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    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Another sign that I am ancient

    Have you ever seen the Priest wear one of these during a funeral Mass, or a special Mass for the Dead?

    If so, you are at least as old as me.

    Where now, we mention a dead person by name during the Mass, then we actually at times had a 'stand-in' casket that we wheeled up to the altar railing that was actually incensed at the end of the Mass.

    Seemed very normal to me at the time as a kid. Except on those mornings, I knew the Mass would be even longer than usual.

    One good thing that happened though, was that I got to like singing some parts of Requiem Aeternam by heart.

    Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

    The term for the empty casket is "Catafalque". link


    Blogger Ray from MN said...

    A "stand in" casket at Masses for the Dead that were not funeral Masses?

    Sounds pretty strange to me.

    August 19, 2006  
    Blogger Joseph said...

    I was so lucky to see the end of the 50's both in the Church, and culture generally.

    So I know things not generally known or remembered. Is that knowledge worth anything to anyone else? I don't know.

    I did like the people and families back in the 50's.

    As much as modern folks scoff at it, families really were a lot like the Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver portrayals.. or tried to be.

    By the way, that casket was draped in black.. not white like today.

    In some way it preserved death's darkness. Today all from the pulpit at funerals is happiness with the departed smiling down on us from heaven.

    Maybe that's why the young folks in the crowd wonder if we really know what we're talking about.

    August 19, 2006  

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