I attended today the funeral of H.E. Mons. Raffaello Funghini (R.I.P!), who had been the Dean of the Rota here in Roma, and with whom I lived. He worked in the ambient of the Church’s juridical arm for nearly 50 years.
His funeral was just plain normal.
It was held in the beautiful Basilica of San Lorenzo in Damaso, which is attached to the Palace of the Cancelleria Apostolica, which houses the Church’s highest tribunal, the Sacra Penitenzieria, the Church’s Supreme Court or Segnatura, and the Church’s highest marriage tribunal, the Rota (so called from the round table they would sit at). The celebrant for the funeral was H.E. Agostino Card. Vallini. H.E. Francis Card. Stafford was present in choir dress. Many bishops concelebrated and around 60 priests. Latin was used for the Mass, with the excception of the readings and the commendation at the end. The music was in Latin, Gregorian chant, using the normal chants for a Requiem. Some of the psalm verses after the antiphons were sung in a very good falso bordone. Holy Water and incense were used at the end.
Sounds normal, right? Well… it was. Setting aside the splendid surroundings and lofty figures involved, the book was followed, the Church’s own language was used, people sang chant, which has pride of place in the Church’s liturgy.
It occurred to me during the Mass that any of the kids who go to the St. Agnes Schools would have been perfectly comfortable with the ceremonies and the music and the language. They would have been able to participate easily, even though they were from another country.
THAT is a truly normal Mass!