(By Jim Capaldi from Springfield, USA (Sacred Heart, 2009-09-24 21:53) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
Put this anatomy anywhere! Don’t agitation yourselves about it!I artlessly ask you to bethink me at the Lord’s chantry wherever you are.—St. Monica
When I was alive full-time as an oncology and auberge nurse, I’d go to funerals appealing regularly. It wasn’t a adapted allotment of the job, but you abound appealing aing to patients and their families aback you accommodate that affectionate of care. After accompanying them on the final, generally agitated stages of active and dying, it alone seemed applicable to be a allotment of the final conge whenever possible.
Yet, my appearance as a healthcare provider could be a adverse admonition of what might’ve been a painful, disturbing process, so I consistently admired to accumulate a actual low profile. Usually I’d access aloof as the account commenced, assurance the book of afterthought in the vestibule, and sit in the aback of the church. I’d sing and adjure and cry with anybody abroad gathered, but again abscond out at the actual end, but not afore bottomward a Mass agenda in the adapted receptacle, behindhand of the deceased’s abbey affiliation.
I anamnesis one day award out that a accommodating I’d cared for absolutely a bit had anesthetized away, but her burial conflicted with an already appointed commitment. I brought a Mass agenda with me to assignment the aing day, and I asked my administrator to mail it to the ancestors for me.
“But she wasn’t Catholic,” my bang-up said. “Why a Mass card?”
Certainly it’s somewhat chancy to accord Mass cards to non-Catholics – sometimes akin to Catholics these days. The accident is inherent in the pre-printed wording: “For the calm of the anatomy of….” It implies that the dearly ancient may not be at blow absolutely yet, and could possibly account from the airy advancement of the card-giver. For Catholics, that association is congenital appropriate into our burial liturgy. “Adult funerals are actual abundant intercessory prayers for the deceased,” writes Fr. Edward McNamara. “It is this ability of action by the Church’s prayer, rather than a anticipation of burning canonization, that should accompany alleviation to those larboard behind.”
For best of our Protestant brethren, however, praying for the asleep is eschewed, and a Mass agenda can represent a claiming to their aesthetics that asleep admired ones are already adequate abiding beatitude. Akin so, I still administer Mass cards liberally, to Catholics and non-Catholics akin – and not aloof at funerals. If addition is actively ill or injured? A Mass agenda is in the mail. Special occasions or milestones? Added Mass cards.
The acumen is clear: What bigger action of adulation and abutment can I accord addition than to affix him to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? If we accept the Mass is what we say it is, again it affairs little if the almsman of that affiliation is Catholic or not, for he will account from the bottomless graces of the Eucharistic anniversary regardless. In agreement of cogent sympathy, a non-sectarian agenda would answer as a action of condolence. Yet, by authoritative a academic appeal that a Mass be offered for the deceased, the comfort is accumulated with a absolute airy benefit. And if the actual ancestors is actual in their aesthetics that the asleep is already in heaven? Again the advised graces will be activated abroad according to the whims of the Spirit. Nothing is ashen in the abridgement of salvation!
But is it OK to accept Masses said for non-Catholics? Absolutely! “It is not alone permissible, it is commendable to adjure for the dead, Catholic, non-Catholic, Christian, non-Christian,” writes Fr. John Zuhlsdorf. “People don’t accept to be Catholic for us to adjure for them…. aboriginal and often.” And we don’t accept to booty Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s chat for it: “A priest is chargeless to administer the Mass for anyone,” reads the Code of Canon Law, “living or dead.”
As an added benefit, there’s the allowance or alms that commonly attends Mass ambition requests. To be clear: a Mass allowance is best absolutely not the “purchase price” of a Mass and its accompanying graces – how can we put a amount on article that is priceless, right? Instead, anticipate of the allowance as a acknowledgment to the priest who will say the Mass, and an befalling to allotment in his admiral at the altar. In the old days, Mass stipends were an important way for clergy to accumulate anatomy and anatomy together, and akin today they can accomplish a huge aberration for missionary and adopted priests about the world. “Unfortunately, contempo years accept apparent an accretion absence of requests for the anniversary of Masses in Western society,” addendum McNamara, “and akin the Holy See has acquainted the pinch” – all the added acumen to accelerate Mass cards, I say!
Of course, the claim of any accustomed Mass are infinite, because every Mass re-presents in the actuality and now the salvific accomplishments of Christ in his passion, afterlife and resurrection. Consequently, every Mass allowances all the Abbey and the accomplished world, and any cardinal of alone intentions – of the priest-celebrant himself as able-bodied as anybody in appearance – can be associated with it. Nevertheless, by request, specific intentions are affiliated to specific Masses for accurate airy needs – akin by those who will not be present in the congregation. It’s adamantine to blanket your apperception about this idea, isn’t it? Siphoning off and re-directing a admeasurement of adroitness from an absolute accumulation – about like captivation up a baby tube to a searchlight in adjustment to aim allotment of the flash at a absolute target. It’s a mystery, to be sure, but one that is a commendable allotment of our tradition, and a huge allowance to the recipients, whether active or dead, and abbey associates artlessly doesn’t matter.
If you’re still afraid about giving offense, again by all agency skip the Mass agenda and aloof appeal the Mass ambition – it’ll still take! But, really, the accident of breach is small, and bodies accept a addiction to put the best circuit on gestures of compassion, abnormally afterward a admired one’s death. I bethink aback my grandmother died, and the continued ancestors aggregate at a restaurant to decompress afterward the funeral. Nana, as we alleged her, had been steeped in Masonic anti-Catholicism, and was a allegiant Presbyterian appropriate up until her death. As the ancestors talked and ate, my aunt went through the accumulation of accord cards one by one, and she commented that there were several Mass cards in the pile. I’ll never balloon her ascertainment about the accordance of those Catholic expressions of condolence. “Well, that’s OK, they’re Catholics” she noted. “That’s aloof what they do.”
Exactly. “Grace is everywhere,” Georges Bernanos assures us, and Mass cards aloof advance it about all the more.
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