Saturday, April 21, 2018


I know, I know, we've talked about this before.

I hate celebrations of life for funerals, be it Catholic or Protestant although I really can't complain about the Protestant ones such as the one for Barbara Bush. 

I was watching a portion of Former First Lady, Barbara Bush's low Episcopal Celebration of Life kind of funeral.

What a magnificent church and edifice, so Catholic looking in the pre-Vatican II splendor.

But the liturgy is all about Mrs. Bush and the manner in which the liturgy is experienced or communicated, all the way from all kinds of relatives proclaiming a single Scripture reading with the best part if there is strong emotion or crying in doing so.

Then there are the eulogies, one after the other.

But who am I to judge an Episcopal Celebration of Life!

But the triumphalism of the music and celebration would put any pre-Vatican II papal celebration to shame.

When I die, my plans which the diocese has is that the Propers are chanted in Latin borrowed from the EF's Requiem--no gathering hymn please.

The lengthy EF's Offertory antiphon is to be chanted, nothing else.

I will have the EF's Epistle and Gospel  in English but with the EF's Gradual and Tract in chanted in Latin as also the Dies Irae. We'll have a booklet with the English translation of the Latin parts.

No Eulogy whatsoever, just a homily on the last four things, death, judgement,heaven and hell and God's Divine Mercy in the face of it all!

The Latin parts of the Mass using the Jubilatio chant.

In addition to the Latin Communion proper, Panis Angelicus will be sung.

I'll have the OF's final Commendation with its proper chant as my mortal remains are incensed. No hymn!

And I will be taken away by flights of angels with the sober Latin Chant "In Paradisum."

Yes, sober, boring and not about me--so me!


Gene said...

The only life (death and resurrection) being celebrated is that of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. We are grieving and mourning..."in sure and certain hope of the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come." All this forced celebration nonsense is crass and tacky, not to mention a total denial of the reality of suffering and death. When I was a Presbyterian minister, I would not allow the term "celebration" to be used. At least one family sought another minister to do the funeral (they ended up with a Baptist). On some things I would not yield (like country songs at weddings and funerals).

Henry said...

Your funeral Mass as you describe is exactly like the last OF funeral Mass I attended at Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville. In Latin except for the readings and prayers of the faithful. Celebrated ad orientem in black Roman vestments and black funeral pall on the coffin, with all who went to communion kneeling at the altar rail for reception on the tongue. Some of whom were heard to remark afterwards that it was really nice, the first "old Latin Mass" they're ever attended.

Despite the fact that the congregation had used--in addition to Latin-English propers handouts--the prominently labeled Latin-English "MASS OF VATICAN II" booklets published by Ignatius Press. Which has inside-front-cover notes explaining that this is how the fathers of Vatican II anticipated Mass might be celebrated in the future.

The Knoxville Latin Mass Community provides these OF Latin-English Mass booklets for occasional OF Latin Masses as our sincere contribution to serious ecumenism.

ByzRc said...

In their tradition, it was a beautiful service for a great lady. May her memory be eternal!

When my time comes, like you Fr., no eulogies.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Henry in my previous parish we had the EF Mass once a month at our normal 12:15 pm Mass. the OF Mass was as any except it was ad oriented and kneeling at the railing for Holy Communion just as the EF. I think Most thought the EF was the same Mass just in Latin!

Anonymous said...

As I predicted a few days ago, there would be no communion at her funeral...the Bushes hailed from "Low Church" New England (think: the Puritans), and the Diocese of Texas still has a low church feel, despite being headquartered in cosmopolitan Houston. Notice that both bishops at the "celebration of life" were not wearing either a miter or a cope (of course, you would not wear a chasuble unless a Mass were to be said). The one on the left was Andrew Doyle, the current diocesan (there are also several suffragan bishops in what is either the country's largest or second largest Episcopal diocese---either that or Virginia). I think the one on the right was Claud Payne, who was bishop of Texas maybe 15 years ago and a previous rector of St.. Martins.

Their rector, Dr. Levenson, seems appealing and nice---maybe you can detect a slight southern accent in him!

Henry said...

"In their tradition, it was a beautiful service"

Well, perhaps in a very low Episcopal tradition. I'd heard that (contrary to some reports) the older Bush's were high Episcopals, so I'd hoped for more. I recall a Catholic telling me decades ago about an Episcopal funeral for a friend she attended. Apart from the beautiful vernacular, it seemed to her just like a solemn high Requiem Mass, ad orientem black Roman vestments and all. The only Episcopal service I've ever attended myself was a Sarum-like Mass, more elaborate and with more incense than the usual Tridentine high Mass. I understand some nosebleed high AngloCatholics celebrate a Tridentine style Mass with even more lace and rubrical fussiness than young fogey newly ordained Catholic priests.

Anonymous said...

"Which has inside-front-cover notes explaining that this is how the fathers of Vatican II anticipated Mass might be celebrated in the future."

Amazing how the author of the "notes" was able to read the minds of the fathers of Vatican II...

TJM said...

At Kavanaugh's funeral, the closing hymn should be "The Party's Over!"

Gene said...

TJM, You're killin' me. That is hilarious!

Henry said...

"Amazing how the author of the "notes" was able to read the minds of the fathers of Vatican II..."

The reference to the "notes" was phrased in my own words. Being just as clairvoyant as our genial host here, I am indeed able to read the minds of the fathers of Vatican II. Perhaps if enough others shared this ability of ours, the normative liturgy of the Church wouldn't be in its current shabby state. (Though in this case it's not so difficult, since those fathers expressed themselves pretty clearly in Sacamentum Consilium.)

Anonymous said...

"...I am indeed able to read the minds of the fathers of Vatican II."

And there you have it, folks. The great and powerful Oz has spoken.

SC, as everyone is aware, was the beginning of the process. The authority to implement SC was given to others - bishops, conferences of bishops, theologians, historians.

The minds of the Fathers of the Council were not expressed in SC. Those were their words which, given the nature of language, were limited to that moment in time. The ideas they raised and offered to the Church are given expression in the way the Church lives the liturgy in every parish, chapel, oratory, etc., around the world.

TJM said...

eAnonymous Kavanaugh,

What does not take mind reading is the clear mandate of SC for pastors to teach their congregations to sing the parts of the Mass proper to them in Latin. Have you followed this mandate or have you possibly read the Council Fathers' minds to determine they really didn't mean it?

Henry said...

"And there you have it, folks."

Has anyone else noticed that doctrinaire progressives typically have so little sense for language (when spoken in any voice other than their own) as to be oblivious to tones of flavor and texture. For instance, not recognizing a tongue in cheek unless it slurps all over them.

At any rate, to all except perhaps those with a career invested in a failed experiment, it should be obvious after 50 years of failure, that the implementation of SC was so disastrous in its results that the Church should abandon it for a decent attempt to move on.