Friday, November 04, 2005

Have you ever posted something knowing that it could stir all sorts of crap up? I knew that last post would either bring in Catholics telling me they agreed with me or bring in Catholics who think Vatican II was a license to throw whatever musical choices they wanted into the Mass. I knew this when I posted. I also knew, from information posted very frequently elsewhere, that the music within the American arm of Catholicism was on a steep decline. I was honestly hoping that I would avoid it in my great uncle's funeral.

That being said, I don't want everybody to think it was all a bad experience. First off, I have never seen a bishop show up to any event involving my family. The former bishop, who was shipped off to Phoenix by the Pope to serve there, came back for the funeral. Secondly, it was a gathering of the family, which has been scattered quite far over the years because of jobs and life in general. Thirdly, I know he died well. I don't think many people understand the concept of a good death in this world now because we as a society try to hide death by embracing the cult of the young. While death is a consequence of original sin and was not originally meant to be, as Christians we need to reclaim the idea of dying well. Finally, the preaching ended up being better than I expected. His homily at the rosary, as a Lutheran, had a lot to be desired, but his homily at funeral mass was quite good. One of the main complaints we as Lutherans have against Catholicism is that the Gospel is often masked by other things, yet the Gospel was very clearly proclaimed in that homily.

I must say not all the music was bad. The Ave Maria set to Schulbert's setting is always a joy to the ears, even if the lyrics might give me fits. The Recessional Hymn (it wasn't called that, by the way) was How Great Thou Art, which seems to get sung at every funeral I go to. It was the recessional for my Grandfather's funeral, my Grandmother's funeral, and now my Great Uncle's funeral. It is a tear jerker for me now.

I do not know who was behind the musical decisions. If it was my family, I can forgive them because those who had to make these decisions also were in a lot of grief. If it was the priest or someone else, I'll fart in their general direction. After this mass, I will honestly say that if I were to embrace Rome or Constantinople (that's a big if, by the way), I'll take my chance crossing the Bosporus.

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