But it’s quickly becoming a thing of the past, in many areas.
WORCESTER — Bishop Robert J. McManus is expressing concern that Central Massachusetts Roman Catholics are not scheduling funeral Masses for their dead.
This month, he sent a pastoral letter to Catholics in the Diocese of Worcester, urging them to include a Mass in funeral preparations for their beloved dead.
The sending of the letter coincides with the church’s traditional commemoration, in November, of the deceased.
The bishop’s missive has been read from church pulpits or included in parish bulletins.
“I’m extremely concerned because of the growing practice of Catholic families in not providing their deceased with a Mass of Christian burial,” said Bishop McManus in an interview with the Telegram & Gazette.
Bishop McManus said the official funeral rites of the church include three parts: the wake, the Mass and the commitment service at graveside.
He said that during the Mass,that the family has a chance to pray for the dead, asking God to forgive the decedents’ sins and to welcome them into heaven.
“There’s a presumption today that everybody gets to heaven,” Bishop McManus said. “I don’t think that people should think that’s a given.”
Editor’s note: This is just another sign of the sad lack of proper catechesis in today’s Catholic Church. Kudos to Bishop McManus for doing his job!