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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

If you've ever attended the Funeral of someone you didn't know...

chances are good to excellent you're Catholic.

Some of us stayed around right after the normal Sat. 9.00 a.m. Mass at St. Anne's. Maybe it comes from going to Catholic school. In the schools I attended for grammar school we routinely attended the funeral Masses if one happened to be scheduled for the same time we would normally go to Mass. [We went to Mass once or twice a week, depending on the school I was in.]

Just me? Or was this routine for you too?


Rob said...

I believe that some, if not many, Catholics have a real sense of the Communion of Saints. This makes it almost natural to attend "stranger's" funerals.

Dino said...

RJW makes a good point.
This does not explain why my very anti-Catholic aunt sometimes attended two or three funerals a day of people she didn't know.
In México, it is common to find oneself at a wake, rosary or funeral of a friend or relative's friend of friend of a friend.

gemoftheocean said...

Dino, maybe your aunt just wanted to make sure the parties in question were REALLY dead!! ;-D

I think you guys do hit the nail on the head. The priest gave a nice little homily and mentioned purgatory and the concept. One fellow got up and walked out at that point. I take it he was a friend of the family not "entirely with the program" or concept. But he was at the back of the family/friends group. Catholics tend to be good about praying for the dead being efficacious. And as the priest said "if the person is already in heaven, they're good for the souls in purgatory.

A while back I mentioned I'd also had to meet up with a friend, and since she was going to a funeral Mass -- I was pretty sure I'd be done with my errands in time to meet her before the Mass to drop off something for her. I stayed and sat in the back. As it turned out it was for a Vietnamese person, and it was quite interesting to see the very dignified cultural customs that were mixed in with the Mass. [All said in Vietnamese.] It was for the mother of a priest.

Years ago I saw an interesting vignette from the Catholic Digest (when it was still worth reading - unlike now.)

A man said that when he was a little boy, his grandmother would often take him to funerals of people they didn't know. He later found out as he got older that grandmother used to look in the obits for Catholics who'd died with no immediate family or distant family. She'd go to pray for them and bring him along so that the person wasn't alone.

Another friend of mine related how in the mid 50s when her 9 year old or so brother was serving an early funeral Mass - he'd FREQUENTLY call up his mother "mom, you gotta come down here, there's hardly anyone here for this person's funeral." It really upset him. His mom quietly had a word with the priest to assign him less funeral Masses! Because it upset him so much when few people were on hand.

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