Here’s a little bit of humor to spruce up your Triduum.
My parents live in the suburbs of Montreal. They attend a good parish that celebrates the Mass reverently, with a nice choir, a pipe organ, incense, etc. The building itself is very old and beautiful. Their Good Friday service was very well done and very reverent. However they had a glitch in their liturgy for Holy Thursday with respect to the washing of the feet, because they tried an “innovation.” The outcome is sad but kinda funny. Read the rest of this entry »
The death of a loved one is it difficult and emotional time for family and friends. Because emotions can easily overrun sound judgment at such a time, it is important to wrap your head around the meaning of a funeral beforehand so that you don’t get disappointed by any misunderstandings. It’s really not that complicated.
First of all, there is nothing inherently wrong when a family and friends recall the good qualities of a deceased person whom they loved. They should cling to those positive memories and let go of the negatives.
But there is a time and a place for everything. The funeral is neither the time nor the place for a eulogy. The funeral plays a unique and irreplaceable role of intercession for the soul of the deceased.
Can you think of any sacrament (or any other moment in the Christian life, for that matter) in which we stand before God and brag about how great we are? No. In every sacrament, the emphasis is on God’s greatness, our weakness, and our rejoicing in God’s mercy to fill the gap between us.
A funeral is no different. In fact, a funeral is the moment par excellence to turn to God’s mercy because time has run out on the deceased. In a sense, the funeral is more about God than about our loved one. All the prayers and actions in a funeral centre on imploring God’s forgiveness on that person, emphasizing our hope in the mercy obtained for us through the Death and Resurrection of Christ.
There’s an old song by the Newsboys called “Real good thing.” Although it’s not about a funeral, the refrain is very relevant in understanding a funeral.
When we don’t get what we deserve, that’s a real good thing, a real good thing
When we get what we don’t deserve, that’s a real good thing, a real good thing
The first line refers to eternal damnation while the second line refers to eternal salvation. Indeed, in Christ, we can aspire to avoid what we really deserve by our sins, and hope to obtain the eternal bliss that we could never deserve on our own. The Newsboys were cleverly using paradoxical language that would seem absurd and even unjust to a secularist but which expresses the profound mysteries of the Faith.
Because we rely on God’s mercy and not our merits, there is no need at the funeral to expand on the deceased’s virtues. It’s not a job interview as if we had to convince God or ourselves of the deceased’s worthiness for salvation.
Nor is it a time for the family and friends to use the virtues of the deceased as a means to blow off some steam. It’s not about you. It’s about your deceased loved one. You’ll do him much more good at the funeral by praying for the repose of his soul while praising God’s generosity. Save your praise of the deceased for an appropriate moment later.
So next time you’re at a funeral, focus on eternal things: pleading with God, in a hope-filled manner, to grant eternal life on your loved one. Continue praying for your loved one’s soul until the day you die. Only the hope of him resting in God’s arms will bring you lasting solace.
The thing is, even aside from the sacrilege and even blasphemy inherent in such celebrations, they are singularly ineffective on both the natural and supernatural levels. They don’t attract people to the Faith. They don’t change people’s lives, or put them on a path of salvation. What they do, is show an exhausted Church turning to desperate tricks in a bid to draw a few people in. But such efforts are always doomed to fail, as the Church and especially the Mass are not forms of entertainment, and fully secular entertainments will always be a far more attractive alternative for those looking for a secular-type good time. (Source)
…especially at 2:51.
My question is why they even bother with a male priest? Get the woman with the Boa to officiate.
These people honour me with their…er…exotic dances and snakes, but their hearts are far from me.
How come this kind of thing never makes it to the things to talk about in an interview?
These disputes are often caused by reading into the Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy later ideas or enthusiasms, of differing merit, which are simply not there. For example, Mass facing the people, having the entire liturgy in the vernacular, communion in the hand, the introduction of altar girls and of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are commonplace now, but have nothing to do with the Council itself. Sometimes an appeal to the “spirit” of Vatican II is made to justify these later innovations, but this ignores the authoritative nature of the Council’s texts, dissipates their integrity and relativises them. (Source)
Sadly, in Ottawa, we were not given permission to discuss Vatican II and especially those topics above. Too controversial. Might upset too many people.
In the Spirit of Vatican II Church, harmony, peace, and tranquility trumps truth, obedience, and beauty.
Not a positive experience for yours truly. Not at all.
Here is a press release Fr. Thomas Rosica, CEO of Salt & Light and Assistant to the Director of the Vatican Press Office, sent today to journalists regarding Thursday’s Mass celebrated by Francis at the Juvenile Detention Center, “Casal del Marmo”.
* * *
In response to the many questions and concerns raised over Pope Francis washing the feet of 12 young people at the Roman Juvenile Detention Centre on Holy Thursday evening, especially that two were young women, Fr. Lombardi has sent me the following information to be shared with you.
One can easily understand that in a great celebration, men would be chosen for the foot washing because Jesus, himself washing the feet of the twelve apostles who were male. However the ritual of the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday evening in the Juvenile Detention Centre in Rome took place in a particular, small community that included young women. When Jesus washed the feet of those who were with him on the first Holy Thursday, he desired to teach all a lesson about the meaning of service, using a gesture that included all members of the community.
We are aware of the photos that show Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, then-Archbishop of Buenos Aires, who in various pastoral settings washed the feet of young men and women. To have excluded the young women from the ritual washing of feet on Holy Thursday night in this Roman prison, would have detracted our attention from the essence of the Holy Thursday Gospel, and the very beautiful and simple gesture of a father who desired to embrace those who were on the fringes of society; those who were not refined experts of liturgical rules.
That the Holy Father, Francis, washed the feet of young men and women on his first Holy Thursday as Pope, should call our minds and hearts to the simple and spontaneous gesture of love, affection, forgiveness and mercy of the Bishop of Rome, more than to legalistic, liturgical or canonical discussions. (Source)
I have no problem with the Pope washing the feet of women per se. I have no problem with the Pope giving gestures that women are equal in dignity, obviously. I have no problem with the Pope showing love and affection to the outcast and disenfranchised.
I am uncomfortable with the Pope washing women’s feet on Holy Thursday - not because they are not equal to men – but because this liturgical rite is closely attached to the male priesthood. I am also uncomfortable with the clear discontinuity of the new Pontificate over what Benedict had proposed and implemented for the Church. The liturgy is not a play-thing of the Church…or even the Pope himself. Like the Word of God, the Church and the Pope are to safeguard and preserve the Liturgy.
I am very uncomfortable with the Pope disregarding canon law…any canon law. It is not “rigid” or “legalist” to insist that everyone in the Church abide by Canon Law. Canon law is essential in applying the Gospel to our lives. Disregarding canon law is basically an assent to anarchy and disunity in the Church. Other than the Holy Spirit, it’s the very glue that holds us together as Catholics. It is very troubling indeed for the supreme law maker in the Church to disregard the law. It sets a bad precedent. The Pope might be able to change the law, but while it is the law, he is still morally bound to respect it.
Pope St. Pius X was a lover of the poor and high liturgy and solid doctrine. Why must there be a division?
And I think this touches on the real problem between pre-Vatican II and post-Vatican II. Why should there be a division between loving the poor and loving high liturgy? High liturgy reminds the poor of their ultimate inheritance. There are no poor in heaven. Why must there be a division between maintaining our identity as Catholics and engaging in the new evangelization?
It’s not one or the other. It can be and should be both.
I hope that I am misunderstanding the Holy Father.
But it seems to me that we can show love while at the same time respecting the Church’s law and its tradition. Pope Francis, if for nothing else, is not just the Bishop of Rome to the poor. He is the Pope of the Universal Church. Disregarding canon law goes far beyond the issue of gender and washing feet.
Think pro-abort Catholic politician and Canon 915. Get my drift?
The very first thing Francis does is go to St Mary Major to pray at the tomb of Pius V.
So who was Pope St Pius V? He was a reforming pope who reigned from 1566- 1572. He cleaned up the curia, excommunicated heretical bishops, cleaned up the immorality in the church and swept the church clean– paving the way for the great surge in the church we call the Counter Reformation. He also excommunicated the tyrant Elizabeth I of England and formed the Holy League–a confederation of Catholic armies which eventually defeated the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto. Pius V also instituted the Feast of Our Lady of Victories (nor the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary). (Source)
I think some Traditionalists had better cool off for a bit and stop losing their minds. What I’ve been reading on trad blogs is scandalous.
Perhaps Pope Francis did not float their boat as Cardinal Bergoglio, but that is not to say he will not be kind to liturgical restoration as Pope. It is possible, after all, for a humble man to learn and grow. Does not everyone believe that Pope Francis is humble? Exactly, so relax. And chill out. Have Faith that God is not abandoning what He started with Benedict.
And besides, if this man is who I think he will be, the fun has just begun on the reformation front! It’s showtime!
…The practice of receiving Holy Communion in the hand first began to spread in Catholic circles during the early 1960s, primarily in Holland. Shortly after Vatican II, due to the escalating abuses in certain non-English speaking countries (Holland, Belgium, France and Germany), Pope Paul VI took a survey of the world’s bishops to ascertain their opinions on the subject. On May 28, 1969 the Congregation for Divine Worship issued Memoriale Domini, which concluded: “From the responses received, it is thus clear that by far the greater number of bishops feel that the present discipline [i.e., Holy Communion on the tongue] should not be changed at all, indeed that if it were changed, this would be offensive to the sensibility and spiritual appreciation of these bishops and of most of the faithful.”4 After he had considered the observation and the counsel of the bishops, the Supreme Pontiff judged that the long-received manner of ministering Holy Communion to the faithful should not be changed. The Apostolic See then strongly urged bishops, priests and the laity to zealously observe this law out of concern for the common good of the Church.
Despite this statement of the Holy See, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) decided at its Plenary Assembly of November 1969 to submit a formal request to the Holy Father for permission to distribute Holy Communion in the hand.The CCCB informed its members that “the growing participation in the Eucharist, especially by sacramental communion, has created within man the desire to see re-established the venerable custom of receiving the Eucharistic Bread in their hands.”5 The CCCB further advised its members that “the Pope thought it better not to change the [old] discipline for all the Church, but, rather, to study on an individual basis the requests submitted to him by national conferences of bishops.”6 What Pope Paul VI actually said in Memoriale Domini, however, was “if the contrary usage, namely, of placing Holy Communion in the hand, has already developed in any place [it had not, at that point, in Canada] . . . the Holy See will weigh the individual cases with care.”7
Permission for Communion in the hand was eventually granted to the Canadian bishops on several strict conditions, including that “the new manner of giving Communion must not be imposed in a way that would exclude the traditional practice.”8 The Canadian bishops nonetheless advised its instructors of the new practice to provide the faithful with only the “good reasons which justify the introduction of the new rite.”9 While not explicitly forbidden Communion on the tongue, the faithful — especially first communicants and converts — were “encouraged to receive the Eucharistic Bread on the flat palm of the hand.”10(Source)
What subterfuge and betrayal! November 1969. One year after Winnipeg. The rot does not waste any time in spreading its contagion, does it?
Is there any area in Church life where the Canadian Church is not playing Judas? I mean, you can’t make this stuff up! Who needs Obama with “friends of the Eucharist” like this?
How many innocent Catholics who receive on the hand know what they are doing? Virtually none. And yet the objective reality is that we are receiving the sacred Host unworthily. We need to stop this.
…The second plague is communion in the hand, spread almost everywhere in the world. Not only is this way of receiving communion not been mentioned in any way by the Council Fathers of Vatican II, but rather introduced by a number of bishops in disobedience to the Holy See and in contempt of the negative vote in 1968 the majority of the episcopal body. It was only after the Pope Paul VI legitimized it under special conditions and reluctantly…(Source)
Please pray for the Vatican II conference here in Ottawa. It’s in jeopardy of not happening.
Folks, I don’t know much about the Liturgy, but I have never been more sure about anything in my life. If the Liturgy returns, we will reap a harvest like nothing seen before! Everything will fall into place. Marriage. Pro-Life. Religious Freedom. Everything hinges on this.
Win this battle in the Church and we’ll have the devil pinned to the wall.
Many years ago, when I was doing Catholic Apologetics I came to the realization that the real war was not against Protestants but against liberals. Therefore, in 2003 after seven years of engaging in debates with Protestant apologists, I switched my efforts from doing Apologetics to doing Social Conservative activism at the start of the same-sex “marriage” debate.
Over the last couple of years, I experienced another eureka moment as I have come to the realization that the war in the culture – although very real and very important – is really not where the real action is. The real action is within the Catholic Church. We simply will not be able to change the Culture without getting the Church to wake up and address the problems within itself. The “New Evangelization” will never succeed if it is left to some marketing program or legal fiction. At the end of the day, if you don’t really believe and live what your Faith teaches, you’re not going to convert anyone. No gimmick is going to convert anyone. Bullsht doesn’t have wings. And therefore it won’t fly.
Either the Catholic Church will shape the Culture or the Culture will shape the Church. Or, in other words, either the Church will evangelize the Culture or the Culture will evangelize the Church. It’s a zero sum game. Either Evangelization or Reverse Evangelization.
It is folly to believe that the Church is merely one of the many actors in the fight to save our society and culture. It is not just one of many. It is the main actor on which depend the rising and falling of the many because She is divine in origin and She is the principal and only means of salvation. If we were to apply this simple truth to the current state of our Society and the Church, we see just how true and valid it is. Society has become a mirror of the Church: disordered, broken, corrupt, rudderless, vain and lacking in courage, honesty, integrity and self-control. The leadership of both worlds have these characteristics in particular abundance. Read the rest of this entry »