suppose the Boston Hierarchy was too meek to stop it. Maybe they did not know what they would contain. From the Program

Intercessory Prayers: Kennedy's four grandchildren, and the youngest grandchild of each of his siblings, will read quotes from his speeches. (The family chose to honor the youngest children because Kennedy was the youngest in his family.)

Yeah right. The kids were chosen so they would be liturgical human shields. Hey you mean person how can you criticize those cute kids praying those prayers?

However when every intention started off with something akin to "For my uncle Teddy's call" ,For a new season of hope that my uncle Teddy envisioned ", "For my uncle's stand ", "As my uncle Teddy once told thousands and millions", that shows a tremendous amount of EGO and it is a liturgical abortion. There were other problems. If this catches on at the local level we have a huge problem.

The Mass was of course still valid (though for some reason the Memorial Acclamation was omitted maybe he was nervous) and I swear the Priest was using prohibited Gender neutral language. Still the Kennedy Mass showed a bad direction Catholic funeral masses are going in and hopefully the reform of the reform will straighten this out.

Update- An Interesting Comparison to the JFK funeral Mass. JFK was of course President and has been killed!! This page is pretty fascinating because it shows all the music that was played for all the events. As to the Mass

At the Cathedral

12:13 p.m.: The bronze doors of the cathedral close and the requiem mass commences. The choral music during the mass was sung by the St. Matthew's Choir, Eugene Stewart, organist and choirmaster, the tenor soloist was Luigi Vena. The program was as follows: "Subvenite" (choir); "Pie Jesu," Leybach (tenor solo), "Ave Maria," Schubert (tenor solo); “In Manus Tuus,” Novello (tenor solo); “Sanctus and Benedictus,” Perosi (choir). Mr. Stewart conducted the Perosi "Sanctus and Benedictus;" the Gregorian "Subvenite" and the "In Paradisum" were led by James Walsh.
1:15 p.m.: The bronze doors of the cathedral open as the requiem mass is concluded. As the coffin was replaced on the caisson, the Army Band played "Ruffles and Flourishes" four times, "Hail to the Chief," and the hymn "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name."
1:30 p.m.: The funeral procession to Arlington National Cemetery begins. The music used was the same as that for the march from the Capitol to the White House, with the service bands proceeding in the same order

Notice they are out in a hour!!! The Ted Kennedy Funeral with the "extras:"had not even got rolling yet. At RKF's funeral mass (when are in the Vatican II era) Teddy did give remarks. Again I think there can be exceptions. When a country is traumatized after a event like that it might be proper. The problem becomes when the exception for extraordinary circumstances becomes the rule.

Update II again of Historical interest is the details of the RFK Funeral located here.

This part struck me:
The mass began at 0955 on 8 June. Archbishop Cooke, the celebrant, was assisted by four other priests. Reflecting recent liturgical changes in the Roman Catholic Church, the clergymen wore purple instead of the traditional black vestments and Archbishop Cooke said the mass in English. When the mass ended, about 1035, Senator Kennedy's casket was carried out of the cathedral by thirteen bearers, among them a son of the senator and the senator's brother, Edward.

40 minutes wow.

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