I clicked on Fox News to see if the late Tony Snow’s funeral is being covered.
The Mass will be at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.
I was struck be the lead up to the coverage.
All the talking heads were chatting about "remembering" Tony, and "eulogizing" him, and "paying respect", etc.
Folks, the purpose of a funeral Mass is the pray for the person who died.
I am not saying that the Mass itself will be lacking. It has not started yet. I am not saying that every TV wonk or anchor must have a Catholic understanding of Holy Mass for the dead.
This experience simply spurred me to stress this point for you readers, some of whom may have never heard these things before.
Funerals are not canonizations. They are not simply moments to "celebrate a person’s life" or "remember the good times".
The purpose of a funeral, of a Mass, is to intercede with God will forgive the temporal punishment due to sin the deceased may not have had the opportunity to do penance for while alive.
We are praying for God’s mercy, not that God look on us all and celestially opine "Boy, they’re all just wonderful as they are!"
Do not forget to pray for the dead.
Alas, decades of banal translations and white vestments, sentimentality and truly lousy theology have distorted the perception of the Catholic faith and priests about what funeral Masses are for.