Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

You Might Not Have a Funeral Mass When You Die…

May 29th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

From All Saints parish in Corning:

The fruit of Bishop Clark’s tenure.



35 Responses to “You Might Not Have a Funeral Mass When You Die…”

  1. militia says:

    Betcha’ there is already a funeral rite to be presided over by priestesses. Even rigor mortis won’t stop it being forced down our throats.

  2. Eliza10 says:

    That is some very bad fruit.

  3. Snowshoes says:

    The great priests we all know are filling the gap, and saying lots of funeral Masses. Is there a book written about how to live as a faithful Catholic under the Red Chinese, or how the Catholic Church and normal Catholics operate in a way to survive in moslem countries with sharia, or how the Catholic Church operated under the Soviets? WE need to read those books, because we are living in such a situation, it seems to me.

    The oppression is being increasingly supported by the political system. There may come a time when all of the Church is outlawed, not just on our practices in adopting children, or running hospitals, or marriages, but the whole enchilada. Call me a henny penny, but… But as Blessed JP the Great always said, Be not afraid! Happy Ascension Thursday, a few days early.

  4. Bruce says:

    If a loved one of mine should die in the DoR, and there was no priest around, I would go to the chancery and drag +Clark up there to do it. It is HIS responsibility. It is HIS diocese. If he can’t bring in enough priests, then we should all force him to do their jobs.

  5. Raymond Rice says:

    Bruce: If you put violent hands on a bishop, I believe it is instant excommunication.

  6. militia says:

    I believe Raymond is correct. But you could drag the coffin into every Mass His Excellency says until he says a funeral. I don’t think that would get you excommunicated.

  7. Ok, I have to chuckle irreverantly at the image of someone pushing a Casket around a town and sitting in the first pew just rapping their fingers on the coffin and giving Bishop Clark sly eyes during Mass.

  8. a recent convert says:

    This honks me off so much I cannot respond because you would delete me.

  9. a recent convert says:

    Or then again he could make a DVD we could all watch at the funerall home bedore we bury our loved one.

  10. One other thing that is a recent ‘adjustment’ in our parish, is that our young people who are being confirmed this year are not going to be given confirmation names. I heard this is the norm in our diocese.

    Bit by bit, Catholic faith traditions are being dismantled.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I know at Christ the King church in Irondequoit (now Blessed Kateri) the young people are given the option to choose a name or not. Many choose not to have a confirmation name. I always thought this was odd. I don’t think they were ever taught the significance and spiritual benefit of this tradition.

  12. Eliza10 says:

    No confirmation names?? What is WRONG with this Bishop!

    Something is very wrong. Its not costing the Diocese a nickle to have confirmation names. It does not use any extra priest time. Obviously this is not something any parishioners have clamored for [not that what the parishioners want ever has anything to do with Bishop Clark’s actions]. What can the excuse possibly be to eliminate confirmation names??

    But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by Gretchen’s news. I was at Confirmation at Sacred Heart recently and I noticed that MOST parishes introduced the names of their confirmation candidates with NO confirmation names, i.e., “Nicole Schultz”.

    A notable exception was Our Lady of Victory. Not only did OLV’s catechist begin his introduction with an address to “His Excellency” Bishop Clark – I think the only one who used that formal title (which in my opinion added dignity to the whole occasion), this catechist also introduced each of OLV’s candidates with a confirmation name – i.e., “Nicole Kateri Tekakwitha Shultz”. Each. one. It made it stand out. It had your attention. Clearly, this was not just a secular ceremony. This was not a thank-you list to persons who volunteered their time and talent to the DOR goals. No, this is solemn CATHOLIC ceremony, and we are surrounded not only by all these people but by Saints and angels. And the names of wonderful Saints are being brought to our minds.

    And Bishop Clark was odd leading this. He spent some time explaining to the Candidates how they were to come up for the Sacrament, and he told them to “smile!”. He went on and on about this a bit, how they should “look happy!”. It was bizarre. Particularity because it was deja vous for me. My child had a mentally ill teacher for a brief time (she was let go eventually). Among the MANY crazy things she did was tell the students during science lab she wanted them to stand for the lab, and to “mill around”. This is when I realized that she (among whatever else was her problem) was a Narcissist. Her students were an extension of herself, and her primary overriding concern was how they looked because of how she looked. Remember, Narcissus fell in love not with himself, but with his IMAGE of himself in the pool…

    So – no confirmation names. What’s the agenda? Maybe by not having Confirmation names, the people aren’t reminded of those embarrassing Saints that are so unlike the lay people we want running our parishes. And there is less risk those Confirmation Candidates might someday be serious about their Saint and read up on their lives and realize what it truly means to live a Catholic life. So opposite of what the DOR wants you to think is Catholic.

    So you can see, I think it is a conspiracy to steal the Catholic identity of the people of the DOR!

    But can anyone offer a more plausible idea than my “conspiracy theory”?? Anyone?

  13. Eliza10 says:

    Anonymous-9153 says:
    May 30, 2011 at 9:38 AM

    “I know at Christ the King church in Irondequoit (now Blessed Kateri) the young people are given the option to choose a name or not. Many choose not to have a confirmation name. I always thought this was odd. I don’t think they were ever taught the significance and spiritual benefit of this tradition.”

    I think you are absolutely right. They weren’t taught. On purpose! We can see the agenda now, from what Gretchen says is happening in her parish, where its no longer an option. But another way to do it is to “give the option”, but make it very clear with your tone that its a bad option!

    I have seen this DOR modus operandi in action!

    Once when I was praying in the side tabernacle room of a small parish, the deacon came into the sanctuary, preparing a few college age young ladies for First Communion. They wanted to know how to receive – hand or mouth. He told them they could receive by mouth but the vast majority don’t and that it could be unsanitary or something negative ( I don’t remember his words, only that he conveyed it was gross). I was shocked, being a recent convert. The reverent Priest who taught me made sure to not influence my choice so I was forced to make a decision based on my own conscience. But these girls were told what was the better choice – and that the other was not desirable at all.

    So you see, this is they way they catechize in the DOR. They have their OWN catechesis – and its not Catholic!

  14. JLo says:

    Eliza10, just a word about receiving the Holy Eucharist on the tongue… Yes, in the hand is still allowed in our country; but just after the Holy Father returned home from his USA visit, an article I read reported that in his very next public Holy Mass (and going forward), a kneeler was placed for those receiving from the Holy Father and that they (lucky people!) would kneel and receive on the tongue. That is now the norm for Benedict XVI! Another anecdote: on a recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Fr. Mitch Pacwa, he requested that we all receive on the tongue… said that in the hand was not done there and would upset non-Americans and non-RCs. (Very diplomatic of Fr. Mitch, because I believe it is also HIS preference). Anyway, I love it! Our very bright, very holy current pontiff is slowly but surely leading us back to reverence, back to the important in our faith walk, so take heart! +JMJ

  15. Eliza10 says:

    It must have been a wonderful pilgrimage! Yes, I am expecting a new springtime, too. It is a happy hope and expectation! At the same time, it makes me sad and angry that new incoming Diocese of Rochester, NY Catholics, in droves, and for years, are systematically robbed of the true choice for communion that is allowed them, by having it communicated to them by deacons or priests or catechists that receiving in hand is the only good or acceptable way to receive communion.

  16. Gretchen says:

    This whole business about not taking a confirmation name is not new to this diocese. (Maybe it’s just being resurrected?) I was part of one of Bishop Clark’s first confirmation classes. We were encouraged not to take a separate confirmation name, but to use our own name instead. I remember that I had wanted to take the name Elizabeth and telling some adult in charge that I didn’t know of any St. Gretchens. The response? “Well, maybe you’ll be the first!” (I think that honor might go to Gretchen from SOP!) Sadly, I succumbed to the KoolAid and used my own name, but I’ve been sad about it for over 30 years… St. Elizabeth is still one of my favorites, though!

  17. Gretchen, I take solace in knowing that our name is also a version of Margaret, which in Latin means ‘pearl’. Gretchen is more the Dutch version of Margaret, I have been told.

    So, we do have a ‘namesake’ saint!

    The pressure is off. 🙂

  18. Gretchen says:

    Gretchen (from SOP), Gretchen is the German diminutive form of Margaret. (It would be like “Peggy” or “Maggie” or “Meg”.) My parents named my sister a German diminutive form of Elizabeth. Somehow, our brothers got proper grown-up names…

    My sister’s baby’s middle name is Pearl. Somehow we are all connected. 😀

  19. peacebewithyou says:

    More recently the candidates for the sacrament of Confirmation are encouraged to use their baptism names as their confirmation names to show the traditional and historical connection between the two sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. With any preparation that I have participated, the candidate researches both his/her baptism or given names and ask their parents how they came to select that name,as well as the Saint they have selected before making a final decision regarding his/her confirmation name.

  20. Raymond Rice says:

    Everyone seems to be in a dither about taking a confirmation name or not. From my perspective, the real insult is that the concept of a saint is being trivialized and pushed off the stage. WE TAKE THE NAMES OF SAINTS, NOT POLITICIANS OR ROCK SINGERS, RAPPERS OR POLITICIANS. We take the names of people who did remarkable things in life for Christ, are now with GOD, and can advocate, encourage, and be heroes and heroins for us!! They are our role models and special friends. It part of the communion of saints!!

    To diminish and trivialize this concept is WRONG!!!

  21. Eliza10 says:

    Hmm, I don’t think anyone is trivializing it. When we talk here of talking a Confirmation name, I thought it was understood that we are taking a Patron Saint’s name.

    And everyone should take a name. Then if someone happens to have a poor catechist, or have distracted parents or they are distracted themselves, at least they have the name (and I don’t know why they wouldn’t be aware that is their very own Patron Saint). Then someday they may want to learn more in depth about their Saint. If they have nothing – well they have nothing but regret, like Gretchen.

  22. Louis E. says:

    Are the bination/trination limits invoked against Funeral Masses?

  23. peacebewithyou says:

    I do not see giving the option of using one’s given/baptism name or a patron saint’s name for one’s confirmation name as a conspiracy(Eliza10) nor a trivialization(Raymond Rice) nor dismantling catholic tradition(Gretchen from SOP) by the bishop or DOR. One hopes that the candidates are given instruction on why either option is based on tradition in the Catholic Church and completely appropriate. I am sorry to hear of instances where the choice was made for the candidates without proper instruction. That is not right. I admit that I am biased towards picking a patron saint for a confirmation name because we all need as much help as we can get, but using one’s baptism name can be meaningful also; especially if they are names of Saints.

    In reference to the presentation of the candidates at the celebration of Confirmation at the Cathedral. The confirmation name is presented by the sponsor to the bishop at the time of anointing and not before.

    My confirmation is Margaret of Scotland for many reasons: to honor my ancestors from Scotland; to honor my sponsor, my mother-in-law, whose middle name is Margaret; and to honor my late husband’s priest friend from Fordham University, who was pastor of Saint Margaretof Scotland in Chicago.

  24. Ludwig says:

    When I was going through RCIA at an Irondequoit parish (NOT CtK) a few years back, we were casually told “you can pick a confirmation name, but we need you to write it down this very second.” Coming from a Methodist background, this concept was foreign to me. When I asked what the significance of a confirmation name was, I was simply told “oh, you can just pick a name if you want.”

    Needless to say, that clarified nothing, and I never chose one.

  25. A Catholic says:

    The person from All Saints Parish that wrote, “A Mass could then be celebrated at a later date- in memory of the deceased loved one,” perhaps doesn’t understand that the funeral Mass HELPS the deceased. The person’s soul may be in Purgatory, in need of Masses and prayers and to neglect this or put it off until later is foolish and shows a lack of concern for the one who has passed on. Or, more likely, simply a lack of understanding of a basic concept in the Catholic faith. Priest shortage or not, Catholics should insist that a priest be found to celebrate a funeral Mass when a loved one passes on.

  26. Eliza10 says:

    “I do not see giving the option of using one’s given/baptism name or a patron saint’s name for one’s confirmation name as a conspiracy(Eliza10) nor a trivialization(Raymond Rice) nor dismantling catholic tradition(Gretchen from SOP) by the bishop or DOR.”

    But, Margaret, the fact is, in the DOR it is the imposed norm to not take a confirmation name, or to discourage (either directly or indirectly) taking one.

    My question is, why? You say its not conspiracy, its not trivialization, and its not a dismantling of Catholic tradition. I think all three are involved, particularly the latter. Soo you say what you think its not – what do you think it is??

    You also wrote:

    “In reference to the presentation of the candidates at the celebration of Confirmation at the Cathedral. The confirmation name is presented by the sponsor to the bishop at the time of anointing and not before.”

    All the names were read by the confirmation catechists. Only one small parish included Confirmation names, out of many parishes. Why is that?

    It can’t be time. Bishop Clark took a lot of time to explain why the candidates should put on a happy face when they go forward to be confirmed. And Bishop Clark also took a lot of time at the end of the Mass – it was a school night and there were many families in attendance with young children, and many of th candidates had to gt up for early middle or high school classes – to thank each and every person who had a role in the Mass, by name, and what they did, ending with a great thanks to the white-gowned Sister Joan, “Master of Ceremony*!”.

    Leaving out the newly confirmed’ Saint’s names but spending time thanking all these people and telling us their paid and unpaid roles are in the evening is mixed up priorities.

    *Does anyone know about a Catholic tradition for a “Master of Ceremony”?? I have never heard of it. What is this role? What is its holy purpose in the Mass?

  27. Getting back to the Funeral Report-may not have a Mass of Christian Burial. What about the Sacrament of Extreme Unction? Years back, my mother was in Strong Memorial Hospital dying and close to death. We asked that my mother receive the Sacrament of the Sick-Extreme Unction. The nun alerted and involved with my mother’s case was trying to find a priest for many hours without success. I learned from her that the priest in the Chaplain’s position was off somewhere doing something, and I think it qualified as vacation. There was no priest replacement made in his absence! A hospital is one place where you expect to find a Catholic priest chaplain on duty, especially in the daytime.
    The nun continued calling non-stop and found out all the priests were missing from their rectories because of some special priest event they were asked to attend. The priest from the Sacred Hearts order was out of town for a special meeting for his congregation.
    My mother died without Extreme Unction. My mother was kept in her hospital bed until later on, in the evening an older priest who the nun finally obtained, gave Extreme Unction to my mother dead.The priest did not stay long and told us it was rough just before Christmas, and then left.My mother did have a mass of Christian burial.
    I have witnessed other occasions when a priest cannot be obtained for Extreme Unction.In some cases it is because no priest can be found and in other cases it is because a priest does not want to “cross boundaries”, or feel someone else should be doing it, or insist they have something of higher priority.
    In one instance, when my sister who is an R.N.could not get the fill-in priest chaplain at a hospital to come up to the floor to give Extreme Unction, she went down to his office to confront him in person. He relayed he had another priority and didn’t have time. My sister boldly told him that he did not have any greater priority than giving a patient their last rites.She did everything short of bodily dragging him to he floor.She stood her ground and got him to come to the floor to give Extreme Unction.
    There are dear devoted priests who would be horrified that there are priests who have other priorities than witnessing to a dying person, giving the sacraments, healing the soul and preparing it on their way.
    I am still somewhat bitter that no priest could be obtained to give my mother last rites while she was still alive. I am also somewhat bitter that no priest could be obtained to give some patients/people last rites. I wonder what my chances are of getting Extreme Unction when I am dying and close to death, while still alive, when that day comes. Right now, the chances do not seem good, not only with priest shortage but with priests who do not regard it as top priority.
    If a priest is available and does not want to come to give last rites, I suggest you do what my sister the R.N. did. Remind them boldly and firmly that they have no greater priority and stand your ground!

  28. Hopefull says:

    I just want to witness to the importance of a priest giving the last rites. Sometimes I or my friends go to the Canandaigua VA Hospital where there is an 11AM weekday Mass. On occasion, we know the Chaplain is in the building but he is 20 minutes or more late. People just sit there patiently and wait because they know what he is doing is SO essential, and they would want their family members or themselves cared for that way. He comes from the bed of the dying, and then says Mass for us. It is very low key, and touching. Just wanted to commend him, not a diocesan DoR priest, but a part of the military ordinariate. God bless him!

  29. God Bless him indeed!

  30. Bill B. says:

    Not being picky, but did they not change the name Extreme Unction to Annointing of the Sick? So if a person is gone, it’s not the same? This was a Vatican change, I think. I remember as a boy bodies were annointed and people felt better about it. Now you are in danger of death and by annointing, you are prepared for it. Too confusing.

  31. I doubt that the rich and powerful catholics will have trouble finding a priest for a funeral mass at the date and time they want.

  32. To Bill: Yes, the term Extreme Unction was changed to Annointing of the Sick. I think the concept of annointing those who are sick or suffering from a multitude of causes is a wonderful thing. Those people reap the benefit of spiritual blessing and healing as well as mental and physical healing according to God’s will. However, the term Annointing of the Sick can be a confusing term when applied to a the more immediate cause of the dying, close to death. Annointing of the Sick does not have the same strong, sharp,and expedient meaning and tone as Extreme Unction and Last Rites when it comes to those who are in immediate danger of death.
    As a priest, if someone told you that so and so is requesting Annointing of the Sick, even if it is in a hospital setting, if it was not explained, the priest might assume they want a special annointing for their suffering or disease, and put it off to another time, or ask if someone else can take care of it. A common reply is “they had it last month or were given it on my last visit.” It is not the same as a person wanting to make a full contrition (if able) and asking for the pardon of sins and full blessing of the church before dying and leaving this world. Although some may say technically annointing after death counts, or annointing at an earlier date counts, it negates the full meaning of the presence of the church through the priest, to be present to the dying person near death, to offer comfort and solace through this special sacrifice.
    Regardless of what term Vatican II has used, I think it would be more accurate and efficient to use “Last Rites” to convey the urgency of the situation to a priest when a person is in eminent danger of death.
    I do not think there is any reason why a hospital, of all places, should be without a Catholic priest chaplain, especially due to vacation. A Catholic nun may offer prayer and comfort but she is not permitted to give Last Rites. I am beginning to think that the Catholic church is slowly doing away with this special sacrament in regard to how available they have made it. I would also bet some of the priests who try to get out of giving Last Rites would want a priest giving them Last Rites if they were close to death.

    One question-Is a Deacon allowed to give Last Rites? I know most people probably prefer a priest, but since it is so difficult to get hold of a priest for this sacrament, can a Deacon give it? If so, could a Deacon be one of the ones on call to give this sacrament if a priest can not be contacted or refuses to come?

  33. Louis E. says:

    Is Extreme Unction one of the sacraments provided for via Summorum Pontificum and Universae Eccleiiae as a permitted alternative to its modern counterpart Anointing of the Sick?

  34. Bill B. says:

    I know for a fact of a deacon who was upbraided by the powers that be for anointing. It is not permitted and is only a duty of a priest.
    I have met the priest assigned at Strong when we had a dieing event. He said he was there for ‘X’ hours and he had a pager for additional times when he was on ‘free time.’ He was very handy with his cotton ball and vial of oil. Nice man.

  35. Bill B.-That’s nice to know regarding the current priest assigned to Strong. The incident where no priest could be found at Strong, or anywhere else for that matter, when my mother was dying and close to death, (and for an extended period of time after death) was in December 1992. We were upset over that and I made a formal complaint over the matter so perhaps it affected change for the good.

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