Friday, March 2, 2012
REQUIEM MASSES--DON'T YOU MISS THEM?
But our Funeral Masses are blah and superficial. The music we allow to be chosen in place of the official texts for the introit, and offertory and communion antiphons scream to heaven to be put out of their misery and purified in Purgatory.
For the Ordinary Form of the Funeral Mass, I mean Requiem, these are the official chants for the Introit and Communion antiphons. Have your ever heard these chanted at a funeral Mass?
Eternal Rest Grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
Eternal rest grant unto him/her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him/her.
May the Lord open to him/her the gates of Paradise, that he/she may return to that homeland where there is no death, where eternal joy endures.
Or During the Easter Season:
Just as Jesus died and rose again, so, through Jesus, God will brig with Him those who have fallen asleep; and as in Adam all die, so also in Christ will all be brought to life Alleluia.
And now the Communion Antiphon choices:
Let perpetual light shine upon the, with your Saints forever, for you are merciful,. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them with your saints forever, for you are merciful.
We await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our mortal bodies and conform with his glorified body.
or during the Easter season:
I am the Resurrection and the life, says the Lord. Whoever believes in me, even though he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will not die forever. alleluia.
I bet most people only hear "Be Not Afraid" and "On Eagle Wings" not to mention, "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art" but somehow these devotional songs don't compare with the official texts of Requiem Masses do they?
As our culture continues to be a culture of death, the paradox is that our culture denies death and its accompanying grief. Officials of the Church have allowed this denial of death and what the Catholic Church teaches about death to infiltrate our Funeral liturgies. We no longer speak of personal judgment or the Final Judgment, the need for purification after death and the merits of Jesus Christ who alone can save us for nothing we do on our own merits will do it, not even our good works, which usually means in a eulogy context, that the dead guy was great fun, loved life and hunted a lot and knew how to party.
I've had so-called grieving family members ask for songs that aren't sad, like Joyful, Joyful but they haven't asked yet for "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" yet, that is!
And that's the way it is.