Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why I don't want a mass of the resurrection

No, this is not a trick post and I don't mean not now.

I have gotten to the point in my life that I have seen and heard about deaths that are "expected" due to old age and too many that are unexpected due to youth and or accident/tragedy. One of the aspects of the protestant church that has crept into or influenced some Catholic attitudes is the funeral as a celebration of the person's life and if the person was know to be religious or have a faith life, to celebrate them "going home, being with the Father, angels etc. The church has a deliberate approach to the process of discerning if a person is a saint- which means they are in heaven. Discernment, per the Merriam- Webster dictionary-the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure. So, unless the death is of a baptized infant or child under the age of reason, the Catholic approach to a funeral should be that we pray for the repose of that person's soul and a funeral should even remind us that one day we too will die. The point of this, is the blank is with the Lord now, attitude means there does not seem to be a knowledge that we should pray for the repose of the poor souls in purgatory.

I have thought about this topic for some time, but what really brought it to mind is a tragic death of a young person that happened earlier this year. I will be obscure on purpose as I don't want to identify the person. Because of the circumstances there were news reports of the death, aftermath and funeral and several reports discussed they ways the deceased was remembered during the mass. Based on the reports, there seemed to be an approach that the person was with God. That may be so and I pray it is so, but I daresay most if not almost all of the people there did not know what was really going on in the interior life of the person. Also, one of the tragedies of our culture is that there are mortal sins that people have convinced themselves are ok or no sin. It is an act of charity to pray for the dead. When I was in RCIA, our pastor explained purgatory in a way that made sense right away. If someone stole $100 from you that you needed and you caught the person, and they were repentant, you might forgive them, but you will still want your $100 back. Consequences- they are still there even with forgiveness.

So, the reason I don't want a mass of the resurrection and that I want a TLM funeral mass (complete with Dies Irae), is I know even if God willing, I persevere in the race, as St. Paul, I will need prayers for the repose of my soul.


  1. Excellent blog... can't understand why I hadn't spotted you before...

  2. Hi! Welcome to CM online. I read your blog and found it interesting. I agree with you on so much about purgatory. Even if you were killed immediately after reconciliation, there is purgatory...or not. We are not for sure...not saying that there isn't a purgatory, there is. We just cannot place ourselves on the level of God and assume that we know when He will pour out His mercy on the poor soul that passed.

    With that said, I like to imagine my father in Heaven. But, I still pray for the repose of his soul and have Masses offered for him.

    As for suicide, a very smart priest once told me that we are not to assume the person went immediately to hell. We do not know what went through this person's heart (i.e. reconciliation and act of sincere remorse) on his way to death. We do not know if God accepted that act of sincere remorse and granted forgiveness, seconds before death occurred.

    I agree that some people like to blur the lines of these things. You cannot blame a person for hoping this on a loved one who passed away, no matter how it happened. It is a sin to be hopeless and to give up. That is a sin against faith. As is assumption, which can go either way in the above state case.

    So with all of that said :) I will continue to always pray for the souls of the departed, but hope with imagination that my father is in heaven at the same time. When my children ask me where Poppy is? I say Heaven, but since we don't know for certain, we still must pray.

    I to believe that people are forgetting there is such a thing as hell and sin...

    Excellent post!