The other day I answered a reader’s question about Requiem Masses with absolution of the catafalque.
Here are a three examples of of catafalques, which substitute for the the presence of the body of the deceased.
This is the TMSM’s catafalque, which looks very much like a regular coffin covered by a pall. It was constructed by members of the Society and is easily transported, arranged, and removed.
On the other hand, when you have had your thing going for a few centuries, you might be able to do this.
Here is the catafalque for this year’s Requiem at Ss. Trinità dei Pelegrini in Rome in the hands of the Fraternity of St. Peter.
I love this stuff, especially the obvious Memento Mori elements of the skulls. We really need to bring these elements back into our vestments and ornamentation for Requiem Masses. Yes, yes. “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”, blah blah blah. The fact is that decades of white vestments, informal canonizations, horrid eulogies and hot air have distorted the Catholic’s Christian identity.
So, that was Ss. Trinità dei Pelegrini in Rome. Now we go a little way north to Florence and the Chiesa dei Santi Michele e Gaetano, in the hands of the Institute of Christ the King.
Okay, we got at least three layers of Requiem cake here and probably around 20 candles. Anything worth doing is worth over doing! This is quite the sight.
So, those were pretty amazing. However, we of the TMSM had the Extraordinary Ordinary for our Requiem, celebrated at the throne. That’s something they won’t have.
When you have a big church, you may as well build big.
Here is the catafalque for Ven. Pius XII.
Remember that you can gain plenary indulgences through 8 November by visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead.
GO TO CONFESSION!