The funeral Mass: This essential and complete “end of life” pastoral care is probably the most practical aspect of the Catholic faith.

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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.”

Link

What actually happens at a Catholic funeral Mass

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!

A Man’s Primer on Funeral Etiquette

Funeral processions are one of the few remaining outward signs of death in this society.

After the funeral, everyone will get in their cars and proceed as a group to the cemetery. The cars will follow behind the hearse. Turn on your headlights and emergency blinkers and closely follow the car in front of you. The procession will drive slower than the speed limit. If the procession starts through a light while it’s green and it turns red by the time you get to it, keep on going. State laws allow funeral processions to drive through red lights and stop signs.

As a normal driver, when you come upon a funeral procession, do your best to let them pass and stay together. Don’t try to cut into the procession. If safe, pull to the side of the road and let the line keep going. In the old days, men got out of their cars and doffed their hats while the procession passed. Probably too dangerous on our modern thoroughfares, but a nice thought.

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