Monday, November 05, 2007

The short end

I was very, very, very, very incensed during All Souls day (and not in the good way, if you know what I mean), so much so, that I almost violated the Wizard’s Third Rule (que fans of Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series).

When I was younger, there used to be a Mass said at the cemetery on All Souls Day, for the repose of the Holy Souls. It was a great practice and the Mass also prompted many people, who would otherwise stay away, to come and join in the ceremonies. Somewhere along the line, for reasons best known to God, it became a liturgy of the word. But still with the sound system, the prayers could still be heard throughout the cemetery and the people could join in. And then, it evolved into a para liturgy. And then, some years back, the priests + bishop just waltzes in, blesses their own pre assigned areas and leave. All this in the space of 15-20 years. But at least in previous years, all the graves we systematically blessed. If you stand next to a grave, sometimes, it gets even more than one blessing as priests who see you will drop by.

But this year, it was less systematic and many graves, among them the grave of my grandfather where my grandmother and I stood in the rain waiting, were not blessed.

Talk about being pastoral. Yeah, yeah, I know that it does not have to be that way, the priest (Singular) can just stand in one spot and wave the Holy Water, but still with that many of them, could it not have been done right? Pastoral? Needs of the people, etc. So many things are justified in the name of being pastoral. But not in this case. Why? Perhaps they have something better to do than perform their priestly duty? I don’t know and I’m approaching the point of not really caring anymore. Should anyone raise the matter, they’ll get laughed off as being dense and not understanding Catholic theology.

I’m not sure it’s worth it to be buried in a Catholic cemetery anymore. At least, we can be reasonable sure that the old Western Road cemetery is consecrated properly and I do have a plot there. But if I did not, would I want to go through all the extra hassle? For what? With things progressing the way they are, would even these minimalist observances still be carried out in the future? Your guess is as good as mine.

Besides the fact that most funeral Masses are now mini canonization ceremonies, even All Souls, when we’re supposed to pray for the Church Suffering in Purgatory, is now becoming more and more about us and how we fell and relate than about the Holy Souls. How did we go so wrong?

Sigh… perhaps getting enrolled in the Purgatorian Archconfraternity is not such a bad investment after all. Click here for more.

1 comment:

Rita said...

And there was me getting annoyed that our pp saw no need to have the usual box on the altar where we put the names of all the faithful departed for the month of November. It is a small but significant gesture, especially when ones ancestors are buried in many different countries.

What you report makes me particularly sad when you consider the effort the Taoists, and those Christians with Taoist ancestors put into Cheng Beng (Chinese remembrance of the dead). Why do we have to keep hiding our Faith?