Friday, February 26, 2016


We have a notebook with all the Old Testament Readings and New Testament Readings for family members to choose.

This is the form we fill out with them:

Name of deceased:                                                                                    Date of Death:                                               

Family Contact:                              ____________     Relationship:                                    Phone:                               

Funeral Home: ________________________________________________________________________

Wake: Where:                                                                Date:                                                Time:                   ______

___Vigil Prayer Service with Holy Rosary        or       ___Vigil Prayer Service without Holy Rosary

Date of Funeral Mass:                                                      Time:                            _ _______________                          

Burial at:                                                                                     Priest/Deacon:                                               ___

Organist:  __________________________________Cantor: ____________________________________

Mass of Christian Burial/Requiem

Please note: It is now parish policy approved by the pastor and exclusively for funerals at St. Joseph Church, that family members or friends of the deceased may no longer offer a reflection or eulogy during any part of the Funeral Rites of the Church.

However, family or friends may offer these reflections at the “Vigil of the Deceased” (Wake/Visitation) following the Prayer Service after the priest or deacon has offered the final blessing and departed. The Catholic Funeral Rites entrust our beloved faithful departed into the arms of God’s mercy and we pray for the repose of the soul of the faithful departed. We pray for the consolation of those who remain. Therefore the Catholic funeral rites are in no way to be described as a “celebration of life” but rather as prayer to entrust the faithful departed to God and to celebrate what brings about forgiveness, redemption and salvation: the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Any words remembering the deceased must not give scandal by pointing out the deceased person’s sin or glorifying these sins in any way.

Please indicate your choice of liturgical color:  ___ Black____Violet____White 

Order of Celebration
Prescribed Introit (Sung by Cantor)
Blessing of the Body
Placement of the Pall on the Casket by funeral home assistants:    Yes ____  No               By:                                                                                            
PROCESSION - Entrance Hymn: (Please Check One)
ð       Be Still, My Soul - #451
ð       Faith of Our Fathers - #520
ð       Jerusalem, My Happy Home - #454
ð       O God, Our Help in Ages Past - #661
ð       Jesus Lord, Have Mercy- #592
ð       Be Thou My Vision- #452
ð       Lord of All Hopefulness-#622
ð       The King of Love- #784
ð       All You Who Seek a comfort Sure- #422

*1st Reading (O.T. or N.T., except during the Easter Season, it must be from the New Testament):           
                                                                           Reader:     ___                                                            
___Responsorial Psalm: ________________________________ (Sung by Cantor)
___In place of the Responsorial Psalm, the Gradual and Tract may be chanted by Cantor, please note handout
___ The optional Sequence, Dies irae, may be chanted in English or Latin after the Responsorial Psalm or Tract.

Funeral Masses at St. Joseph Church normally do not have a second reading.

The Gospel is selected by the priest or deacon who will preach the homily.
 Homily – Priest or Deacon
Offerings of bread and wine presented by:                                                                                                                                                                

or ____already at the altar             
Offertory Song - (Please Check One)
ð       Prescribed Offertory Antiphon only, followed by instrumental (Offertory Antiphon is prescribed, one of the following is  optional ):
ð       Ave Maria (Schubert or Bach/Gounod)
ð       O Sanctissima- #684
ð       Prayer of St. Francis - #724
ð       Merciful Savior, Hear Our Humble Prayer #633
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER: Holy, Holy; Memorial Acclamation; Great Amen
Sanctus in ___Latin or ___English
COMMUNION RITE                       
Our Father in ___Latin or ___English
 Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) in ___Latin or ___English

Communion hymn (Communion Antiphon is required in all Funeral Masses, an additional
 optional hymn may be chosen.)
 (Please Check One)
ð      Instrumental only
ð      Humbly We Adore Thee - #570
ð      My Shepherd Will Supply My Need - #634
ð      Panis angelicus/Jesus, Our Living Bread - #709
ð      Panis angelicus (Franck) – Solo Only
ð      Shepherd of Souls, Refresh and Bless - #746
ð      Lord Who At Thy First Eucharist- #624
ð      Ave Verum- #444
ð      Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All-#593
ð      Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (except for verse 4)- #609
ð      O Jesus, We Adore Thee- #667
Prayer after Communion
Final Commendation (These are the official words for these chants and only these may be chosen):

Song of Farewell: (Please Check One)
ð       Song of Farewell:  Come to his/her aid, O saints of God - #755
ð       Saints of God - #340


Prayer of Commendation

Procession from the Church: (Sung by cantor) Please Check One

ð       May the Angels Lead You into Paradise (Setting by Steven Janco) 
ð       In Paradisum (Latin chant)

Prepared by:                                                                                                               Date:                                                

Check List:
ð       Deacons
ð       Music Director
ð       Sacristan/Adult Acolyte
ð       Bereavement Ministry
ð       Maintenance (to move the Paschal Candle)
ð       Altar Servers (Three Needed)
ð       Food Tray 
ð       Bulletin

Chants proper to the Requiem Mass

The following are two additional resources in our funeral notebook for families to use:

Introductory Rite

As the priest and ministers process from the Sanctuary (altar area) to the entrance of the church to greet the family and deceased the cantor chants the Introit.

(Chanted in English or Latin, all stand as the bell is rung)
Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them.
(Ps) Thou, O God, art praised in Sion, and unto thee shall the vow be performed in Jerusalem: thou that hearest the prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.
Rest eternal…

(Please face the entrance of the church, then all make the Sign of the Cross, and the Priest says or chants the greeting)

Then the coffin or ossuary is sprinkled with Holy Water to recall the deceased baptism into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The coffin is covered with a pall to recall the baptismal garment.. This is done in silence.

The Gradual and Tract in place of the Responsorial Psalm during The Liturgy of the Word:

The Responsorial Psalm is chanted and all are invited to sing the refrain repeating it after the cantor and between each verse of the Psalm.
In place of the Responsorial Psalm, the Gradual may be chanted by the cantor in Latin or English:

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them.
V. The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance: he will not be afraid of any evil tidings.


Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death: I will fear no evil, for thou, O Lord, art with me.
V. Thy rod and they staff: they have been my comfort. 

If the Gradual is used, the Tract is next chanted:

Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed: from every bond of sin.
V. And by the succor of thy grace: may they be found worthy to escape the avenging judgment.
V. And enjoy the bliss: of everlasting light.

The optional Sequence, Dies irae, may be chanted in English or Latin after the Responsorial Psalm or Tract.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

The Offertory
The Offerings of bread and wine may be presented by family members or friends or may already be at the altar beforehand.

The Offertory Chant in English or Latin
(After the prescribed Offertory Chant, an optional additional anthem or hymn may be chanted.)

O Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, deliver the souls of all the faithful departed from the hand of hell, and from the pit of destruction: deliver them from the lion’s mouth; that the grave devour them not; that they go not down to the realms of darkness. But let Michael, the holy standard-bearer, make speed to restore them to the brightness of glory: which thou didst promise in ages past to Abraham and his seed.
V. Sacrifice and prayer do we offer unto thee, O Lord: do thou accept them for the souls departed, in whose memory we make this oblation: and grant them, O Lord, to pass from death unto life: which thou didst promise in ages past to Abraham and his seed.

Communion Chant in English or Latin:
To them in whose memory the Body and Blood of Christ is received: grant, O Lord, rest everlasting.
V. And let light perpetual shine upon them. To them in whose memory the Blood of Christ is received: grant, O Lord, rest everlasting.
Let light eternal shine, O Lord, upon them: for endless ages with thy blessed ones, for thou art gracious.
V. Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them. For endless ages with thy blessed ones: for thou art gracious.

One optional Anthem or hymn may be sung after the prescribed Communion Chant.

The optional Sequence known as the Dies irae may be chanted in English or Latin following the Responsorial Psalm or the Tract if it is chosen:

One of the most famous melodies of the Gregorian Chant, Dies Irae was traditionally ascribed to Thomas of Celano (d 1260), but now is usually attributed to an unknown Franciscan of that period. The piece is based upon Zep 1:14-16, a reflection upon the final judgment. It is a part of the Mass of the Dead and the Office of the Dead.

The Dies Irae is certainly sobering, but there is a note of hope as well. Judgment, which is eternal, is indeed a fearsome prospect for us sinners, but, as Christians, we also realize we have Christ as our Savior.

DIES irae, dies illa,
solvet saeculum in favilla,
teste David cum Sibylla.
Day of wrath, that dreadful day,
shall heaven and earth in ashes lay,
as David and the Sybil say.
Quantus tremor est futurus,
quando iudex est venturus,
cuncta stricte discussurus!
What horror must invade the mind
when the approaching Judge shall find
and sift the deeds of all mankind!
Tuba mirum spargens sonum
per sepulcra regionum,
coget omnes ante thronum.
The mighty trumpet's wondrous tone
shall rend each tomb's sepulchral stone
and summon all before the Throne.
Mors stupebit et natura,
cum resurget creatura,
iudicanti responsura.
Now death and nature with surprise
behold the trembling sinners rise
to meet the Judge's searching eyes.
Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur,
unde mundus iudicetur.
Then shall with universal dread
the Book of Consciences be read
to judge the lives of all the dead.
Iudex ergo cum sedebit,
quidquid latet apparebit:
nil inultum remanebit.
For now before the Judge severe
all hidden things must plain appear;
no crime can pass unpunished here.
Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
quem patronum rogaturus?
cum vix iustus sit securus.
O what shall I, so guilty plead?
and who for me will intercede?
when even Saints shall comfort need?
Rex tremendae maiestatis,
qui salvandos salvas gratis,
salva me, fons pietatis.
O King of dreadful majesty!
grace and mercy You grant free;
as Fount of Kindness, save me!
Recordare Iesu pie,
quod sum causa tuae viae:
ne me perdas illa die.
Recall, dear Jesus, for my sake
you did our suffering nature take
then do not now my soul forsake!
Quaerens me, sedisti lassus:
redemisti crucem passus:
tantus labor non sit cassus.
In weariness You sought for me,
and suffering upon the tree!
let not in vain such labor be.
Iuste iudex ultionis,
donum fac remissionis,
ante diem rationis.
O Judge of justice, hear, I pray,
for pity take my sins away
before the dreadful reckoning day.
Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
culpa rubet vultus meus:
supplicanti parce Deus.
You gracious face, O Lord, I seek;
deep shame and grief are on my cheek;
in sighs and tears my sorrows speak.
Qui Mariam absolvisti,
et latronem exaudisti,
mihi quoque spem dedisti.
You Who did Mary's guilt unbind,
and mercy for the robber find,
have filled with hope my anxious mind.
Preces meae non sunt dignae:
sed tu bonus fac benigne,
ne perenni cremer igne.
How worthless are my prayers I know,
yet, Lord forbid that I should go
into the fires of endless woe.
Inter oves locum praesta,
et ab haedis me sequestra,
statuens in parte dextera.
Divorced from the accursed band,
o make me with Your sheep to stand,
as child of grace, at Your right Hand.
Confutatis maledictis,
flammis acribus addictis.
voca me cum benedictis.
When the doomed can no more flee
from the fires of misery
with the chosen call me.
Oro supplex et acclinis,
cor contritum quasi cinis:
gere curam mei finis.
Before You, humbled, Lord, I lie,
my heart like ashes, crushed and dry,
assist me when I die.
Lacrimosa dies illa,
qua resurget ex favilla.
iudicandus homo reus:
huic ergo parce Deus.
Full of tears and full of dread
is that day that wakes the dead,
calling all, with solemn blast
to be judged for all their past.
Pie Iesu Domine,
dona eis requiem. Amen.
Lord, have mercy, Jesus blest,
grant them all Your Light and Rest. Amen.



Agnes said...

Okay, I'm going to have to move to Macon ...

Anonymous said...

What about the silly "On Eagles Wings" and "Be Not Afraid?" Haha!

Unknown said...

Question: how do parishes and their pastors handle cases where solitary Catholics are the only Catholics in their families? Who makes these decisions?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Good question Flav. Make prearrangements with a funeral home and make it clear that funeral is to be Catholic, the full thing. Check with them if your wishes are legally binding on those carrying out the funeral.

I have had many parishioner in this situation whose relatives gave them a Protestant funeral. It happened again about three months ago. We found out by reading the obituary.

You can leave liturgical plans with your parish.

Servimus Unum Deum said...

Father, you should revise it to have a checkbox right at the beginning whereby people can say "I want the deceased's mass to be in the Extraordinary Form of the a roman Rite/Latin mass" with a comment of following up to explain the difference and how things work, or that a follow up package exclusively for EF requiems be given. You can do the Requiem Mass in the EF, Right?

John Nolan said...

Fr McDonald,

Your template for an Ordinary Form Requiem Mass (and if it begins with the Introit 'Requiem aeternam' it can properly be so called) is exemplary. It allows for a measure of choice in hymns, readings and vestment colours yet sets clear boundaries and makes it plain what constitutes a Catholic funeral. But it shouldn't be down to a parish priest to do this. The diocesan bishop needs to mandate something like this for all parishes in his diocese. It's his job, after all.

The worship aid you posted earlier includes the Introit as it appears in the Liber Usualis, and familiar to those who are used to singing for the EF. There's no reason why it can't be used for the OF, but the OF Introit is slightly different. The antiphon 'Requiem aeternam ...' is the same, but the verses, beginning with 'Te decet ...' are sung to a different and older melody. Those hearing it are immediately reminded of Mozart's Requiem K626 since the composer quoted this chant at the same point (something that the soprano soloist, who enters with this phrase, needs to bear in mind).

The second verse has a slightly different text, from the Nova Vulgata: 'Qui audis orationem, ad te omnis caro veniet propter iniquitatem.' Other verses of Ps 64 can be added ad libitum, with the antiphon repeated after each. When this is done (and I've heard it done once) it allows the chant to cover the longest procession, and the cumulative effect is sombrely impressive.

I think that Solesmes went a bit over the top in the 1974 Graduale when they give a further six (!) options for the Introit, but at least one option for the Gradual, 'Si ambulem in medio umbrae mortis' and two for the Tract, 'Sicut cervus' and 'de Profundis' seem to me to be very apposite. In fact, 'Sicut cervus' is the Tract in the earliest extant polyphonic Requiem, that of Ockeghem in the 15th century. These need good and singable vernacular settings; apart from anything else, to sing the full chant needs a proficient schola, and few churches possess one. The Introit and Communio are a lot easier, and if the antiphon 'Lux Aeterna' is repeated a few times most congregations can sing it.

Anonymous said...

"Whenever possible the family of the deceased should take part in the selection of texts and music and in the designation of liturgical ministers." (Order of Christian Funerals, Introduction, no 65)

Involvement by the family is not an intrusion and should not be seen as such.

"If it is the custom of the local community, the pall is then placed on the coffin by family members, friends, or the minister." (OCF no 84)

"A symbol of the Christian life, such as a Book of the Gospels, a Bible, or a Cross, may be carried in procession, then placed on the coffin either in silence or as a text from n. 400. p. 440, is said." (OCF 163)

This seems to be missing from your instruction sheet.

"Then the coffin or ossuary is sprinkled with Holy Water..." An "ossuary" is a container for bones, not for human 'cremains.'

"After the introductory rites, the liturgy of the word is celebrated. Depending upon pastoral circumstances, either one or two readings may be read before the gospel reading." (OCF 165)

What "pastoral circumstances" lead to "Funeral Masses at St. Joseph Church normally do not have a second reading"?

There are many options allowed in the prescribed "Order of Christian Funerals" that seem to be disallowed at St. Joseph Church. That is a pity.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Maybe you did not know that remains are pulverized bones. After the cremation an outline of the skeleton remains with some large bone chunks, teeth and mechanical things. These are swept into a hopper and ground down, but of course other's bones dust and fragments are included.

Maker mourners do this that and the other when they should be ministered to should change. Nothing you quote is theology, doctrine or dogma, but 1970's drivel.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of drivel: "Maker mourners do this that and the other when they should be ministered to should change."

"...other's bones dust and fragments are included." I suspect most funeral directors would be insulted by this baseless accusation.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and what I quote is the Church's own directions, not "drivel."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

One of my best lay friends owns a funeral home and he allowed me to watch a cremation and the sweep out at the end in to the grinder. They don't wash any thing between uses, so yes stranger John has his bone dust, if you soil, with grandma Mary. Fact!

Anonymous said...

So, how long have quotes from the PRESCRIBED rules for funerals been considered "drivel"?

Sounds like rank clericalism to me. Fact.

Anonymous said...

"Lay" friends? Why the distinction between lay and clerical friends?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I guess you are opposed to altar girls, communion in the hand, washing women's feet at the mandatum, all of which came from disregarding liturgical norms. Was that clericalism?

Anonymous said...

And why do you not allow what the Church allow? Why do you take it upon yourself to deny to faithful Catholics what the Church offers for solace in the time of death?

Why do you place your preferences above those of the Church?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I have two. Ate oriels of friends, how bout you?

Anonymous said...

Altar girls, communion in the hand, and washing women's feet are all perfectly according to the Church's regulations. Therefore, I am fully in support of them.

Are you?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, these all came about and were confirmed by disregarding the liturgical books as I do for funerals which one day be confirmed!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

My funeral norms hit a nerve! Good, very, very good!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

iPhone auto spell, ugh!

Anonymous said...

Your norms are just that - yours. The only nreve involved is that which you show in jettisoning the Church's guidelines in favor of your own preferences. Clericalism anyone?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I see you just can't deal with how the other things came about--clericalism, but in the case of altar girls, communion in the hand and women having their feet washed, it was perfectly okay in order to engender a change in the norms. I'm doing nothing different. It is to engender a change in the norms.

However, the big thing that you don't seem to understand is that a pastor by canon law which trumps norms which are guidelines and only say (may) or (should) but never (must) can set limits on this, that or the other, especially on how the liturgy is celebrated in terms of style of music, what is chosen when there are options and how things are chosen. In fact a priest may choose not to have altar girls or women having their feet washed and can tell a liturgy committee that he has the final word even a family liturgy committee at the planning of a funeral Mass or a bride and her mother at the planning of a wedding.

Your problem is not with me, but with legitimate authority which isn't clericalism, but the rightful exercise of leadership.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Let's look at this general norm: "Whenever possible the family of the deceased should take part in the selection of texts and music and in the designation of liturgical ministers." (Order of Christian Funerals, Introduction, no 65)

No where in this norm does it state: "No matter what, even if impossible, the family must, repeat, must, they are mandated to take part in the selection of texts and music and in the designation of liturgical ministers."

Yet, my critic wants to dogmatize that norm as some are want to do with guidelines in order to take away from the pastor his duty to guide the liturgies of his parish in the way he deems best.

As it concerns the designation of liturgical ministers, the pastor is the one who appoints lectors and communion ministers and if a family wants to choose from these in my parish they may, but if non practicing Catholics are desired for these roles, the pastor has an obligation to state, no!

My critic also seems to fail to acknowledge I've given the family many choices and options. He wants the family liturgy committee to act as these creative committees did in the 1970's, pick and choose and demand whatever they want, from Danny Boy to Kumbaya. These I do not permit as is my right. I'm happy for him to call this clericalism.

"If it is the custom of the local community, the pall is then placed on the coffin by family members, friends, or the minister." (OCF no 84)"

Who allows for these options to be exercised? The pastor, but check the form again, it asks who will do it, the funeral home or someone else? So the options is there but I don't do it myself or have the altar servers doing it.

No, there is not an encouragement of other artifacts being placed on the coffin like bibles or rosaries or flowers or teddy bears.

"After the introductory rites, the liturgy of the word is celebrated. Depending upon pastoral circumstances, either one or two readings may be read before the gospel reading." (OCF 165)

As pastor, I've made the decision as it my right and bowden duty to eliminate the second reading. Funerals are not solemnities. Feasts, memorials and daily masses don't have a second reading ever. The guideline you quote is for the priest to determine and its in our liturgical books for us to guide the liturgy,not the laity to call the shots.

Then you write: "There are many options allowed in the prescribed "Order of Christian Funerals" that seem to be disallowed at St. Joseph Church. That is a pity."

You should have written, ultimately, that as pastor i have a right to guide the liturgy and choose the options and that this is the nature of the Church and the role of the pastor confirmed by Canon Law, the ultimate law of the Church. You should have praised me, thank you very much.

But no, you make norms and suggestions, even when words like "if possible", "may", "should" and the like are used and turn these into dogmatic statements about the rights of the laity when it comes to the liturgy of the Church.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

In your parish, are you allowed the Gradual, Tract and Sequence? Are you allowed the Propers?

John Nolan said...

Fr McDonald

Your critic 'Anonymous', whose style I recognize, makes some baseless accusations. There are a lot of options for funerals which can in no way be considered 'prescribed rules' and in any case I don't see that you disallow anything that is permitted, or regard family involvement as an intrusion. A form like this can't cover every option.

'Funeral Masses at St Joseph Church normally do not have a second reading'. This is because they are weekday Masses, and even papal weekday Masses have only one reading before the Gospel. There may be occasions where more than one family member might want to give a reading, in which case 'pastoral circumstances' allow a second reading.

The prohibition of eulogies is made clear in GIRM 382 (At the Funeral Mass there should, as a rule, be a short homily, but never a eulogy of any kind) and in OCF 27.

The Propers are part of the Mass and should not be omitted in any case. Also, in this age of options, parishes need to have their own liturgical norms. When my father died in 1998 it fell upon me to organize his funeral in a parish which was not notably conservative. As he had been the headmaster of the Catholic school until he retired, and a member of the Knights of St Columba, there were going to be a lot of parishioners there. The only request he had for his funeral, made verbally many years before, was for the sung Gregorian Ordinary and Propers from the traditional Requiem Mass (including the Dies Irae). I rang around and assembled a small schola to sing these. I chose a couple of hymns which the congregation would know, requested EP I, asked the MC if he would help in distributing Communion (he was an EMHC anyway) but didn't otherwise interfere. Two grandsons did the readings and I did the Bidding Prayers. Two schoolchildren brought up the Offerings.

Had he lived another ten years I would have had no difficulty in organizing a sung EF Requiem, and would have had every right to do so. But I don't think it would have been appropriate in that parish setting, and so would not have done it.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Are you suggesting that former PI (Pater Ignotus) is hiding behind anonymity again? I just can't imagine it.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

By the way, it is clear from SP that a Catholic has a right to the EF Requiem and Nuptial Liturgy and Mass. But I know of pastors who forbid it. So much for actual mandates being ignored by the progressive wing.

I've done a number of EF Weddings and Baptisms but not a EF Requiem yet, but I think our Funeral options and mandates will show the continuity between the two. And I would also offer an option (not in writing but if asked) of an all Latin Ordinary Form, except for the Scriptures, and would not have a problem of eliminating the bidding prayers and Sign of peace as both are technically optional.

Anonymous said...

No, there is no mandate that family members participate in planning the funeral of a loved one. I never suggested there was.

Nor have I ever suggested that a pastor should be prevented from guiding the liturgies of his parish. That is his responsibility.

However, when the pastor determines that he is authorized to "guide the liturgies of his parish in the way he deems best," but the way "he deems best" does not embody the guidelines/regulations of the Church, he oversteps.

Were a pastor to say, "In guiding the liturgy in my parish as I see best, all funerals will include the use of black vestments," he would be denying to members of his parish what the Church allows. He has no authority to do so. When he disallows, based on his own peculiar preferences, what the Church allows, he oversteps.

As pastor, you are not the final word, though in your own mind you have made that your mantra. You are merely - and I used the word advisedly - a cooperator, a co-worker, with your bishop. HE, not you, has the final say. HE, not you, is endowed with the authority to determine the liturgy in your parish. Unless he has delegated to you the authority to disallow what the Church allows , you overstep.

When a pastor exercises his "bowden" duty, he will get into trouble. Were he to exercise his bounden duty regarding funerals, he will do what he is obligated to do; he will make available to his parishioners what the Church, not the local pastor, makes available.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It is clear from the rubrics that the priest has the right to choose the color of the vestments that are indicated in any Mass. It is not left to the liturgy committee or any special interest to choose this, it is the priest's prerogative given the colors allowed. For our National Day of Prayer for the Protection of the unborn, white or violet may be chosen. The pastor may delegate the choice of the color of the vestments to a lay committee or listen to their request, but certainly it is his prerogative to do either, not the committee's or the lay person requesting.

The colors in our funeral book for funeral Masses are white, violet or black. This is for the priest to choose. I have chosen though to allow the family to choose.

How many times in the OF Funeral Mass have you ever, and I mean ever, seen either violet or black.

I am happy to say that I have had requests for black vestments for funerals for about three of them.

You continue to set up silly strawmen!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I might also add, in terms of your silly strawmen, that our default white vestment for funerals has a black and violet insert or ophry.

Are you also promoting by way of your silly liturgical planning logic that I show the family planning the funeral each white, violet or black chasuble we have in our sacristy and let them pick the one they like the best? You really are being silly.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Also, it is clear in the American adaptation of the Roman Missal's GIRM that intinciton for Holy Communion is a legitimate option. It is also clear from the same norms that kneeling for Holy Communion is a legitimate option. Do you allow either when requested?

Do you allow the laity to tell you which preface and Eucharistic Prayer you will pray? When during Lent year C or B there is an option for Year A readings, who makes that choice?

Who ultimately has the responsibility to select the musical options of the Mass in terms of hymns and settings of the Mass?

Can a priest without the bishop's permission pray only the Roman Canon every day if he wishes but especially on Sunday?

Can a priest pick which penitential act he wishes or rite of sprinkling and can he exclusively use the Confiteor if he wishes without the bishop's permission?

You continue to be highly selective about the priestly options in our liturgical books.

John Nolan said...

The point about options is than one can opt to do something or opt not to do it. Similarly, to allow something is not to prescribe it or even approve of it. The permission for women to serve at the altar was so hedged about with conditions as to suggest that it was a reluctant concession. Nor are EMHC (male or female) to be routinely used or seen as a means of increasing lay participation.

Where there are options in the prayers of the Mass it is clear that they are at the choice of the celebrant. That erudite Ordinariate priest Fr Hunwicke dislikes EPs II, III and IV and explains why (see his blog). There is no reason why he should pray them, and this applies to all priests of the Latin rite. If a bishop were to order him to use them, then an appeal to Rome would probably see the bishop overruled.

A priest needs no permission to celebrate the Novus Ordo in Latin. However, if he is a parish priest and insists on only using Latin (an unlikely scenario) then the bishop would be within his rights in ordering him to say at least some Masses in the vernacular.

A priest would not be entitled to insist on Communion kneeling and on the tongue in the OF, if the bishop allows CITH and standing in his diocese. This is because this is an option given to the communicant. (It works both ways.)

'When he [the priest] disallows ... what the Church allows, he oversteps.' What exactly does this mean? The Church allows female servers, but a diocese, a parish or even an individual priest is entitled to exclude them. 'You may' has never meant 'you must'.

Anonymous said...

Your arguments lead to an interesting conclusion: There are some things which the Church allows, but in your parish, " pastor I have a right to guide the liturgy and choose the options and that this is the nature of the Church and the role of the pastor confirmed by Canon Law, the ultimate law of the Church."

So, based on your reasoning, you would agree that if a pastor, guiding the liturgy in his parish, chooses not to offer Mass in the Extraordinary Form, he is entirely within his rights since this is an option commended by the Church, but not required.

Remember, you've said that, "...norms and suggestions, even when words like "if possible", "may", "should"..." can be, under the pastoral guidance of a canonically appointed pastor, set aside according to the pastor's preferences.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

In fact, no priest is required to celebrate the EF. If there is a stable group who petition it, then the pastor should find someone to celebrate it. I'd like to know how one would accomplish this if there are no priests who can or want to do it. The stable group could the petition the bishop and indicate they will pay air fair or other transportation for an FSSP priest to come, and they will remunerate him. Or some other priest in good standing.

I believe the stable group has recourse to the bishop. However, if I don't use the Eucharistic Prayer that the family at a funeral directs me to use, or if I only use the Confiteor and Roman Canon, I don't think they have recourse to the bishop.