Monday, June 19, 2006

more on funerals

Readers of this blog will take note of my occasional writing on the state of funerals today.

Recently I was at a funeral where the reading was the “The souls of the just are in the hand of God” reading (Wis 3:1-3). My red flag went up when I remembered that this text is the offertory for All Saints. Another flag went up when I heard the Beatitudes in the Gospel reading - the Beatitudes are the communion for All Saints.

And, sure enough, these are legit options for funerals.

But, this is another example of the doctrinally perilous borrowing of ideas from All Saints to put into funerals. We really gotta remind people: All Saints is a big party for the people we know are with God; All Souls is an occasion of prayer for everyone else who has died. The funeral I mention, though, seemed much more of a party for the deceased.

4 Comments:

At Tuesday, June 20, 2006 5:58:00 PM, Anonymous brandon field said...

If it's in the selection, then at least your local Ordinary thinks it's okay for use. Don't forget humility, and that includes obedience to the local Ordinary unless he is acting contrary to the faith or morals that the Church teaches.

 
At Wednesday, June 21, 2006 12:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to complain per se, but my local ordinary occasionally improvises some sacramentary text. I haven't come up with a good way to approach him about it. Certainly, some of the discussion from this blog can help write some arguments for sticking with the text, but I am hesitant to bring this up directly. Any thoughts?

 
At Wednesday, June 28, 2006 11:38:00 AM, Blogger Todd said...

These Scriptures are Lectionary texts and universal for the Catholic Church. I fail to see the doctrinal problem: we employ many Scripture passages for a variety of liturgical uses.

 
At Thursday, June 29, 2006 5:26:00 PM, Blogger Cantor said...

Whoa - didn’t see these comments on here!

Brandon, the funeral selections are from the Lectionary, the content of which is from Rome. Of course there is hopefully a good reason for the same text to be for All Saints as well as All Souls....guess I can’t see it now, or am at least sensitive to such things because I’ve seen stuff going on in my parish that suggests people think baptism guarantees going to heaven.

Anonymous - I would first write him a letter (many folks don’t think well on their feet!) inquiring about the changes. Bishops have quite a bit of leeway in making adaptations, as I recall. If this doesn’t satisfy you, then check Redemptionis sacramentum (on usccb.org/liturgy/current) about procedures for reporting liturgical abuse. And bear in mind that LOTS of priests do this; if an authority comes down on your bishop, he then also has to chastize probably lots and lots of others.

Todd,

The problem I see with the same text being used on All Saints and All Souls is that it contributes to a confusion between these two days; the distinctions between them are fairly important, IMO. ATST, presumably/hopefully there is a good reason for having the same reading both days that I’m just not seeing.

 

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